Putting is so important in major championships, and Phil Mickelson was on fire today as he stormed to a stunning comeback win in the British Open. He birdied four of the last sic holes and said in the interview above that it’s the best he’s ever putted.
Meanwhile Lee Westwood faded and Tiger Woods was good but not good enough again. Think about it – Tiger hasn’t won a major in 5 years! He used to be well ahead of the pace set by Jack Nicklaus but know the two are pretty close. Passing Jack is no longer an easy task for Woods. There are plenty of young golfers who have emerged in the sport, and Mickelson continues to be a force in the game as well.
I’m tired of the new chorus of Lebron apologists. Idiots like Jeff Van Gundy are saying they don’t understand why people root against him. Jackass Rick Reilly saying that Lebron is “somebody you want your kids to have as their hero.” Now Mike Wise is chiming in.
I won’t bother listing all the obvious reasons, partly because Pat McManamon sums it up perfectly in this column.
But there’s one thing that none of the apologists mention – arrogance. People hate arrogant punks, particularly those who can’t back it up. Lebron pranced around with his new teammates, preened at a rally in the most shallow city in America and then proclaimed he would win a string of championships. Then he wilted in the most epic collapse by a great athlete anyone can remember.
The new apologists are basically arguing that we should all love him because he hasn’t been arrested, he doesn’t beat his wife girlfriend or hasn’t abandoned his kids. Wow, talk about setting the bar low.
Like Tiger Woods, Lebron James makes millions with his carefully crafted image. His playful attitude may be sincere, but Lebron always cared more about his “global icon” status than anything else. Are we supposed to worship arrogance and self-promotion?
We can blame his age or those around him, but many fans hate Tiger and Lebron because their carefully crafted images turned out to be a fraud.
Nobody with a brain ever doubted his talent, so if he ever finds a way to play consistently under pressure he’ll probably win his championships (unless the great Kevin Durant stops him). That might help redeem some of his past failures and lack of nerve on the basketball court, but he’ll have a long way to go to account for his off-the-court behavior.
I guess we can put a stop to those stories about whether Tiger can come back. Today’s win was vintage Tiger Woods, and now he has momentum heading into the US Open in a couple of weeks.
Dust off the Tiger Woods highlight reel and add another jaw-dropper, this one near the very top. From a downhill lie, to a green running away from him, and with a wall of water lurking if he went long, Tiger Woods hit a flop shot into the hole for birdie on the par-3 16th hole, one of the most amazing shots of his career, and went on to record his 73rd victory on Sunday.
The win at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village ties Woods with tournament host Jack Nicklaus for second place on the career victories list, trailing only Sam Snead (82), and gives Woods a surge of adrenaline heading into the U.S. Open at Olympic Club, which begins in 11 days.
“That was one of the most incredible golf shots I think you’ll ever see played,” Nicklaus said on the CBS telecast of Woods’s chip-in. “It wasn’t just the pitch shot. It was where he had to land it, and what he had to do, and what the penalties were if he didn’t make it. Unbelievable.”
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson dropped out of this invitational tournament after playing one lousy round. Things change quickly . . .
William Hill has Woods listed as the 4-1 favorite to win his fifth Masters title, with Rory McIlroy close behind at 5-1. Other bookies have similar odds, with Ladbrokes quoting the same numbers as William Hill. Paddy Power and Coral both have Woods as the 7-2 favorite with McIlroy next at 9-2.
If he puts like he did this past weekend, Tiger will probably be a force at Augusta. Perhaps we’ll see an incredible rivalry with Rory McIlroy after all.
No, we’re not saying you have to get huge and ripped like Tiger Woods! Plus, you won’t have the private trainers and other assistance he has at his disposal.
That said, many of us aren’t in the best shape after the holidays as we work through the winter blahs. If you didn’t take advantage of golf holiday packages, many of us plan an escape to a golf resort in warm weather or an iconic location at this time of year. But we often don’t realize how grueling all that golf can be. It’s not the same as weekend golf breaks that you take during the season when you’re at the top of your game.
You can make your trip so much more enjoyable, and also improve your scores, by making sure you get back in shape before you take off for your trip. Think about endurance and feeling strong on the back nine . . . or on your second round if you play 36 holes per day! All of those holiday meals will catch up to you, so you should be hitting the treadmill now. Also, we all know that the best golfers improve the distance of drives and other shots by getting stronger and more flexible. Sure, your technique and form are still critical, but strength is also important. You don’t want to look like an out-of-shape fool on your trip who keeps coming up short – right?
You won’t be battling Tiger on the tour in the Middle East or challenging China golf pros on the Asian tour, but you’ll be able to put in a good showing with your buddies during your golf getaway.
Do some research on some of the best golf exercises and get to work.