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  1. #21
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    I'd tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya
    To me, it comes down to him having vertebrae fused in his back. Think about the twist in a golf swing. Did the fusion take away 1 or 2 degrees of that twist? I'm not doctor but it must have. A big part of his game (it was all great) was his length. If he has lost 10 to 20 yards off his drive, that's a lot to overcome.

    There is his age as well (I also wish Watson would have won, but that was a perfect storm and he was a master of the British courses). And the new crop of golfers aren't afraid of him like the old guys were.

    I wouldn't rule out him winning again, but I would certainly bet against it. And double the money on a major.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    As if on cue, his third round at the Hero is not going well. He's 2-over thru 4. I agree with cato that the biggest hurdle for Tiger is being physically fit for 4 rounds in 4 days. I certainly hope he can come back and be competitive again... it would be good for the sport.
    It doesn’t sound like it was physical issues. He was apparently missing long early in the round. He finished the round better than he started. Shooting 3-over shouldn’t be reason for alarm bells.

  3. #23
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Shooting 3-over shouldn’t be reason for alarm bells.
    Yeah, especially on a day when the course was playing tougher than it has been. Only 5 players were in the red today and no one shot better than -2. Almost half the field was +2 or worse on the day.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  4. #24

    Whoah, boy, whoooooaaaah

    I think some people are getting way ahead of themselves, or just feeding us hype because it usually works. Woods just finished T9 in a no-cut, 18 person event with a guaranteed $100k take for last place (= play for birdie every hole if you're behind, like Koepka and Dustin Johnson). He lost by 10 strokes to a guy who has yet to hold it together and win a major. The field was certainly much stronger man-for-man than your average PGA Tour event, no doubt. But think of all the names not playing in this thing who will be at every major between now and the day Tiger finally hangs them up: McIlroy, Rahm, Casey, Garcia, Day, Hatton, Cabrera Bello, Scott, Leishman, Moore, Walker, Mickelson, Pieters, on and on and on. To extrapolate finishing in the middle of this 18 person field to anything beyond he's ready to make some cuts and maybe a top 10 here and there seems like wishful thinking.

    Yes, anything's possible. Yes, he was the best ever for a long time. No, he's not poised to win again soon, and certainly not in a major. No one's intimidated by him anymore, plenty of guys outdrive him consistently, and he has a choice from here on out of either not playing often enough to really get in a groove, or wear down his beat up body by playing too much. Assuming he chooses the former of those, it lessens his starts and therefore chances to win. There's also so much depth on tour right now that in any given week at least 5 or 6 guys just from the names above will be playing at a level that's equal to Tiger's top gear, not to mention a few of the other 125 guys out there.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    I think some people are getting way ahead of themselves, or just feeding us hype because it usually works. Woods just finished T9 in a no-cut, 18 person event with a guaranteed $100k take for last place (= play for birdie every hole if you're behind, like Koepka and Dustin Johnson). He lost by 10 strokes to a guy who has yet to hold it together and win a major. The field was certainly much stronger man-for-man than your average PGA Tour event, no doubt. But think of all the names not playing in this thing who will be at every major between now and the day Tiger finally hangs them up: McIlroy, Rahm, Casey, Garcia, Day, Hatton, Cabrera Bello, Scott, Leishman, Moore, Walker, Mickelson, Pieters, on and on and on. To extrapolate finishing in the middle of this 18 person field to anything beyond he's ready to make some cuts and maybe a top 10 here and there seems like wishful thinking.
    I don't think anyone is extrapolating anything from this other than whether or not he's still physically capable of playing competitive golf. Yes, he finished middle of the pack in a field comprised exclusively of top-50 players. That's neither a clear positive nor clear negative sign for his future. What we can do is look at his play from a physical perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    Yes, anything's possible. Yes, he was the best ever for a long time. No, he's not poised to win again soon, and certainly not in a major. No one's intimidated by him anymore, plenty of guys outdrive him consistently, and he has a choice from here on out of either not playing often enough to really get in a groove, or wear down his beat up body by playing too much. Assuming he chooses the former of those, it lessens his starts and therefore chances to win. There's also so much depth on tour right now that in any given week at least 5 or 6 guys just from the names above will be playing at a level that's equal to Tiger's top gear, not to mention a few of the other 125 guys out there.
    Not sure if this will be true or not. His driving this past weekend was certainly on par with the big boys. Club-head speed and ball speed were legit. When he made mistakes, it was either with the putter or because he was hitting the ball too long (understandable, given the adrenaline of playing competitive golf again). Not saying he's going to lead the world in driving distance, but I don't know that we can say that he'll have a disadvantage in distance.

