Blog Entry

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

Posted on: August 7, 2011 3:59 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2011 4:00 pm

AKRON, Ohio -- As ever, Tiger Woods remains a study in contradictions, even after a half-season-long layoff.

He's still an enigma, through and through.

Woods shot an even-par 70 in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational and was T38 as the leaders were finishing on Sunday. Though he had insistently said his lone objective this week was to win, nevermind the rust, the former world No. 1 Woods gave the week a generally positive review.

See if you can identify the paradox here.

"Absolutely encouraged," he said. "I hadn't played. I mean, this is my first tournament since, what, April, so it's been a while."

Which was the thrust of the point that was made, myriad times, throughout the week after Woods kept deflecting assertions that his goal of winning was unreasonable given the layoff.

With his comeback effort in the books, Woods now faces the daunting task of playing next week in the season's final major, the PGA Championship, with not nearly enough live-fire preparation. If he sprays it around in Atlanta as much as he did at Firestone Country Club, he might be packing his bags after two days.

Woods wishes that he had more time, and more tournaments beforehand, but he's going to have to wing it as best he can. He missed the last two majors with injury issues.

"It would be nice [to have another start], but hey, I've got three days, so I'm going to worry about these three days and apply it accordingly and be ready come Thursday," he said.

Woods said he needs more live competition before he gets fully comfortable with his swing, which he first began tearing down exactly 52 weeks ago at the PGA Championship. That said, he's very much on the bubble for the FedEx Cup playoff series and isn't remotely assured a spot in the top 125, where he must finish in order to play the four-event stretch that begins Aug. 25.

Then again, Woods said Sunday that he will not play in the Wyndham Championship, held the week after the PGA, which represents the last chance to earn FedEx points before the playoff series starts.

"Family obligations," he said.

Woods offered no specifics, but even if he's implying that he has custodial issues that can't be changed, he's painted himself into a nearly impossible corner as far as his seasonal status. Unless he makes a huge jump up the points list next week, every other FedEx bubble boy will be entered at the Wyndahm seeking to leapfrog into the top 125.

Woods is a two-time FedEx champion and skipping the Wyndham likely isn't going to be well received if he has a poor showing next week in Atlanta, especially since he's playing in Australia later this fall for a fat appearance fee believed to be in the neighborhood of $2 million.

With the results of the PGA Tour's Reno-Tahoe event yet to be tallied or incorporated, Woods was listed at a projected 124th in FedEx points.

In discussing his week, Woods launched into a handful of examples that underscored exactly why the point was raised among fans as to whether his expectations entering the week were impossibly high.

"It's nice for me to get out there in this competitive atmosphere no matter how I was playing just to figure out how to score because I haven't been forced to score," he said.

He added: "At home playing money games with my buddies is just not quite the same. Being out here and being forced to have to post a score, hit shots, that's a different deal."

Yeah, exactly.

Woods ranked dead last in the field of 76 players, hitting 22 of 56 fairways, and wasn;t much better on the greens. Woods benched his putter after three mediocre rounds, switched to a Nike model Sunday and was T45 in putting for the week.

There was one universally positive development, and it brought a grin to his face. Woods had no issues at all with his leg, and is past the point where it needs to be iced or treated after the round.

"It feels great," he said. "It's a different kind of feeling."

He'd be the first to admit, after nearly two years without winning, so would contending.

Category: Golf

Since: Mar 14, 2011
Posted on: August 9, 2011 1:04 pm

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

It will be fun to see Adam Scott/Tiger Woods pairing in the PGA.   Tiger would be reunited with his catty ex-caddie, Steve Williams, who is carrying Scott's bag.   I wonder if they will shake hands at the end of the round?

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:43 am

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

He added: "At home playing money games with my buddies is just not quite the same. Being out here and being forced to have to post a score, hit shots, that's a different deal."

It's surprising Tiger has any buddies considering Steve Williams' comments and Charles Barkley's recent comments about not talking to Tiger for 2 years. 

Since: May 25, 2009
Posted on: August 8, 2011 7:50 pm

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

That Tiger won't bother with Wyndham even if it means he has no shot at the FedEx series shows how fake the FedEx cup is.  If it mattered, then he'd play. It also puts the lie to the "Tiger does so much for the game of golf" nonsense that people spout.  Tiger cares about Tiger, period.  The fact that he can't be bothered with the Fed Ex cup isn't going to make FedEx too keen to keep ponying up the loot.  The other players must be muttering about his selfishness--my bet is that FedEx won't renew the contract and that nobody else will take it on. They're trying to tell us it's the Super Bowl of Golf; Tiger is telling us it isn't worth bothering with.

