It’s pretty obvious where the discussion will gravitate to this week, so I better get the particulars out of the way first. A mixed bag of performances from our natives. In Qatar, G-Mac got off to a flyer. He raced into the lead with a fine 66, but was let down by a three over 75 on Friday. Had it not been for that, he would have been well in contention.
Given his vast experience, you imagine this is a one that got away for him, but two rounds in the sixties isn’t all bad. Wicklow native Paul Dunne is showing good trending as the year progresses, with no round over par for the four days. Sadly for him, he couldn’t muster up birdies when it mattered and came home not too far up the road from McDowell. In stunning La Jolla, it was Shane Lowry that led the Irish charge on the challenging Torrey Pines courses.
Sadly, he finished nine adrift of Spanish sensation Jon Rahm. Even with a good final round, in testing enough conditions, it wasn’t enough to fly up the leaderboard. Seamus Power sadly missed the cut by two, so no weekend action for him.
He does get a slight pass, given how hard the courses played and it being his rookie year. These are the competitions that he needs to perform in though, to give him any chance at holding onto his card and getting to the FedEx playoffs. But as it seems, he was in good company in not seeing Saturday action. The obvious news story is Tiger’s performance at the Farmers. Being put in a killer long group with DJ and Jason Day was always a recipe for disaster.
His forced narrative of not taking them on at their own games was never going to happen, and the stats showed that his driver worked 50% of the time, every time! Considering the recent rain that drove the rough up, this was foolhardy to say the least. Ironically this allowed him to show us that he still has a short game.
Those calamatuous attempts at chipping at the Hero Challenge are after giving way to softer touches. Such a pity that the Scotty wasn’t allowed to really see meaningful action. What did we learn about this performance? Or did we learn anything? He picked a true golf test to re-emerge in 2017, so is it fair of us to be too harsh?
Or is the fact that this is the best in the games history, who set the bar himself, enough to be a stick to beat him with? One of my hombres questioned his departure to play the Omega in the Middle East, rather than the Waste Management. Given the jetlag involved, this is a fair point, but I don’t think the raucous nature of the event lends itself to 2017 Tiger
Though he will be the star attraction, it won’t be as focused as the US media would be in Arizona. Over the weekend, clear comparisons can be drawn with the tennis action. Federer, after years away from the winners circle, came back to beat his greatest rival in Nadal, a man whos all-action style, betrayed his body in the end. I feel Tiger is an amalgamation of the two, but alas he does have added baggage.
I don’t give up hope on Tiger getting back to a respectable level, but is this how we will remember him? More Ali in the later years than Jordan in his twilight. He owes the game nothing, but I feel the game owes him a fitting conclusion to his career. Sadly, elite sports is ever cruel in this regard.
As much as I would love to see it, he won’t reach Jack. With this quick turnaround, I hope he ditches negative momentum. Only time can tell…