“We changed my grip, we changed my posture, we changed my takeaway…”
On a Dubai practice range this week Tiger Woods ran through the “laundry list” (his words) of swing changes he is trying to implement. Niche Media’s Shane O’Donoghue caught the comical explanation on video, and it’s just one more indication that 2011 could be another long year for Woods… The flip side of Tiger’s “slump” Not everyone’s ready to throw in towel on Tiger’s reign of dominance. Enter Chuck Culpepper of The National, who contends that all the talk of Tiger latest “slump” has “grown almost as exhausted as I've Got A Feeling, and that is serious exhaustion.”
Like the alleged Woods "slump" between mid-1997 and early 1999 (alongside zero wins in 10 majors), and like the alleged Woods "slump" between late 2003 and early 2005 (alongside zero wins in 10 majors), the Woods "slump" from late 2009 to present (alongside zero wins in 10 majors) makes for barely endurable banter.
…After all, his supposedly wretched 1998 included 13 top-10 finishes, five top-threes and one win, and the allegedly horrid 2004 featured a win, eight top-fives and 14 top-10s – hard, hard numbers to attain.
And in lousy old 2010 with its winlessness, who had the best aggregate finish across all four majors? That would be Woods, who finished an impressive fourth, fourth, 23rd and 28th, but who set such a standard beforehand that you have to debate whether a "slump" is a slump, which is one tedious way to spend an afternoon.
What Culpepper blindly overlooks is the physical (and emotional) scarring Woods has endured since those other fallow periods. To reascend to the throne, Tiger will need to get comfortable with a lot more than a just a new swing plane. Caddyshack nut D.A. Points draws Bill Murray in Pebble Pro-Am, so he’s got that going for him D.A. Points has made three cuts in three starts this season, including a fifth-place finish at Torrey Pines. But his 2011 highlight might have come Tuesday when he discovered he would be playing with Bill Murray in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Turns out, Points is a Caddyshack fanatic who claims to have seen the cult flick more than 5,000 times, reports Steve DiMeglio of USA Today:
"I don't need the TV on to know what's being said," Points said.
The news came with a kicker: Murray invited Points for an afternoon round Wednesday at Cypress Point. Of course, Points accepted. As for his rounds with Murray in the pro-am, where the comedian is known to wear outlandish outfits, has danced with a woman in a bunker and keeps everyone on edge wondering what he's going to do next, Points said he's taking a different approach.
"I'm playing well and of course I want to play well, but I'm just going to try and not take it as seriously as I usually do," Points said. "If I'm trying to be all serious, and if I get cranky, that's not going to work. I'm just going to go with the flow and have a good time."
Kind of like how the Dalai Lama himself might handle it. You know, the twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald … striking …
The result? So far, so good. Points fired a 7-under 63 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club Thursday for a share of the lead, while his and Murray’s 11-under 59 is just one off the pace in the pro-am contest. Tweet of the day
@lawrencedonegan: Oct09:Tiger woods asked 2 confirm his design fee is $10m, said "That would be nice." http://bit.ly/hj7bsQ Feb 11; Revealed fee is $55m