Golf Without Tiger

By Brian HewittJune 20, 2008, 4:00 pm
The Comebacker this will week will be the exclusive province of You-Know-Who. Tiger Woods has shut it down for the year. And our viewers and readers, bless them, will not shut up about the decision and the implications of a golf world without The Striped One.
Without further ado:
Richard writes: With regard to Mr. Goosen, a friend of mine in London sent me the article quoting Retief saying he (Tiger) was hamming it and not really injured. I have four words for Mr. Goosen: Rory Sabbatini ' Stephen Ames!!! The next time they are paired at the Presidents Cup or even the Tavistock Cup you can look for Tiger to take his surgically repaired left leg and kick the you-know-what out of Retief. Here is hoping Tiger has a successful surgery and speedy recovery and can return to follow his dreams.
The Comebacker
If this ever gets on Tigers bulletin board, Retiefs goose is cooked.

Jim writes: Couple of thoughts; I read Goosen's comments to a German reporter that TW was faking it. I really like Goosen, but it appears those are pretty cheap shots. I hope he mans up to his faux pas. Second, I don't know TW and don't know what it would be like to have dinner with him, but I've never seen anyone who was so good at just letting his game do the talking. He NEVER makes excuses. When he gets lucky (17 on Saturday-flagstick) he acknowledges it was luck. As sports figures go, (other than his cursing) he is someone you would like your kids to emulate.
The Comebacker
Dinner with Tiger Hmmmm Im guessing hed pass on the dessert And am hoping hed pick up the check.

George writes: Tiger's an idiot. He's so obsessed with Jack's records that he has risked his long term health for another U.S. Open victory. What if he has just traded 10 more majors in the future for this one? At the very least he will have to change his swing to keep playing. Can he do that? Sure, he's done it before. But the left knee is so important to his violent golf swing that he may not be the golfer he was before. Four surgeries on the same joint? I can't believe he took risk. Time will tell.
The Comebacker
And here I thought all this time Phil, because he told us so two years ago at Winged Foot, was the one that was such an idiot.

John writes: What is different about Tigers putter from all of ours? I spent two days last weekend on the best greens in the Carolinas trying to be Tiger but using three balls... Not even close and I am a 67-year-old 7-handicapper. What I witnessed this past weekend was really not real when it came to putting let alone what he was going through.
The Comebacker
This is why the caddies and players on TOUR sometimes refer to Tiger as The Brother From Another Planet. And it is meant as a compliment. To be sure, Tiger is, very often, not of this world.

Sherry writes: Tiger got a piece of the Rock...the world got a giant boulder dropped upon it. The aftershock has not worn off yet, and I am still not of my right mind. My summer, my autumn, my winter plans...all annihilated. I am one person. What must the rest of the world be feeling? I don't know whether to be angry at Tiger for crushing the life out of me, or if I should be thanking him for quelling some of my addictions. Not only will my long weekends spent glued to a television come to an end, but so, too, will my weekday evenings, always spent watching the fabulous Golf Channel programs and personalities. Will my once multiple times a day visits to the Golf Channel website decline?...Can I bear not reading what you have to write anymore? It all seems so wrong. Can I bear spending more time with family and friends? Spending more time outdoors? Spending time on more productive things in life? The withdrawal symptoms are just beginning. It's only been 24 hours, and so far, I'm not doing so well. I'm not sure how, or if, I can handle the misery that I know is ahead of me. Hopefully, I can proclaim that I've overcome my anger, and that I've beaten these addictions by the end of the year...just in time for Tiger's return.
The Comebacker
Is therapy deductible?

Cheryl writes: Yes, Brian, the hints certainly were there. Although Tiger and his team are usually very private, there was a different aura around this issue. There was more of a concerned look than a mind your own business look at press conferences. I wondered when he said to Annika after her announcement you beat me to it. I thought surely he could not be contemplating retirement; now on hearing this news, it seems clear that for the first time in his stellar yet short career, he was forced to contemplate the prospect of it ending sooner than he anticipated. That cannot be easy. Coming face to face with our mortality is daunting to us all. This shows us hes emotionally about as strong as he is mentally and physically. He kept his promise to himself and I believe to little Sam that her dada would win one for her birthday. True to his word, he won it exactly one year to day i.e. the day after Fathers Day, that she was born. Wow! There is so much we can learn from this young man.
The Comebacker
And now'because we all root for his return--is the time for Tiger to learn from his doctors.

John writes: I had the pleasure of working the Open for the entire week. Having been playing the game since the age of seven, I am a student of the game and follow the Tour very closely through the Golf Channel and other periodicals. My opinion all along was that Tiger would not make the cut, as his coming back was too fast. I watched him the week before when he rode around in a cart and only played nine holes each day before the start of the tournament. We now know that the injury was much worse than he had let on. I have never really been a Tiger fan; he has come on as aloof at times when I have seen him at other tournaments. I will never question the will that was instilled in him by his father, as is evident in the new Nike commercial. This was the greatest Open of the modern era. Injury or not Tiger willed himself to the win. Rocco in no way should feel that, because of the extent of Tiger's injury, this Open should have an asterisk after it. It was a Cinderella story, as the story goes. I still have my opinion of Tiger personally, but I will always say that I have seen the greatest player to ever play this Great Game. I salute Rocco and what he did for himself and for us older guys that still have some fight left in us.
The Comebacker
My sense is that Rocco, 45, will not be the forgotten man in all of this and that the Champions Tour cant wait for his arrival.

Rick writes: Did you ever hear of the Inoculation Theory in your studies? Get too much of something and you become immune to it. I'm like that with Tiger. Sure, he's great, but let me come to that conclusion; I don't need every sportscaster reminding me. I know you've heard the term Less is More. I play a lot of golf and watch a lot of golf, therefore, I'm probably not the demographic that the networks are going after when they give us All Tiger All The Time. I would rather watch other golfers hit shots instead of watching Tiger stalk a putt on the green for five minutes. That brings me to my next point. I like watching the European Tour on The Golf Channel because the coverage goes quickly from shot to shot and shows more full shots. It seems the U.S. networks show too much greens-reading and putting. I think that could be why the non-golfing public doesn't watch golf: there's not enough action. But that's just me and I know I'm in a minority.
The Comebacker
You are, indeed sir, in the minority. But your voice is heard.

George G. writes: Now is the time for all the Tiger wannabees to step up. Tiger only plays 15-18 tournaments a year as it is. The Open, PGA and Ryder Cup are wide open and are there for someone to step up and challenge Tiger. Everyone I see has the skills but is the mental toughness there. My wife only watches golf on a Sunday and if Tiger is there. She said he is a machine. Hogan and Nicklaus looked that way too. They were focused. Some great golfers never won an Open and Mr. Palmer has only one. The list of multiple U.S. Open winners is short. We talk about the players today looking all the same. When they are playing they should..Much was made of Rocco being the everyman and he is, but he was focused on what he had to do. If his back holds up I think Rocco can win a major now that he knows what it takes if he wants it.
The Comebacker
Are you listening, Sergio? Adam? Everybody else? Theres an opportunity now that might not present itself for long.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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