    And again, the distance wasn't the thing that made Tiger great. He was always scattershot with the driver, even in his prime. What made him great was his iron game and his short game. So, from this past weekend, the distance didn't seem to be a problem. What was a problem (when he had problems) was his irons and his short game. And those are things that come with more time on course in competitive matches.

    Not saying he will definitely win another event, and certainly not saying he will win more majors. Just saying that the reasons folks have listed as to why he can't/won't win are starting to become questionable based on this past weekend.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    And again, the distance wasn't the thing that made Tiger great.
    Fair point, although I'd say it's not the only thing that made Tiger great. I think the distance was certainly a part of it, though. It was not just with the driver, but 3 wood and irons, too. He regularly was hitting a few clubs less than others on approaches. They didn't call it "Tigerproofing" for nothing, although to your point they wouldn't have needed Tigerproofing if he couldn't get up and down and score, either. He destroyed the 540 yard par 5's of the '90's and early '00's not just because he made so many 40 foot eagle putts; he had a lot of eagle opportunities that earlier players didn't get for themselves.

    The game's evolved, though, I think. I saw this in a Golfweek article from two years ago:

    "In addition, fewer and fewer PGA Tour players can be classified as short hitters. In 2000 there were 166 players on the PGA Tour who averaged less than 280 yards per drive...it since has dropped to 25 players." Which probably means that there are no more than maybe 75 guys averaging less than 290 today. Being in the top 10 on tour in distance then meant a lot more vs. the median length hitter than it does now.

    So, if you'd allow, I'll amend my statement. It's not that a lot of guys are consistently outdriving Tiger now, or that the longest hitters are hitting it 20 yards further today than they were in 2002 (they're not) and will be way out in front of him. It's that Tiger's not consistently outdriving much of the field anymore, because everybody bombs it nowadays. Spieth is something of a throwback, but most of the top players on tour today have oodles of power and hit the ball a country mile. 15 years ago, the long hitters were mostly notable for being long hitters, but were wild and usually didn't have complete games to round it out (see Kuehne, Hank; Daly, John). Thus, you're right to say that at least to some extent Woods won because his short game and putting were better than any of those other long hitters. But I think the fact he did hit the ball noticeably further than the 50th percentile guy did also factored in. He won plenty of times when he wasn't magical around the greens. Now, he'll have to be magical around the greens, or on fire with his irons, to win, because everybody's hitting the same 9-iron in on a 460 yard par 4.

    Mentally, I think that's different for him, and he's likely struggled adjusting to it, along with the nagging injuries and other issues. He used to destroy golf courses and go wire to wire a lot, forcing everyone else to play outside their comfort zone in an attempt to keep up with him. He was so much better at everything out there than just about anyone, that all but maybe 5 or 10 guys had to be playing out of their minds just to match his B effort. If he made a bogey, he could just look forward to the next par 5, where he'd shoot a cumulative 15 under over 4 days. He was amazing at grinding down anyone in a dogfight, so I'm not saying he's soft or he only knows how to win on cruise control or anything. But I don't remember a lot of times where he was a couple strokes back in a group of a dozen guys on Sunday afternoon and he just out-short gamed all of them to win. [It's probably happened, but I only remember the 5 million times he held a Saturday night lead and put the pedal down to crush them all, or inevitably beat back the one guy who would pop up and present a challenge]. Knowing Tiger, he'll get pretty good at that, of course, if his body lasts long enough.

  7. #27
    Perhaps Orin Starn can get another book out of Tiger’s comeback while still holding a healthy disdain for college athletics.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    Fair point, although I'd say it's not the only thing that made Tiger great. I think the distance was certainly a part of it, though. It was not just with the driver, but 3 wood and irons, too. He regularly was hitting a few clubs less than others on approaches. They didn't call it "Tigerproofing" for nothing, although to your point they wouldn't have needed Tigerproofing if he couldn't get up and down and score, either. He destroyed the 540 yard par 5's of the '90's and early '00's not just because he made so many 40 foot eagle putts; he had a lot of eagle opportunities that earlier players didn't get for themselves.

