There was little to commend the ‘Duel at Lake Jinsha’ to Western audiences, on paper at least. Tiger and Rory are, they’re often at pains to emphasise, on really good terms.
Absent the frisson of discord that had made Tiger’s late-Nineties’ exhibitions in the company of Sergio Garcia and David Duval so compelling, events in China promised the spectacle of two lethargic multi-millionaires ambling their way to additional millions. Hur-rah!
But then, something rather interesting happened…
As the result of either a breakdown in communication between the competitors and event organisors or plain, run-of-the-mill forgetfulness (induced, one assumes, by the magnitude of the occasion… *yawn*), McIlroy and Woods began conversing (almost) like real people, apparently unaware their every word was being broadcast live.
The Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner collected a few choice soundbites (I’ve uncensored the best bits. You’re welcome.):
“They talked swing changes. On the 10th hole, Woods admitted to ‘struggling with Sean (Foley),’ his swing coach, saying, ‘I’ve been hitting my short irons so fucking far.’ He went on to explain how he rarely took a divot with his short clubs under former coach Hank Haney, but now, though, ‘all of a sudden, I’m taking divots.'”
“They talked English Premier League soccer and Kiawah Island and Ryo Ishikawa, who two years ago shot 58 the same week Rory fired 62. ‘Smoked your ass,’ Woods quipped.”
Shackelford‘s linked to a little bit of video (preceded, unfortunately, by an ad, equal parts offensive and baffling, for this promotion at Royal Links GC in Vegas), though it’s marred somewhat by bleep-outs and commentator Shane O’Donoghue’s commitment to taking evasive action.