Apr
13
2012
In belated news, Tiger commits to Quail Hollow and The Players
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

Tiger posted his worst finish as a pro at the Masters last week (T40)

One promise Tiger Woods has kept since his fall from grace: He no longer waits until just before 5pm ET deadline the Friday prior to commit to tournaments. (I know, hand the guy a gold star!)

Earlier this week, the Wells Fargo Championship’s Twitter (sort of) scooped TigerWoods.com on the announcement. Well done. Tiger’s website added a few more details, along with his commitment to return to The Players Championship and reflections on Bay Hill and the Masters:

I have decided to commit to the Wells Fargo Championship, May 3-6, at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., and THE PLAYERS Championship, May 10-13, at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. I’ve been fortunate to win both tournaments — Wells Fargo in 2007 and THE PLAYERS in 2001.

Both have fantastic fields, and I look forward to competing. Sean [Foley] and I have some work to do, but I’m going to take some time off and not look at the clubs for a while and then get back after it. I know what to work on. It’s just a matter of getting out there and doing it. Just putting in the reps and the time. I just wasn’t able to do it at the Masters.

More reps! Dang it, I thought we were done with hearing about reps and the process after he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five shots. Speaking of Bay Hill:

It felt so good to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Not just to win, but also the way I did it. To go out there and earn it on Sunday under really tough conditions and obviously playing against Graeme [McDowell]. I knew it was going to be a tough match, and I really hit the ball well all day.

I had control of my game. People forget — I’ve been there a number of times. I know what to do in those circumstances. It’s just matter of doing it.

One cool thing about winning was my kids got to watch on television. They were at home rooting and were so excited when I was able to show them the trophy the next day. They were excited for about three seconds and then it was on to the next thing.

Tiger was noticeably pissed off at the Masters and behaved rather inappropriately, particularly on the par-3 16th on Friday when he dropped his club and then kicked it on the tee. In other words, he looked more like petulant child throwing a tantrum because he wasn’t getting his way, rather than a 14-time major champion who was using his frustration to get fired up and make a run. He’s been criticized enough on the topic, so that’s really all I have to say about it, but his non-apologetic apology could have at least tried to be apologetic. He said in an interview on Saturday that he was “sorry to those he may have offended.”

One thing I would like to say about the Masters last week is that obviously I got frustrated at times and know some of my actions were wrong, especially at No. 16. The Masters means a lot to me, and I was trying as hard as I could. I’m out there competing. I grind every day, and my expectations are to do my best. It’s very disappointing when that doesn’t happen.

I felt good starting out the week at Augusta. My practice sessions were good and so was my short game. My putting felt very solid, unfortunately I just did not hit the ball well. I fell into some of my old patterns again, which was frustrating. You can’t play well every week, even though we would like to. Unfortunately, I had a bad ball-striking week at the wrong time.

Oh man, it was such a great atmosphere to play. The people were so fantastic, nice and supportive. They were trying to get me to play well. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t quite get it done. The good news is that my left leg held up great, and I didn’t have any problems.

Finally, he congratulates Bubba Watson on his victory and shares some interesting insights on what is now known as “Bubba Golf.”

Congratulations to Bubba Watson for winning. We used to play a lot of practice rounds together. If you think about it, for a lefty, that shot on No. 10 didn’t sit up too badly for him. It was a hook lie, and on top of that, he’s firing it into the hill, because that green goes from right to left. So whatever type of hook he hits is actually going to be killed into the slope.

The only thing I was curious to see was how far down there he drove it and whether he was going to have to hit a short iron or mid-iron. If he hits a mid-iron in there, he can’t stop it because it’s coming in there too hot. If it’s a short iron, he can spin it even if you hook it that much. He makes the golf ball move a lot, which in this day and age is really hard to do because the golf balls just don’t move that much. For him to curve it as much as he does, obviously he’s got a tremendous feel for his shots. He plays a way that a lot of the older players used to do it, but they did it with a ball that moved a lot more. It’s a lot harder to move the ball the way he does with this ball now. The golf ball just doesn’t spin as much. You have to have tremendous club-head speed, and he’s got that.

Hmm, that’s food for thought. Turned out Bubba had a gap wedge that he nearly hooked 90 degrees around the trees and it did indeed stop, which is very difficult to do from the pine straw on Augusta National’s greens.

Well, we’ll see Tiger in about three weeks at Quail Hollow, where he last won in 2007. I think we can all agree it’s much more fun to watch Tiger when he’s striking the ball well, controlling his trajs, compressing the ball the way he wants, etc. than, well, what we saw at the Masters.

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)