Tiger Woods will turn 40 later this year and how he must wish he had the game of a 40-year-old John Daly.
Yes, even "Grip It And Rip It" - who has ten years on Tiger - had enough guile and touch to get round in an excellent one-under par round of 71; this in playing conditions far less favourable than those faced by his younger and fitter compatriot.
This is even more impressive when you consider big bad John had to deal with the blinding glare blazing from his outlandish slacks.
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It's almost tragic to see the iconic figure of Woods clearly struggle around a course at a time when others were taming it with the minimum of fuss. He limped to a woeful 76, while his playing partners Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day carded 67 and 66 respectively. Grim indeed.
"I made so many mistakes" Woods told USA TODAY. Eh, really? Would never have guessed. Perhaps there have been times in the past couple of years where I have had at least one sympathetic ear as I listened to his tired clichéd excuses.
After all, he DID have injuries and his personal life had somewhat spiraled out of control. But I find it simply tedious now. After hearing the above quote, maybe he's bored of it all too?
There can be no doubt that Tiger Woods is one of (if not the finest) golfers of all time. Some of the shots he has produced over the years have been spine-tingling. And don't even get me started on the 12-footer clutch putts for par. However, when you witness The Goose sauntering round The Old Lady in 66 strokes at the ripe old age of 46, you have to wonder just what the hell has gone wrong with Tiger's game.
Some say he has tinkered with his swing too much. In fact, why don't we just be done with it and call a spade a spade; he has practically REBUILT his action. Just ask Butch Harmon what he thinks: "I don't think he needs a swing coach. If I were advising Tiger I'd tell him, 'You're the greatest player that ever lived, just go to the range and hit shots'".
Wow. When the man who coached you to eight majors and 31 PGA Tour titles over a 7 year period makes that kind of statement, surely you sit up take notice?
Maybe it's an ego thing; God knows you need to have a strong one if you want to make a living out of an individual sport. Or perhaps he just needs a complete change in attitude. For a man of such talent and wealth, he doesn't half possess the crabbitest of crabbit faces, both on and off the course. It's turning people off; we want to see players going out there and enjoying themselves!
And some cynics might go as far to say "well, you're lucky enough to have the talent to earn squillions every year, so dry your eyes and smile sometimes, eh?" Personally, I wouldn't go that far. But it IS a decent point.
I hope he can begin a transitional period, one where he allows himself to get comfortable with his swing, his all-round game and, most important of all, his family life.
Maybe then he will step on to the first tee looking like he's a lucky man...a man brimming with so much natural talent that he can afford to have spent the best part of the last ten years looking like he's been chewing on a wasp.
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