WGC - Bridgestone Invitational [spoilers]

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Could that also be because Tiger is soooo much better than anyone else that nobody can compete with him. Maybe Jack just was not that much better than his counterparts. Take Tiger away and we saw great competition between fabulous golfers with some rising to the occasion.
I think it's a combination of both plus one other factor.

Tiger could very possibly be the best ever, with no one who can challenge him regularly at this point. But I think the other players back in Jack's day were better as a whole to the other players today for one main reason. Hunger. To make a good living on Tour back when, you had to WIN. And win more often than once or twice. Top 10's you had to get them week in and week out. Why? MONEY. Today you can be worse than 100th on the money list and win $1 Million. A couple of top tens here or there, maybe a win or even a top three almost guarantee you to win a million. I know there is expenses and stuff, but still. The money of today makes players more complacent today than back in the day. You can make way too much money today being at best, an average player. Why try harder?
 

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Could that also be because Tiger is soooo much better than anyone else that nobody can compete with him. Maybe Jack just was not that much better than his counterparts. Take Tiger away and we saw great competition between fabulous golfers with some rising to the occasion.

Sure, that's part of it, but so was Jack, relative to the competition he faced. But Jack's greatness lay in his ability to tough it out with top-shelf players breathing down his neck. Tiger is far and away the greatest golfer I've ever seen but not having to fend off competitors nipping at his heels every week has something to do with that too.

I think the key to Tiger's greatness as well as the mediocrity of the rest of the field is all about glory versus money. Tiger has always been "in it" for the glory, the records, the trophies. I honestly think he'd be this good even if he didn't earn a dime doing it, because his goals aren't about bank accounts or "net worth"; his goals are about making history.

The rest of the tour seems to consist of players who are looking to make a great living and if a win comes their way once in a while, that's just gravy. Let's face it, it takes a lot to be a consistent champion and I just don't see that kind of drive in anyone else out there. After all, why work so hard for first place when finishing in the top 50 every year will guarantee millions and a very comfortable life?

In Jack's day, most of the players came up the hard way and many of them remembered a time when only the top 20 players in a given tournament got a check and the rest just got a handshake. So when you have to win to put food on the table, it creates a different mindset. Today's Q-school winners are signing endorsement deals before they leave the parking lot. Back in Jack's day, a player had to actually accomplish something before someone would offer to have them endorse their product.

It's a different world today and (thankfully) Tiger is throwback to a bygone era when being a champion meant something more than just cashing big checks.


-JP
 

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Exactly, JP. Also remember when only the top 60 were exempt next year instead of the top 125?
 

dynarider

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The rest of the tour seems to consist of players who are looking to make a great living and if a win comes their way once in a while, that's just gravy. Let's face it, it takes a lot to be a consistent champion and I just don't see that kind of drive in anyone else out there. After all, why work so hard for first place when finishing in the top 50 every year will guarantee millions and a very comfortable life?
I agree with this.
 

JB

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Lets keep in mind there are a lot of very good players in the top 20 right now that do not fall into the category of "just a paycheck". Take Tiger off the tour and many of them would be multiple major winners most likely.
 

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He handed it to Tiger, that's what he did.


[weeping]
[/weeping]

Ah well, Pardaig wioll only be concerned with taking the positives from this week (there are alot of them, it's the best he's played in about a year) into next week and the PGA.
 

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Im not sure I agree with that. Tiger's 8 iron from 181 was so good that it would have made themm tied with two holes to go. Sure tied is better than 3 back, but that to me is the difference between the two players. When Tiger duffed his chip, he rebounded and came back. When Paddy did, he unravelled and the tourny was over.
 

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Sorry to drag this one back a bit, but JB, I completely agree with you on the Tiger vs the world thing. I remember back when Faldo was at his best and he won five majors between 1987 and 1992. He was the best closer in the world at the time and in 1992, if his name was anywhere on the leaderboard the others started getting nervous. At the time, people talked about how no one would ever come remotely close to beating Nicklaus's 18 majors record for the simple fact that every week there were so many players who could win. For Jack to win, he basically had to beat maybe 10 players who could win. Tiger has to beat 100 to do the same.

If anything, he's a victim of his own success. He does such a thoroughly good job of winning that people think it's because the rest just falter and die. At times when he doesn't play, you get competitive stuff at the top of the leaderboard and the names involved vary week to week and people don't fall by the wayside. They come at each other. Tiger doesn't let that happen. Good example to my mind is the 2006 Open at Hoylake. Tiger was leading in the final round and going along steadily, hitting the middle of the greens and making pars. Then DiMarco has a run at him and suddenly he goes at the flags on 14 and 15. Birdie, birdie, two shot lead restored. He's good enough that I reckon he could have done that all day and won by 10, but he didn't need to.

The other reason I think it's tougher to win now is the sheer volume of people playing the game. I don't know the exact numbers, but if in 1970 there were say 10 million golfers worldwide and now there are 30 million, then to be in the top 100 (or top 10) you are in a much smaller percentile of golfers. Basically to be 10th in 30 million people is harder than to be 10th in 10 million people. Then, on top of that, while the money factor may play a part in softening people up as JP says, it also means that everyone who shows aptitude for the game will be out there trying to make it. There must be countless people in history who had the potential to be great, but never even tried because the money wasn't good enough. Look at Hogan - he nearly quit the game because of money. Then, there's a story in one of Harvey Penick's books about a guy called Ed White, who from the sound of things was really pretty good and could have been a several times over major champion, but he became a lawyer because that way lay security. If he was 25 or 30 years old now, he'd be on tour. The money thing works both ways.
 

