I have been like most people and have always had tremendous respect for Tiger Woods for his accomplishments and how he has been able to play the game. I am now developing a new-found respect for him for his ability to manipulate the media.
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Tiger Woods has developed a Kardashian like ability to stay in the spotlight without actually accomplishing anything. The number 1 player in the world, Rory McIlroy, gets half the Google searches as the number 125, Tiger Woods.
Looking back, there were telltale signs when he was not commenting on when he would play another tournament. The media were going crazy with speculation. Like everyone else, I just assumed that he really had no idea and I still feel that at first he didn’t. We all know what shape his game was in when he took time off.
The first time I started to really wonder about it was when he was delaying commenting on whether he would play in the Masters. Once again the news media and social media were almost overrun with comments and speculation and Tiger drew it out as long as he possibly could. Even after he came to Augusta for a practice round and the media lit up about sightings of his plane he kept everyone in suspense.
“A bone kind of popped out,”Woods said in a post-round interview on CBS. “The joint went out-of-place. I put it back in.”
During the Masters we had the injury where he “popped” a bone in his hand back in place during the round. A statement that was viewed with a great deal of skepticism by the medical community.
Last week the media was buzzing about the prospects of a possible duel between Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith in the finals in the WGC Cadillac Match Play, which Tiger wasn’t eligible for. He chose to announce his “busy summer schedule” during the first round. The announcement would, he knew, grab the headlines.
On Sunday night, as Rory was celebrating his victory after winning his final match against Gary Woodland by a 4 & 2 margin, Tiger announces that he and Lindsey Vonn have broken up. Once again we have massive media coverage. Now I certainly think the problems are legitimate (he’s not that much of a Kardashian), but the timing of the announcement was a little suspect.
Now we have the Tournament Players Championship coming up at the TPC Sawgrass and all the buzz is now on the fact that Spieth and McIlroy are paired together for the first two rounds, and Tiger is playing in this one so we will just wait to see if anything else comes up.
In the mean time Tiger comes out with the fact that he is tweaking his new swing to improve the longer clubs which gets everyone’s curiosity up. I personally hope that he is tweaking his driver. He only hit two fairways on his final round of the Masters and I can promise you that won’t work at TPC Sawgrass. The final round at Augusta he was 0 for 9 through the first twelve holes and 2 for 15 for the day. If he does that at Sawgrass, he’ll need an extra caddie just to carry golf balls.
Whatever happens with Tiger this week, we will all get to see some great golf from someone. When you get 49 of the top 50 players in the world together in Ponta Vedra it is a sure thing and it starts tomorrow!