There’s an unwritten rule in baseball that says rookies need to mind their own business, shut their mouths and always show veteran players respect.
Apparently these same rules don’t apply to golf. Either that, or Brendan Steele doesn’t follow them because he recently called out one of the best golfers the sport will ever see.
Rookie Brendan Steele didn’t see eye-of-the-tiger intensity from Tiger Woods when he was paired with Woods in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Sunday. Steele shot 70 en route to a T17 finish, while Woods shot 75 to finish tied for 44th. Afterward, Steele said that Woods appeared to lose interest in his round Sunday once he started to struggle, according to an article in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated.
“I don’t think he gave it everything today,” Steele told SI. “Once it started going in the wrong direction, I don’t think it had his full attention.”
Here’s the deal, even if you think Tiger didn’t give it his all, you don’t say that. You tell your buddies about it when you’re kicking back a few cold ones or smoking some cigars, but you don’t tell Sports freaking Illustrated. Somebody needs to teach that boy some r.e.s.p.e.c.t. Find out what it means to me…uh, him. (To be fair, Steele had nothing but respect for Tiger before the tournament, stating that he was excited to be playing alongside one of the greats.)
That said, I think it’s obvious that Tiger lost his confidence in 2009. He clearly hasn’t been the same player since his ex-wife may-or-may-not-have taken one of his nine irons to the side of his dome and he hasn’t regained his swagger. Maybe he will eventually, but right now he’s in a major funk.
Every athlete goes through phases where they struggle with their confidence. They feel as though they’ll never get another hit, have another 100-yard rushing day or win another tournament. It happens. Tiger just needs to fight through it and find the motivation to be great again.