I Think I Finally Believe
By Kickntrue on 2/1/11
Until last night, deep down I fully believed Tiger would eventually regain his form and finish his march towards 19 majors. No more. The change in my view has nothing to do with Tiger's current performance, though it's certainly not looking promising for the immediate future. The change simply came from reading this well thought-out rationale from SI's Joe Posnanski.
Now, let’s look at this: You have a 35-year-old man who has not won a major championship since having reconstructive surgery on his knee — and in the last major where he contended he was taken out on Sunday. He has not won a tournament of any kind in a year and a half. He has gone through a very public divorce and a seemingly endless string of public embarrassments. He has changed swing coaches and has tried desperately and futilely to find a swing that fits his body and his age.
But here is where it really hits home- how much Tiger still has to do to "catch" Nicklaus.
I don’t think that people realize just how unlikely it is for Tiger Woods to win five more major championships. Think about Phil Mickelson for a moment. He has been on tour for 16 years, since he was 25. He has won 38 times on the PGA Tour. That’s a Hall of Fame career — Phil Mickelson is almost certainly one of the 25 greatest golfers who ever lived. He has won FOUR majors in 63 starts. Does Tiger Woods have an entire Phil Mickelson career (plus one major) left in him over the rest of his career?
I know Tiger has defied all kinds of odds before- but at this point I can't think Tiger still has a full Phil Mickelson career left in him, right?!

The whole article is pretty interesting- showing how a lot of careers of "best ever" athletes have wound down without fanfare. Now don't get this wrong- Posnanski (and I agree with him) does not think Tiger is done by a long shot. He thinks he'll continue to have a career as a solid PGA Pro- winning tournaments and maybe even majors along the way- but that we need to accept that "Old Tiger" is gone. Tiger has always amazed and I'm fan #1 in line hoping that he does regain his old form. I'd enjoy nothing better than seeing him dominate the game again, but deep down- for the first time ever - I don't think Tiger will break Jack's record and I'm not sure in 30 years we'll consider him the best golfer who ever lived. Instead he may just have played the best 15 years of golf in the history of the world.

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[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
Why do we feel the need to decide once and for all how the rest of Tiger Woods career is going to play out? Everyone's got an opinion but how about just chillax and watch and see what happens. This is exactly the kind of thing people moan about. Tiger this, Tiger that. Sick of hearing about him. Put the spotlight on other deserving golfers too. Then out of the other side of their mouths they start with the pontificating. He is done, he has lost his aura, can't putt, choice of swing coach is suspect, etc, etc. When it comes to Mr Woods everyone seems to know what's best. Now I am starting to understand why the guy threw it all away. Deep down he's probably got sick of all the bullshit that comes along with being Tiger Woods.
2/1/11
 
Kickntrue says:
@legitmatebeef- well said.
2/1/11
 
tennesseeboy says:
I don't think Tiger is done by any means. I think the biggest obstacle between him and 19 majors is all the young talent following in his footsteps. He raised the bar and now we see a new generation that has come of age with the expectation that they need to play at his level to compete.
2/1/11
 
lcgolfer64 says:
Now that's a Legitimate Beef - great call

Also, Tennesseeboy nailed it - younger players watched him for years and learned to step it up a whole other level if they wanted to play at the top. I think that's what we're seeing now.
2/1/11
 
Banker85 says:
i like what tennesseeboy said. Everyone, not just the young guys have stepped up their game to get to Tiger's Level. He might break Jacks record, he might not, he might decide to become a dentist who knows. Tiger Woods is still Tiger Woods and that in itself means getting to 19 majors is possible. If anything Tiger will be remembered as one of the all time greats (if not greatest) but most influential golfer that ever lived. Jack won SIX majors from the age 35 and older, Tiger needs 5. It is more than possible for Tiger to reach 19 majors. TRUTH
2/1/11
 
mjaber says:
It's done constantly in ALL sports. The Patriots being a "dynasty" after winning a couple Super Bowls, Starsburgh being compared to the greatest pitchers of all time... it's, Sir Beef said, BS. Why not wait and judge based on the complete history instead of jumping to a conclusion? Stupid sports writers. Let it play out, let the body of work be completed, and then make your comparisons.
2/1/11
 
homermania says:
As sure as there is a Waffle House in Augusta, Tiger will win more majors.
2/1/11
 
munk24 says:
hosted.where2getit.com/wafflehouse/indexnew.html

Think this will show there are Waffle Houses in Augusta, GA :)
2/1/11
 
chief_broom says:
Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical. I believe a big part of what made Tiger "Tiger" was the belief of the fans, and all of golf, in him. In him as a great golfer, but also in him as a great human being. Earl started the mystique, and his handlers, and all the people around him continued it. Reinforced it even. Tiger was the sportsmen America and the world loved to look up to. We put him on a pedestal and he was all to willing for us to elevate him to that height. When he fell, and his fall was as nearly complete a fall as a sports person can have, the mystique was permanently shattered. Tiger's fall wasn't like that of the famed Chicago "Black" Sox, but his mystique wasn't just built upon his ability on the course. He was billed as an almost impossibly perfect person. We now know that was a lie. Not just a mistaken impression held by us, but a carefully crafted lie that was perpetrated on the world.
2/1/11
 
chief_broom says:
Before you say I'm just being melodramatic, I think the one person who bought into this more than anyone else was Tiger himself. He needed to be seen as this impossible figure. Earl's expectations of him were no less than this, and so when it came crashing down Tiger's entire sense of self was destroyed. I believe Tiger can overcome this. Just look at how dominate Vijay Singh was at 40. I think Tiger could easily expand upon that legacy, but he'll have to reconcile himself with himself. I think that's why he's gravitated to Foley, as much a life coach as a swing coach, but I also think that Tiger's continued struggles demonstrate how he still hasn't come to grips with who he should be as a person, much less as a competitor on the course...
2/1/11
 
TeT says:
with the younger talent coming up, a whole lot o good golf across the board, I don't see anyone racking up a ton of majors again for a long while. Also ... the Grand Slam has gone the way of the Triple crown, too much game in the field now for one player to win em all....
2/1/11
 
Kurt the Knife says:
To be that flawed in character takes a long time to rebuild. Looks to me his struggles thru the green are just extensions of internal process.
Would be nice to see greater focus on the other guys tho' an leave TW to himself.
He made his bed, now gotta change the sheets.

'n maybe rotate the mattress.
2/1/11
 
dscoduc says:
(Hey Tiger, if your reading this and feeling angry, frustrated, annoyed, etc... I still believe!) Go Tiger!
2/1/11
 
elhacker says:
@ Kurt

Elin burned it.

How do your playing partners play with you with all the one line rim shots? I almost peed myself.
2/1/11
 
jbird2011 says:
Where I come from, we call that being a fair weather fan.
2/1/11
 
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