Answers to All Your Tiger Queries


Ten questions and 10 answers surrounding the enigma wrapped inside a mystery that Tiger Woods and his golf have become to an insatiably curious public:
1.) What is wrong with Tiger Woods game?
There is a ghost in his machine. The golf swing is a highly-sensitive and finely-tuned piece of machinery. But it is also a living organism. It changes from day to day just like we all change from day to day. Tom Watson used to talk about playing whatever game he found at the practice range that day. Some days its easier to hit a draw, other days a fade. Simple as that.
2.) What should Tiger do about it?
Its almost impossibly difficult here not to suggest that Woods go back to see teacher Butch Harmon. Lord knows, many leading experts in the field think this would be the best thing. But first Woods must gain a predisposition for being helped. He needs to want somebody else to provide the answers before he can seek them. Theres an old adage in eastern philosophy that goes something like this: When the student is ready, a teacher will appear.
3. Will Tiger win the U.S. Open next month at Shinnecock Hills?
Not unless he figures out where his ball is going. It was interesting to note at last weeks Wachovia Championship that, for the most part, Woods stopped trying to convince us that he was close. He hit less than 45 percent of the fairways. That is not close. If that continues at Shinnecock, it will put an almost unbearable strain on his short game. The U.S. Open is 72 holes. The rough is hellish. The Long Island winds are capricious. Tiger has the best short game in the world. But it may not be enough.
4.) When will Tiger get married?
Sometime after he and his fianc, Elin Nordegren, announce the date.
5.) Who will be the best man?
The early morning betting favorite is college friend and former Stanford teammate Jerry Chang.
6.) Is the new Big Four of Tiger, Ernie, Vijay and Phil more a result of Tiger coming back to the field or those players raising their games?
Singh, Mickelson and Els all have worked harder than ever before. But the answer here has more to do with Woods current downturn in form.
7. ) Will Tiger break Jack Nicklaus record of 18 professional majors?
Yes, unless he decides to take up another sport. Thankfully, that is unlikely, in part because Tigers got MJs cell number on his speed dial. (Although it would be fun to see if Tiger can hit Phils fastball.)
8.) Will Tiger ever play back to the form he achieved in 2000?
Woods won three majors and six other events that year en route to setting or tying 27 PGA Tour records. We have learned never to say never with Tiger. But it will be more difficult for Woods to surpass the level he reached in 2000 than it will be for him to break Nicklaus record.
9.) Whats the highlight so far of Woods 2004 season?
Thats easy. It was the long birdie putt he made on the 17th hole last Sunday at Quail Hollow. The kilowatt smile. The fist pump. The spring in his step. It was all there. And it was terrific to see Woods release all the emotions that have been pent up inside for too long.
10.) What will Tiger do next?
Whatever he pleases as long as he isnt breaking any laws. The mans income approaches approximately 80 million dollars a year. Maybe he will buy a great big boat and move to West Palm Beach. Maybe he will announce his wedding date. Maybe some of this is none of our business.
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