Imagine a guy consistently bombing 300-yard tracers and then making every putt in sight. Tiger Woods? No, Mark Calcavecchia.
Calc's got a new shaft in his Ping Driver, a mix of graphite and steel at the tip. Combined with the new Titleist Pro V-1 golf ball and Calc's added 25 yards to his tee ball.
As Tiger heads into February without a win, and without a victory in a handful of events going back to late last year, you realize just how amazing he was on the greens a year ago. Predictions that he would simply surpass his win totals of a year ago or win the slam were understandable, but off base. We may never see a nine win, three major season again.
Steve Stricker shot 62 Friday and was overshadowed by Calc's 60. Stricker, winner of the Accenture Match Play, seems much more at ease these days with wife Nicki back on the bag and some of his old clubs back in it. Strick went back to the old, small-headed Warbird driver he used so effectively in 1996. He wouldn't, however, second-guess his 1997 decision to switch to Taylor Made, saying it was a business decision. His game suffered, and now he's made a golf decision. In addition to the Warbird, he's playing Titleist irons.
Speaking of new equipment, David Duval played Nike irons this week. He missed the cut. When asked what he thought of the clubs, Duval said he liked the look but not the feel because they weren't HIS clubs. Read into that a bit and you wonder, are HIS clubs from Nike on the way.
Nike only has a small share of the market right now, but in 20 years, when the Nike Nation is all grown up with disposable income, what then?
Trust Your Swing
Scott McCarron, who's trying to return to form, told me he's simply thinking less about technical swing thoughts and trying to get out of his own way. We'd all do well to approach the game that way.
Duval had an interesting take on the Georgia state flag controversy and whether or not golf should join in an economic boycott. Said David, 'If people are hurt by the symbol then I think they should change the flag. But an economic boycott doesn't just hurt southern white men, it hurts all the people who depend on these golf tournaments for charity dollars or just for a portion of their livelihood. There has to be another way to solve the problem.'
Tiger's streak of consecutive rounds under par may not be as flashy a mark as three majors or nine tournaments won, but it might best underscore just how consistently brilliant he's been, how hard he fights, how steadfastly he refuses to tank a round even when it's not going his way.
A caddie asked aging rocker Alice Cooper in the Phoenix pro-am, 'Should I call you Mr. Cooper or Alice, sir?' The reply from Cooper? 'Call me Mr. Cooper until I leave a putt short. Then you can call me Alice.'