Ty_Webb

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Lets keep in mind there are a lot of very good players in the top 20 right now that do not fall into the category of "just a paycheck". Take Tiger off the tour and many of them would be multiple major winners most likely.
Those guys (top ten in the world) are not out there for the money, that's for sure.
 

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Why, even after two victories in a row, do I still feel he is trying too hard at the majors? I'm hoping I'm wrong and he wins the PGA......even if he's close that would dispell my concerns. BUT if he pulls a Turnberry or can't hit fairways again.....I'm going to assume that's his problem. Heck, even Tiger can psych himself out...not likely, but perhaps.
 

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Sorry this one is a little late in coming, long day yesterday. Got out to the course around 10:30 (finally slept in a little) and mostly just sat in the Bridgestone suite for the day. Watched all the groups tee off for the late morning from either the deck or inside at the 1st tee.

I did wander over to #16 for a little while. Saw Camillo hit an amazing 2nd shot onto the green. I still can't believe he got that ball to stay on. TV does not do that green justice - it's TINY, I think the smallest on the course and none of the greens are that big. Of course, he then proceeded to 3 putt and wasted the chance that incredible shot gave him.

Wandered back over to the Welcome Tent for a little bit and hung out with the Bridgestone guys at the ball fittings. Good group of guys they have over there.

Then back over to the suite where I spent the rest of my day. Had lunch, which was amazing again. If I haven't mentioned this yet, my hat off to the chef at the Firestone CC that cooked the food served in the Bridgestone suite all week. Everything was incredible, and MUCH better than I would have expected from a buffet line. The desserts were heavenly...always had to have 2nds or even 3rds of them.

After Tiger and Paddy teed off at 2:00, I made sure to track down Corey from Bridgestone and thank him again for everything this week. I also remembered to ask him what the big difference on performance is between the J33 & J38 drivers, since I'd heard different speculations the night before from people hitting them. The J38 has a higher launch and generates higher spin. Seems like a different approach when most seem to look for a lower launch and less spin - but after hitting it at the range Saturday I have to say it worked well for me.

Once I'd spoken with Corey, I had to go grab the shuttle back to the Sheraton to pick up my bags and catch my private shuttle to the airport. When I landed in Atlanta I found out that Tiger had won. I was kinda hoping Paddy would win, since he'd been out front the entire tournament up to that point. Oh well. :sad:

My thanks again to Bridgestone Golf and THP for this opportunity. It was an incredible trip, and one I will never forget! :clapp:
 

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Congrats again Osahar and glad you had a good time!
 

JB

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Osahar,
Sounds like an amazing experience and we are so glad that you were able to win this contest and enjoy it. And on top of that, keep us forum members in the loop for the entire event. Great stuff.

As for the gear, Bridgestone makes their equipment for the "Players". Many of them want higher spin drivers and the last line was loved by a lot of them.
 

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Im not sure I agree with that. Tiger's 8 iron from 181 was so good that it would have made themm tied with two holes to go. Sure tied is better than 3 back, but that to me is the difference between the two players. When Tiger duffed his chip, he rebounded and came back. When Paddy did, he unravelled and the tourny was over.
Precisley. Had they they been tied, the the tournament was still alive, then Padraig might have scraped another birdie, or Tiger made a mistake. As it happens, after 16 the tournament was over. There could be no bounce back after 16, considering that the tournament was over at that stage.
Padraig gave the tournament to Tiger.
 

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Why, even after two victories in a row, do I still feel he is trying too hard at the majors? I'm hoping I'm wrong and he wins the PGA......even if he's close that would dispell my concerns. BUT if he pulls a Turnberry or can't hit fairways again.....I'm going to assume that's his problem. Heck, even Tiger can psych himself out...not likely, but perhaps.
I suspect that Tiger is well aware of that.

I think that in the last two weeks, he's made a concerted effort to "Zen Out" and become more relaxed. I've noticed in these past two weeks that his post poor shot outbursts are positively "G-rated" (OK, PG maybe) and do not seem to be filled with the frustration and self loathing we've seen in the recent past.

I believe that he was indeed trying too hard because he wanted to be able to come back and play in the majors as if nothing had happened and that eight months of layoff meant nothing. He seems to have come to the realization that it did mean something and he seems to have accepted the fact and he's OK with it now.

Another thing that caught my attention a few weeks ago was that one of the talking heads said that Tiger told him that throughout his recovery - though he couldn't yet hit full shots - he was practicing his short game every day and that he had it real sharp. Since his return, the most noticeable deficiency in his game has been his short game - most notably his putting. You know, there is such a thing as too much practice and I think that may have been the case.

Now that he's had some time to get his feet back under him, his game seems to be balancing out and he seems to have less trouble "getting his freak on" and then taking care of business as usual.

I would not bet against him winning next week.


-JP
 

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