    The game's evolved, though, I think. I saw this in a Golfweek article from two years ago:

    "In addition, fewer and fewer PGA Tour players can be classified as short hitters. In 2000 there were 166 players on the PGA Tour who averaged less than 280 yards per drive...it since has dropped to 25 players." Which probably means that there are no more than maybe 75 guys averaging less than 290 today. Being in the top 10 on tour in distance then meant a lot more vs. the median length hitter than it does now.

    So, if you'd allow, I'll amend my statement. It's not that a lot of guys are consistently outdriving Tiger now, or that the longest hitters are hitting it 20 yards further today than they were in 2002 (they're not) and will be way out in front of him. It's that Tiger's not consistently outdriving much of the field anymore, because everybody bombs it nowadays. Spieth is something of a throwback, but most of the top players on tour today have oodles of power and hit the ball a country mile. 15 years ago, the long hitters were mostly notable for being long hitters, but were wild and usually didn't have complete games to round it out (see Kuehne, Hank; Daly, John). Thus, you're right to say that at least to some extent Woods won because his short game and putting were better than any of those other long hitters. But I think the fact he did hit the ball noticeably further than the 50th percentile guy did also factored in. He won plenty of times when he wasn't magical around the greens. Now, he'll have to be magical around the greens, or on fire with his irons, to win, because everybody's hitting the same 9-iron in on a 460 yard par 4.

    Mentally, I think that's different for him, and he's likely struggled adjusting to it, along with the nagging injuries and other issues. He used to destroy golf courses and go wire to wire a lot, forcing everyone else to play outside their comfort zone in an attempt to keep up with him. He was so much better at everything out there than just about anyone, that all but maybe 5 or 10 guys had to be playing out of their minds just to match his B effort. If he made a bogey, he could just look forward to the next par 5, where he'd shoot a cumulative 15 under over 4 days. He was amazing at grinding down anyone in a dogfight, so I'm not saying he's soft or he only knows how to win on cruise control or anything. But I don't remember a lot of times where he was a couple strokes back in a group of a dozen guys on Sunday afternoon and he just out-short gamed all of them to win. [It's probably happened, but I only remember the 5 million times he held a Saturday night lead and put the pedal down to crush them all, or inevitably beat back the one guy who would pop up and present a challenge]. Knowing Tiger, he'll get pretty good at that, of course, if his body lasts long enough.
    I partly agree with your amendment, but I don’t think he’d have to be magical to win another one. He would have to be magical to win as often as he used to. But he still hits it further than most of the pros. So if he is on his game, he can still win. Not easily like he used to. But he appears to atill be quite capable.

    I think that is the logic step people keep stumbling on: comparing him to the old Tiger. No, he is almost certainly not going to return to THAT player. But there is a LOT of space between “most dominant golfer ever” and “not able to compete for a title in majors.”

    Basically, he appears to be just another of the really talented, long hitters on tour. Would you say that [insert name of very good long hitter on tour] would have to be magical in order to compete in a major?

  9. #29
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    Tiger had three things that made him dominant it seems to me (in order)

    1. Intimidation. On Sunday, you knew he was coming, or you knew you had to chase lightning if he was in the final two pairings.
    2. Crazy length. I saw him play about two dozen rounds at the Augusta National over the years. He was hitting eight and nine irons into greens that many others were hitting mid-irons. Just a different game when you can do that on major-speed greens.
    3. Great putting. The hallmark of any champion. Aided, of course, by hitting short irons that could stick the pin, but he could hit the long ones too

    I’ll add a fourth — indomitable will to win. He was focused on winning to the exclusion of everything else. Incredible mental toughness.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Tiger had three things that made him dominant it seems to me (in order)

    1. Intimidation. On Sunday, you knew he was coming, or you knew you had to chase lightning if he was in the final two pairings.
    2. Crazy length. I saw him play about two dozen rounds at the Augusta National over the years. He was hitting eight and nine irons into greens that many others were hitting mid-irons. Just a different game when you can do that on major-speed greens.
    3. Great putting. The hallmark of any champion.
    And this reply sums up my previous point (not singling you out OPK, just using your post illustratively). People keep comparing Tiger to what he was before “the incident.” That Tiger is almost assuredly never coming back. But the mistake I think people are making is taking it to the additional extreme of “he will never win again.”

    Not saying he definitely will win again. Just that I think it is much more possible than some realize.

