Friday, April 30, 2010

Have Tiger, Phil Ever Been More Different?

Have Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson ever been further apart?

If what happened at the Masters three weeks ago didn't bring the differences in their lives into sharp enough focus, what happened over the last two days at Quail Hollow should have. They are worlds apart right now.

Mickelson is on an emotional and professional high. That doesn't diminish the reality of what his family is facing with his wife, Amy, and mother, Mary, both battling breast cancer. That is at the center of Mickelson's life but he has worked hard -- and understandably -- to keep that out of the public view.

As a golfer, Mickelson just won the Masters and outpouring of emotional goodwill. He is beloved in a way Woods never has been. It's always been a matter of personalities where they're concerned but now it has been magnified.

Mickelson has been sick since he arrived in Charlotte but he's still played himself within two shots of the lead and he's talking like a man who thinks he's going to win. He should.

Woods, meanwhile, looked like a lost soul at Quail Hollow. We can only imagine what's going on in his head these days. I once asked him what it would sound like if we could go inside his head on the course. He answered, "It's quiet."

It can't be quiet right now.

His game is a ragged mess. He couldn't figure out on Thursday which way his shots were going to fly then on Friday, his normally reliable short game betrayed him. He chipped it across the green at No. 7 and almost into a creek. Seven holes later, Woods hit a flop shot across the green and into a pond. One hole later, he four-putted.

Maybe he came back too soon. Maybe he's really bothered by what's happening in his personal life.

Maybe what we saw Thursday and especially Friday was the culmination of all the pressure that has built up on Woods over these past few months. The result was a 79 that could have been worse and a weekend at home.

Woods joked he'll spend his off time watching the tournament "to see how it's done."

What he may see is Mickelson winning another tournament. Wonder how that would feel?


Anonymous said...

The difference between tiger and phil is called karma.Phil's game is where tiger's once was,and phil will over take tiger very soon as the world's best golfer.Everyone is rooting for phil because he is a stand up guy and a good family man.Tiger is finally getting his due.Karma is rough tiger hahahha. I'm loving it!!!! GO PHIL.

Anonymous said...

I once asked him what we could hear if we went inside his head. Tiger answered, "Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang" said...

Our tournament is none the less, without Woods presence. This should be a lesson to those who think golf is lost without him.
Ask yourself this. Can Tiger Woods ever be, the easy walking, warm smiling, knuckle bumping, tearful soul, that makes you love him kinda guy, and still win golf tournaments ? No ! Thats Phil's place in the universe. Whether or not he can reemerge as the steely eyed dragon slayer, with a laser focus, but cold to the touch, remains to be seen. If he intends to be successful, he must, for that is his place the universe.
As for golf, it will remain !

Anonymous said...

Who will Junior follow around now? How are you going to get Tiger into every piece from now until the end of the tourny? Oh how the tears on your pillow must bespeak the pain that is in your heart.

Anonymous said...

from what I heard from other fans, the Uptown Cabaret would have been packed last night. A lot of comments in the stands cutting on his behavior.

DMFrancois said...

Tiger's contrite attitude appears genuine to me. Financialy he is set for life, but he has a difficult road ahead of him mentally,spiritually, and emotionally. I hope the best for him.