Planet Woods' Gravitational Field
Wow, what a Saturday at Augusta. Tiger trudges off the course matching his Thursday achievement of bogey’s on 17 and 18, and you could feel the steam building up like a nuke reactor ready to blow. Back the range to settle down with this brain trust of Haney and Stevie to iron out his kinks.
On the course, however the +3 seemed like he would wind up 5 back for Sunday, but then the other lesser planets began to crash. The last group was already having a nervous breakdown. Clark and Wetterick needed a sports psychologist instead of caddies. An 8 over and an 11 over. Ouch. Isn’t it amazing how watching professionals shoot over 80 looks so ugly and when we break 80 it feels/looks so great?
With each practice shot on the driving range, the force field of Tiger Woods exerted itself on the field. I know, the Golf Channel commentators kept saying it was how hard Augusta is, and the pressure of the Masters blah, blah, blah. I am not buying it. Sure, the is pressure, and the course is so hard as to be laughable, but my sense is that as each guy took the lead…whether it was Appleby, Rose, Taylor, the bar had been set and they couldn’t go past it.
Zach Johnson, on Friday, poised at two feet, walked to the par 3 after a brilliant shot with almost a tap in to take the lead, and he knew it. He walked that few hundred steps knowing he would have the lead, no doubt wanting it. Boom, three jacks later, he gives it to someone else as if to say “your it.”
I had my mini TV with me, while playing with my Shag Bag radio show buddies (a terrible way to play golf and focus I admit) and asked my cart partner, “which would you prefer, to play the final Sunday, one up or three up?” as Appleby gave away his 3 shot lead to one over Tiger. And I think, subconsciously, Appleby although if you asked him he would love to have the 3 extra shots over Tiger the truth is he is more comfortable going to sleep Saturday night with one. Why? Because to lose to Tiger on Sunday with only a one shot lead is honorable but to lose with a three shot lead will remind us of Greg Norman’s loss with an even greater lead. And there isn’t an Australian golfer alive who hasn’t had the meltdown programmed into his head since they were born. And there is no way that Appleby hasn’t watched that terrible day, shot for shot more times than he cares to remember. But, remember it he will. It won’t surprise me to see if he doesn’t duplicate a couple of those shots if he finds himself at a similar spot on the golf course on Sunday.
As for Planet Tiger, what thoughts will be dancing in his head? The grind mentality he took to the 1997 Masters, when his father reminded him, that this might just be his toughest round with such a lead. The “finish the race” thoughts he kept whipping himself to finish it off, after he allowed himself the brief thought on 17 and 18, that we WAS already the winner. No, he chastised himself for entertaining such a notion BEFORE he signed his scorecard.
No, unless Tiger just comes unglued, there really is no one behind him, or in front of him who believes they can win. Planet Tiger’s gravitational field is almost impenetrable.
And, let me add that if someone does breakthrough today to beat him, that person will go from a piece of charcoal to a diamond overnight. Such is the pressure of Augusta and it’s master Tiger Woods.
|« Golf Magazine Testing?||Cover the Masters, Rob a Bank for Expenses »|
No feedback yet
Comments are closed for this post.