Confessions Of One Who Has Doubted Tiger

By George WhiteFebruary 12, 2001, 5:00 pm
Today's sermon is 'The Media and Mister Woods.' No, there's no problem with the writers and Tiger. But there is a problem with perceptions of same.
 
You are no doubt aware of 'the streak.' You no doubt are aware of the media. There seems to be some concern that it's been seven tournaments since Tiger won.
 
Of course, Tiger has won overseas since his last victory here. But some journalists have noted Woods hasn't been able to get over the hump on the PGA Tour since September at the Bell Canadian Open. Tiger himself hasn't made a big to-do over it - after all, he's finished in the top 10 every time save once, when he finished in a tie for 13th. He tied for fourth at San Diego last week. Not bad at all, you're probably thinking.
 
Anyway, some have raised the 0-for-7 issue. Others have reacted with disbelief towards the ones who mentioned the fact, incredulous that anyone would note the length of time that has gone by since Woods had a victory. Seven tournaments and counting - and some gents are wondering? Guess everybody expects perfection nowadays.
 
Well, yes, when it comes to Tiger Woods, everyone does. He has 'raised the bar,' we're incessantly reminded. He has set his own standards, like it or not. He isn't judged by anyone else's standards now. Tiger has performed at such a high level that it is perfectly understandable when some mild concern would be raised over the lack of a win in seven trips to the well.
 
We're not talking about just another very good golfer here. We're talking about Tiger Woods. We're not talking about Phil Mickelson or Davis Love or Ernie Els or David Duval. Those are excellent golfers, yes. But only one or two in the history of golf have had 15 months like Woods just had. When you talk about winning 17 tournaments in just two years, you are judged accordingly. THAT is the standard I'm talking about, not one where you win four or five times a year.
 
Tiger won nine times last year on the PGA Tour. That's a ratio of nearly one win every two times he teed it up. That, my friends, is exceptional. What are Tiger standards? Nearly one out of two. That's what we mean, not five wins in a year, not Phil Mickelson's standards or Ernie Els' standards.
 
He did win some tournaments at the end of the year. A skins game, the World Cup with Duval . but people, that simply does not add up. That does not compute to one win every two or three times he goes out. One-out-of-two is Tiger stuff - not a record we would remotely expect anyone else to achieve, but when you're talking about Tiger Woods, well, yeah. He did it once, remember.
 
Tiger never claimed he was as good as last year's record. But it was all there on paper. Last year was exceptional, there's just no other way to say it. Could it be that it's really as good as it's going to get? At age 24, I certainly would hope not.
 
Maybe Tiger will start a new streak. Maybe he will win the Nissan Open in his next start, then finish the year with TEN victories. Maybe the putts did just 'lip out.' Maybe there won't be any need to discuss the issue any further.
 
That isn't the point, though, for those of us who have gently reminded that it has been seven times since he teed it up on the PGA Tour and won. And that isn't by any means 'bad' when you are talking about the average good golfer.
 
When you are talking about Tiger Woods, though, it's worth a mention. If I were Tiger, I would expect now to be held to those standards. He has left the realm of those who are merely 'good.' He now belongs in a once-in-a-century category. When you go from nearly one-in-two to one-in-seven, it's news.
 
To tell it otherwise is to say that's he's just a good golfer, not Tiger Woods.
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Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


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“Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

“There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.