Rookie: Tiger Slacked Off on Sunday?
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Balls of Steele

Rookie Brendan Steele isn’t sure he saw Tiger Woods give it his very best when he played with him in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Steele, a graduate of the Nationwide Tour, shot 70 on the way to a T17 finish, besting the former world’s No. 1 by five shots. Tiger’s mediocre weekend of 74-75 put him at T44. After the round, Steele questioned Tiger’s interest level when he started to stumble, according to SI.

“I don’t think he gave it ­everything today,” Steele told SI. “Once it started going in the wrong direction, I don’t think it had his full attention.”

Whoa! Okay, I’m not going to blow Steele’s remarks out of proportion — he was just being honest, which is refreshing. Let’s commend him for his candor rather than interpreting it as disrespect. Didn’t his comment add validation to what you were all wondering, anyway?

This isn’t the first time Tiger’s commitment has been questioned. Since his post-scandal return to golf, some wondered if he mailed it in at Quail Hollow when he shot 79 in the second round to miss the cut and when he withdrew from the final round of The Players. There was also his 18-over performance at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. In Tiger’s defense, sometimes when you’re playing awful and nothing is going your way, you act like you’re mailing it in to make light of the situation.

Steele wrote on Twitter, “Fun day at Torrey Pines. Thanks so much to @TigerWoods for being so friendly. Really meant a lot to me.”

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)