  11. #31
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    I'd tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    Mentally, I think that's different for him, and he's likely struggled adjusting to it, along with the nagging injuries and other issues. He used to destroy golf courses and go wire to wire a lot, forcing everyone else to play outside their comfort zone in an attempt to keep up with him. He was so much better at everything out there than just about anyone, that all but maybe 5 or 10 guys had to be playing out of their minds just to match his B effort. If he made a bogey, he could just look forward to the next par 5, where he'd shoot a cumulative 15 under over 4 days. He was amazing at grinding down anyone in a dogfight, so I'm not saying he's soft or he only knows how to win on cruise control or anything. But I don't remember a lot of times where he was a couple strokes back in a group of a dozen guys on Sunday afternoon and he just out-short gamed all of them to win. [It's probably happened, but I only remember the 5 million times he held a Saturday night lead and put the pedal down to crush them all, or inevitably beat back the one guy who would pop up and present a challenge]. Knowing Tiger, he'll get pretty good at that, of course, if his body lasts long enough.
    I believe he never won a major coming from behind. Always in the lead on Saturday night.

  12. #32
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    I'd tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Tiger had three things that made him dominant it seems to me (in order)

    1. Intimidation. On Sunday, you knew he was coming, or you knew you had to chase lightning if he was in the final two pairings.
    2. Crazy length. I saw him play about two dozen rounds at the Augusta National over the years. He was hitting eight and nine irons into greens that many others were hitting mid-irons. Just a different game when you can do that on major-speed greens.
    3. Great putting. The hallmark of any champion. Aided, of course, by hitting short irons that could stick the pin, but he could hit the long ones too

    I’ll add a fourth — indomitable will to win. He was focused on winning to the exclusion of everything else. Incredible mental toughness.
    Ahem...not to the exclusion of EVERYTHING else.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    And this reply sums up my previous point (not singling you out OPK, just using your post illustratively). People keep comparing Tiger to what he was before “the incident.” That Tiger is almost assuredly never coming back. But the mistake I think people are making is taking it to the additional extreme of “he will never win again.”

    Not saying he definitely will win again. Just that I think it is much more possible than some realize.
    I think this is right. He has the ability to win another major, maybe more than one. But it’s a whole different ballgame now. The intimidation is gone, and there are others that can match his length. Still, Tiger had an incredible mental toughness — whether he gets that back and sustains it is the big question for me.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    I think this is right. He has the ability to win another major, maybe more than one. But it’s a whole different ballgame now. The intimidation is gone, and there are others that can match his length. Still, Tiger had an incredible mental toughness — whether he gets that back and sustains it is the big question for me.
    Yeah, I think this is spot on. He appears to still have the ability to win majors. He just almost certainly isn’t going to ever be the heavy favorite again.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    Ahem...not to the exclusion of EVERYTHING else.
    Hit a few OB he did ...

  16. #36
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    Vegas weighs in

    FWIW: Tiger's current odds of winning the 2018 Masters (per VegasInsider.com) is 15/1. That's tied for the fourth-best odds, and seems way off-kilter to me.
    "Amazing what a minute can do."

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripping William View Post
    FWIW: Tiger's current odds of winning the 2018 Masters (per VegasInsider.com) is 15/1. That's tied for the fourth-best odds, and seems way off-kilter to me.
    What are the odds AGAINST him winning? I might put a thousand down to win a hundred.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripping William View Post
    FWIW: Tiger's current odds of winning the 2018 Masters (per VegasInsider.com) is 15/1. That's tied for the fourth-best odds, and seems way off-kilter to me.
    Eh, it is betting odds. Tiger is a name, and thus will draw bets. Vegas isn’t saying they think Tiger has the fourth best chance to win; Vegas is saying they think bettors are willing to bet on Tiger as the 4th most likely to ein.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Eh, it is betting odds. Tiger is a name, and thus will draw bets. Vegas isn’t saying they think Tiger has the fourth best chance to win; Vegas is saying they think bettors are willing to bet on Tiger as the 4th most likely to ein.
    Oh, I totally get that. And it still seems off-kilter to me, although I suppose the books are just capitalizing on the current hype about ETW.
    "Amazing what a minute can do."

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    What are the odds AGAINST him winning? I might put a thousand down to win a hundred.
    If Vegas were giving even odds to the complement, it would be 1 to 15.

    Your proposed bet would suggest you would be comfortable betting against him on a 1 to 10 that he loses. In other words, saying he shouldn’t be a a 10 to 1 odds to win. Not exactly bold given that we think 15 to 1 is too optimistic.

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