On Wednesday morning Tiger Woods stopped to chat with the media after his practice round at TPC Blue Monster, the site of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Asked why he hasn’t added tournaments to his schedule, Tiger, staring icily, replied, “Because I have a family. I’m divorced. If you’ve been divorced with kids, then you would understand.”
What about working with instructor Sean Foley through the swing changes, which Tiger fondly calls the “process”?
“Well, it is fun, especially when you’re seeing signs of it,” said Tiger. “I’m seeing more really good signs. Unfortunately, I just haven’t been able to carry it to the golf course yet at a consistent level. I hit spurts of it where it’s really good and then I lose it for a while. And unfortunately, when I lose it for a while and also don’t get up-and-down at times for easy shots, it just adds to it.
“I just have to keep working on it, and the process is at times tough, but a lot of times, it’s pretty fun.”
It sure doesn’t look fun, but as a competitor, Tiger was probably bored of his old swing and wanted to see if he can do it a different way.
A few weeks ago, Johnny Miller compared Tiger’s decline to Mike Tyson’s. Asked if Miller crossed the line, Tiger, laughing, said, “Well, I don’t think I’m as big as he is…That’s Johnny being Johnny, and making statements like that, I think he’s done that before in the past, hasn’t he?
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and he has a lot of them.”
Tiger talked more about the time and patience it takes to work through the process. Since returning from his scandal, he’s dropped from No. 1 in the world down to No. 5 in the most recent standings. But the rankings don’t motivate him more.
“It’s a process and it’s about winning golf tournaments, and I haven’t done that,” said Tiger. “There’s no reason for me to be up there at the top. You have to win golf tournaments and you have to do it consistently. Lee (Westwood) did it. Martin (Kaymer’s) done it, and that’s what it takes. If I have not won — however many months it is since I last won a golf tournament — I shouldn’t be up there.”
It’s been so long that I had to look it up to confirm when his last win was — 17 months ago in September 2009 at the BMW Championship.
Tiger is playing with frenemy Phil Mickelson, along with Graeme McDowell, in the first two rounds at Doral. Last time Tiger and Phil were paired together on Thursday and Friday of a non-major was in ’98 at Valencia.
“It will be fun,” said Tiger.
And it should make for good television. What’s the over/under the telecast shows anyone other than those two?
(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)