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 7:20 pm

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

Elling would die if Tiger Woods didn't exist. He'd have nothing. Look at this clown: He's written an article about Tiger everyday for the past week and what has Tiger done? Nothing really. He returned to golf. He had a completely forgettable tourney this weekend. He gave a canned and gracious interview after. Who cares? There are a lot of golfers more deserving of the spotlight this fool could write about...and it's not like Tiger is asking for the spotlight, but you just can't stop giving it to him.

Since: Jul 8, 2009
Posted on: August 8, 2011 3:32 pm

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

I have absolutely no issue with how Tiger approached this week. The writer wants to lambaste the player for not keeping it real...let me tell you, all of the greatest players do this. 

One of the most famous and effective sports psychologists in the game, Dr. Bob Rotella has always said the player needs to say/think what will get him/her into the best mindset to win. If Tiger went into this saying he was there to win, then he finishes T38, so what, he was still there to win and that was his mindset. If he wasn't prepared to win, I can tell you he wouldn't have EVER had a chance to win, irrespective of how small the chance he actaully had.

Tom Watson was once quoted by Rotella, saying that when he leaves the driving range before a round hitting it great, he feels pumped because he knows it will be a great round. Makes sense, right? Then he says, when he leaves the range not hitting it well, he is pumped because he knows that when he hits it poorly on the range, he turns in a great round because the good shots are at the top of the queue, waiting to come out. What? That is the illogic of a professional athlete and they all do it. We mere mortals want them to be straight forward and tell it like it is...well, in a sense, they are. What they are really saying is that they have such a supreme level of confidence in what they do, it doesn't matter what the stuation, they will win.

So although this provides Elling something to write about, sadly, he and most readers will never be able to understand that way of thinking. I myself could never get there which is why I labored on the minis for years even though from a physical standpoint my game was good enough. I could never get my mind to do that. I find it really amazing actually.

One more thought...a while back, there was an article in Bloomberg or some other financial outlet that published a study stating high level executives are the best liers out there. It is the same thing...they know how to suspend or maybe better put, bend what we consider reality to fit their needs.  

Since: Aug 8, 2011
Posted on: August 8, 2011 3:19 pm

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

I hope Tiger holds up, he is still snapping his left knee when he hits the driver.  I can see how he gets more distance than most with that snap at the end being part of the swing, but it is painfull to watch even though he says "It feels great".  We all need to remember that Tiger is wired different than anyone else winning is the only reason to step on the course.  We can put mortal goals in front of him, goals that you or I would benchmark ourselves with and talk them to death.  Tiger doesn't even consider benchmarking, "its a process" and winning a PGA tour event is only part of the process of winning a Major.

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 1:24 pm

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

I was encouraged for gold watching Tiger play.   Lets say he moves up to 36th on the Fairways hit list, anyone think that he wouldn't have been about 8 under?     

No athlete competes just for the experience.  If Tiger didn't think he could have won, he wouldn't hav ebeen there.   Does he know there is alot of balls to hit before he is really prepared, absolutely.  But he putted extremely well, given the crappy drives.  He generally had that look.   Those 2 3 woods where he bent them around the trees, should tell us all we need to know about his knee. 

I hope he doesn't bring his driver to Atlanta.   He clearly has issues there.  Even if he loses 50 yards in distance, it would be worth it. 

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 10:37 am

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

i think you meant to say "without" some bias -  Elling is so pathetic -  It's surprising that CBS tolerates his slanted BS - 

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:35 am

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

This is all bull**** on Tiger saying he hasn't played,..he has played plenty before this tournament,many practice rounds.When a Man such as Tiger is happy with a 38th finish you know he is on the downward spiral,years ago he would have been pi**** if he wasn't in contention,he's done.

Since: Aug 8, 2011
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:12 am

Now that it's over, Woods 'absolutely encouraged'

I just want to know why Elling has such a "hard on" for Tiger?  Does his life suck so bad that he has to tear down Tiger to feel better.  I am not even a Tiger fan..... but come on Elling, write an article with some bias.

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