That Would be Accurate

By Randall MellMay 10, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share
The Players
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. ' Tiger Woods put on a show on the back nine Sunday at The Players Championship.
 
It just wasnt the show golf fans have come to expect when hes the closing act in the final pairing of a final round.
 
Woods was relegated to sideshow status.
 
Tiger WoodsDuring a long wait at the 16th tee, with his chances to win long gone, with the massive crowds having mostly abandoned him through that far corner on the back nine, Woods did golfs version of the soft shoe. He bounced his ball on the face of his 3-wood, making it hop and dance, then making it stop cold on the club face before making it dance again.
 
It wasnt quite as theatrical as the bouncing-ball act he did off his wedge in one of his Nike commercials a few years back, but the folks at the 16th tee whooped and hollered just the same.
 
It was the best control of his golf ball Woods showed on a tee box all week long.
 
No scene Sunday revealed more about Woods day.
 
At the gateway to one of golfs most brutal gauntlets, the trio of finishing holes at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, Woods passed time in light-hearted banter with playing companion Alex Cejka and a marshal.
 
It was strange what you heard as Woods made his way into the gauntlet.
 
You actually heard folks consoling him.
 
Its all right, Tiger, one woman shouted.
 
At the tee box at the 17th island hole, though, you heard something else, the frustration of a fan who wanted more for his money.
 
Do something already, the fan exhorted.
 
That pretty much sums up the expectations Woods brings to final rounds like Sundays.
 
After showing off his magician skills all week, after performing one escape act after another, Woods can blame his wayward driving for Sundays failure.
 
Its hardly shocking that Woods failed to win The Players Championship. The course is becoming a nemesis. He has won just once in his 12 PGA Tour appearances here. Whats surprising is how he couldnt accept the gift that the 54-hole leader, Cejka, was offering. Cejka blew his five-shot lead over the first four holes.
 
Henrik Stenson stepped up to win with a bogey-free 66, while Woods shot 73. Stenson and Woods both started the day five shots back, but Stenson lapped Woods and everyone else with his four-shot victory.
 
Stenson won because the long-hitting Swede hit fairway after fairway, mostly using 3-woods. He hit every fairway he looked at the on the front nine. He missed just two fairways all weekend.
 
Woods lost because he consistently missed fairways even though he geared down, too, with mostly 3-woods.
 
Stenson hit twice as many fairways on the weekend (26 to 13) as Woods hit.
 
Its that simple.
 
I just kept hitting those spinners up to the right, Woods said. It was frustrating, because if I aim down the right side, Id spin it to the right, aim down the left side, spin it to the right.
 
Woods couldnt have picked a worse venue to play with suspect driving skill.
 
Still, if Woods doesnt get himself fixed on the tee box, speculations going to grow that hes becoming more vulnerable and beatable.
 
It may not be true, it may not be fair, but its a refrain you know is coming.
 
NBC-TV analyst Johnny Miller suggested as much in a national conference call earlier in the week. He said he walked three holes on Tuesday with Phil Mickelson and that Mickelson told him that it appears Woods has to putt great just to win by a single shot now. Miller said that Mickelson isnt alone thinking that way. Game on, is the way Miller described the thinking of Tour pros. When Woods isnt spectacular, hes slumping.
 
Thats the world he lives in.
 
Whats impressive, though, is how competitive he is when he isnt hitting on all cylinders. Whats impressive, too, is how he never allows himself to believe hes not close to fixing himself.
 
Some folks call that denial, others a strong will.
 
Ill fix it, Woods said. When youre playing a golf course like this, and you dont have it, and the greens are this fast and this hard, you can shoot some pretty high numbers.
 
If Woods doesnt fix himself off the tee, speculations also sure to rekindle over the future of his swing coach, Hank Haney.
 
Thats the world Haney lives in.
 
Asked if he needs special attention from Haney, Woods sounded confident in his coach: We know what it is. Its just a matter of me doing it. Playing the game is harder to do on the golf course. I just need to do a little better job of it.
 
If Woods is going to win the U.S. Open, hes got six weeks to fix himself. Bethpage Black awaits. Its a giant course that wont be tamed without a driver.
 
Ive got plenty of time, Woods said.
 
Email your thoughts to Randall Mell
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The Players Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Getty Images

    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

    Getty Images

    Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

    The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


    President at the Presidents Cup


    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


    Trump golf properties

    Vandalism

    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump