Years ago a friend and I came upon an unofficial Lee Westwood website (don't ask), and were pleasantly surprised to find the designer had picked Gerry Rafferty's fromage-filled classic, Baker Street, as the background music. True, it was Rafferty's first big release, sans Stealers Wheel, but something about it seemed to fit the burly Englishman, like the idea of settling down in a quiet little town and forgetting about everything might agree with him. Particularly when Westwood, who was a rising/legit star on the European Tour had all but fallen off the map in the early 2000s.
After a couple of years spent reconstructing his swing and getting physically fit, Westwood became one of the very best players in the world. In fact, he's finished in the top-5 of a major seven times now, including top-3 finishes in four of the last five. At this point, one might think Westwood might be more into CSN's Judy Blue Eyes than Baker Street (you know it -- "it's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore"), but according to The New York Times the latest in what's quickly becoming a Monty-esque string of major disappointments has done little to deter the world's third-ranked player.
“Whether I won the tournament today was in the hands of other people,” Westwood said. “Louis has obviously played great and thoroughly deserves to win, so there’s not even any real disappointment. If you get close and you lose, then there’s disappointment. I don’t know if it’s around the corner, but hopefully it’s about three weeks away. But I don’t know, you know. Like I said, I can’t do much more than I’m already doing. I’m trying to improve all the time, and I’m sticking myself in contention.”The bottom line: Westwood's an outstanding player who could easily win a couple of majors, but he simply might not have the mental toughness to get the job done. McDowell to play PGA Tour for rest of '10 season The PGA Tour reports that reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell will compete on the PGA Tour for the rest of the current season. Evidently McDowell, who earned a five-year exemption after winning at Pebble Beach, notified PGA Tour officials of his decision just this week. The Northern Irishman also said he wants to try to qualify for the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup. In his quest to accomplish this task McDowell will play in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational as well as the PGA Championship.
McDowell denied rumors that he was ditching the European Tour for good, saying that he liked the idea of playing flexible, worldwide schedule.
"I've played quite a lot out here this season," McDowell said. "I think the great thing about golfers in Europe is we play all over the world, and I think we're better players and better people because of that."
The bottom line: Great news for both tours but he's a bigger draw in Europe. Tiger's reign over for good?
We've all been thinking it, but someone actually said it out loud, or at least wrote it. In a story today on CNN.com, sports anchor Rafer Weigel posted the headline, "Tiger Woods days of dominance, done," and it's unlikely too many objective-minded golf fans out there would strongly disagree. Anyone who watched coverage from St. Andrews this weekend saw the world's No. 1 player look extremely human on a golf course he completely dominated during his prime. Factor in the earlier failures at Augusta and Pebble Beach, and it was the third time this season Tiger struggled at courses where he once crushed the field.
So is it really the end of the El Tigre era? Will he ever intimidate and dominate fellow competitors as he once did. Will TV ratings really return to what they were in the Tom Kite era? Please give us your opinions as comments. We'd like to know what you think.
The bottom line: Tiger will win more majors and probably top The Golden Bear's record, but his days of true domination are basically over.