Archive for July 19th, 2010
He is the finest golfer the sport has ever seen. He has won on every scenario. But his career as well as his image almost went down the flush because of a clinically diagnosed sex addiction. Many skeptics however, have said that this is nothing but having the money and the looks to fulfill most mid-aged men’s fantasy and getting caught at it. Anyhow, it doesn’t matter what your look is into his alleged 18 plus mistress list, weather you want to pass judgment or no, the bottom line is that Tiger Woods is not back on his A-game.
He has had some trouble this season. Nothing seems to be working for the Tiger. He took a long break; we are talking about 150 plus days away from the courts in an attempt to rebuild his broken personal life. He was to face a divorce, perhaps even losing the custody of his children, and as if that was not enough, Tiger Woods would be missing on some of his finest sponsors. He had been portrayed as the symbol, the mark of perfection, of calmness and outermost control in regards of the situation. His precision sold watches and shavers alike. And the great golfer did not seem to be too precise when he crashed his car against a tree in a rich neighborhood in California.
So what’s next for the big Tiger Woods. One year ago, no one would have expected the Tiger to play like he has. And it seems that the Open Championship at St. Andrews has not been the place for his comeback. The bottom line is that Tiger has won 7 of his 14 major championships on golf courses that are, lets say, enigmatic and very meaningful and history rich in the golf World. That is: Pebble Beach, Augusta National and golf’s homeland St. Andrews. Interesting enough both the Master and the Open were going to be played at one of this great scenarios.
This 2010 would have been the tournament to reclaim his Crown as the sports best on the courses he has dominated the best. But none of that has happened yet. In 2000 and 2005 at St. Andrews the fans were so excited to see him pass the
Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole. He would come to win those tournaments by 14 shots combined. This time around, the Tiger was barely making it to the top 10. He used to win tournaments by double digits. Now he is loosing them by the same much. And the 2010 British Open was no exception. Tiger was 13 shots behind winner Louis Oosthuizen from South Africa, who just came in a swept with the tournament against all golf betting odds.
He has gone 0 for 3 in the major events. Augusta National, Pebble Beach and St. Andrews are no longer the golf courses where the Tiger did what he pleased. This is his seventh tournament without winning. He knows has one last chance for the season. If he can hit the lucky 15th title at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straights, he is going to be able to hush all the talking about his poor performance. He is still 4 majors behind the record holding Jack Nicklaus, and he better get his putting and basically his life back in the best frame possible, if he wants to live up to the name he has created in this sport.
This has been a good month for South African Sport. First they hosted with absolute success the first World Cup to ever be held on the African continent. Even though they became the first host team not to make it pass the first round, the South Africans, who once had been banned from international sports because of their apartheid policy, managed to put on a well-organized and incident-free World Cup. If you are not much into soccer, then imagine a month-long Super Bowl, and that might just barely give you an idea of the logistics and planning that must go into hosting a World Cup.
But that is not all South Africa should be happy about. This weekend, and despite the many critics who believed that he would not be able to deal with the pressure, Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open Championship at the legendary greens of St. Andrews. This is the best performance ever by the 27-year-old player that had to struggle greatly to win over both economic and athletic hardships in order to get to the top of the sport.
Oosthuizen had missed the cut in seven of his previous eight major championships. But he managed to have a great game in the restless winds of the Open Championship at St. Andrews. Many players stumbled upon the climatic conditions, and there were important changes in the scoreboards. And yet, it was a painful and extenuating final 4th round at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews.
Here is the thing. If you are a big time fan of action sports like basketball and football or soccer, it is very hard to really get excited about golf. It’s a whole different sort of game. Its slow and meticulous and it borders more with frustration and managing your stress then with die-hard physical outpour. Sure it starts with the first tee, and what not. But when even the sports commentators (that is guys and gals who make a living from making golf exciting and thrilling) tell you that this is a very boring and plain game, then one can understand that Oosthuizen win at St. Andrews, was not much but an amazing upset to the golf betting odds.
Sure Casey and came in close towards the end. But Sunday was one of the most boring days in golf because nothing happened. Tiger Woods made four outfit changes and used two different putters. But despite his attempt at a last minute makeover, not much happened in terms of golf. Many were expecting woods to make a big comeback at St. Andrews. He has won here twice. But the Tiger is still to make it pass by the house cat stage. Just for the record, he has played 7 major championships and has yet to win one since his comeback.
Phil Mickelson was turned off during the whole thing. But let’s face it, not many people were expecting Phil to do much at the Open. This is the tournament that has troubled him mostly. One top 10 finish in 17 tries is not a record to be too proud of. Paul Casey and Lee Westwood never really made a move to break down the difference for the South African. They had their chance. But nothing happened. Except, one thing happened. The guys you least expected made his move and won his first major championship. That is the Open at St. Andrews, that’s right, where they invented the sport.