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« In Case This Is My Last Blog Post Ever... | Main | "The funny thing is that now, with the benefit of more than 24 hours to think about things, I find myself shaking my head at the choice even more." »

Rocco: "A lot of guys are happy Tiger isn't playing well. I'm not."

Ron Kroichick talks to Open defending champ Rocco Mediate about Tiger's entry into the Fall Finish event. Rocco is "disgusted" with the direction of Tiger's game.

"I love the way he plays, but I'm disgusted with what's going on with him because it's sad for our game," Mediate said Tuesday from Pittsburgh, where he will play in this week's Nationwide Tour event. "A lot of guys are happy Tiger isn't playing well. I'm not. ...

"We need to have Tiger back at the top, because he's the draw. It's fantastic all these other kids are winning, but they're not Tiger Woods."

And he's not wild about the swing:

"The physical motion is wrong," Mediate said. "To get that stress off his body is a piece of cake - the guys working with him just don't know. Sean knows some stuff, but what's going on with Tiger is not correct. That's why he keeps breaking and that's why the ball keeps going sideways."

Mediate also took a none-too-subtle swipe at Hank Haney, Woods' previous coach.

"Starting with Haney until now, it was a complete and absolute destruction," he said. "If it was me (as Woods' instructor), I would say to Tiger, 'Look, dude, I'm not helping you. You're getting worse. You've broken down three times and you've had 57 knee surgeries. It's not happening.' "

I think I smell a V-Harness in Tiger's Open locker!

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Reader Comments (88)

Sounds like Mediate is doing the bidding for his golf coach Jimmy Ballard - the guy with the southern drawl who pops in at the end of the V Harness commercial to reiterate what Mediate is claiming - thanks Roc.
08.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarky Mark
I guess Rocco isn't buying into Professor Neuroplasticity.

Since it is almost a certainty that they will be paired together at the Fry's.Com Open, Tiger will have the opportunity to listen patiently for two full rounds to Rocco's swing theories and how the V-Harness will help him to recapture gold world dominance in time for the Presidents Cup. Because Rocco cares. He's a good friend of Tiger's, you know.
08.30.2011 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
If Woods has to listen to this pea-brained chatter box during the Fry's, Woods' week will be over by the back 9 on Thursday.
08.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob
But Ian Baker Finch says Tiger is playing perfectly:

If you believe someone who can't solve the driver yips.
08.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterWipey Swing
I'm a LOT more inclined to listen to Rocco than Mr. Flinch. Have you seen the video of Rocco and Jimmy from the GC? Some pretty interesting stuff. Since joining up with Ballard, Rocco has had some pretty high points...and his back seems to have calmed down to boot.
08.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
On Saturday of the US Open at Torrey Pines, I saw the look in Rocco's eyes as he passed by Tiger being interviewed by Roger Maltby on his way to the scoring room. It was pure "in the heat of the moment" stuff and if looks could kill, Rocco had the look of wanting to wish Tiger into a cornfield....

The thing is that Rocco is right about everything he is saying here. EVERYTHING.

Count me as one that would like to see Tiger win again. It would be the classic story of Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy marries girl, boy loses his soul, hits the rocks and fights his way back again. Classic American hero stuff. Only we don't allow heroes anymore because we only see Tiger the Womanizing Escalade driver who deserved what he got. But could you imagine what would have happened if Arnie or others who deserved what they got, actually got caught?

Apparently not in this TMZ day.
08.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
So, there are still some who think the sex addict is bigger than the game?

As selective memory syndrome seems to have broken out once more, I would remind those who remain blissfully deluded that this is the individual who made millions from falsely promoting a sqeaky clean image.

@Tommy Naccarato ... the jibe at Arnold Palmer has become a tired refrain trotted out at regular intervals in a vain attempt to rationalise Woods' slings and arrows of outrageous FORTUNE!
@ Tommy

interesting stuff as ever, thankyou. So Rocco is NOT as good a pal of Tiger as they say? I see... I must say I was also disappointed to find that the CND belt buckle at the US Open indicated only allegiance to a heavy metal band, and not a considered critique of the arms race, etc...

Re Arnie getting away with a fraudulent public image, you're right. But surely two wrongs don't make a right? (especially when the second, Tiger's, is on such a grand scale - in dollars and silicone...)

I too hope that Tiger comes back and plays well again, eg the Saturday of 2010 US Open, Masters Sunday front 9 this year; compelling stuff...

Let's hope for a great sentimental Hollywood comeback: public contrition and real self-knowledge, a rebuilt pride founded in proper humility, and a renewed moral compass pointing in the direction of selfless acts as well as personal triumph. Though I suspect on that score I will always prefer Dean Martin in "Rio Bravo".
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Once an addict ...
C&C, Tiger would have made millions and millions even if he had looked like Dennis Rodman ever since he turned pro. The "family man" image was just a tiny part of the deal, at least internationally.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
@ c&c, "tired refrain"? If there was ever a tired story...

Are all fortunes "outrageous"? Or just Tiger's? Wait a minute, I thought the "experts" are saying Tiger is broke? Which is it?
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
We'll know Tiger is broke when he does that Momentus infomercial...with Butch. Don't hold your breath.
To beat a dead horse, Haney destroyed the greatest talent golf has known. His BS wipey swing that no other pros would go near - even the desperate (including Baker-Finch) ran in the other direction - ruined Woods and there's not much Foley can do about it. Not that Foley's a genius, either. Both Haney and Foley try to reinvent the wheel. Butch just sharpened and refined what was there. But the ultimate responsibility lies with TW himself, because after winning seven of 11 majors, he looked for a better swing model.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAK47
Haney's well documented driver yip problems must have rubbed off somehow....Foley calls them old motor patterns and claims he has miracle oil that can cure all that ails TW....even though he can't explain it (or anything else) in under 2 hours when asked directly.

Butch must be laughing on the inside considering TW fired him and would later start taking advice from a couple of hacks!
08.31.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
I've never understood the argument that TW left Butch to find an easier swing on his knee. Seems that with all his experience he could have come up with some modifications to accomplish that. I doubt that BH is a one note instructor. Or is he?
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn R
How many wholesale swing changes with Nicklaus, Jones, Hagen, Palmer, Player, Hogan, Snead, Nelson, Watson, Trevino during their long careers?
Tiger lost ownership of his swing three or four years ago. Success in the post-swing-ownership era was because of momentum. The hydrant finished off the momentum.

Even when healthy (on numerous occasions between minor injuries over the last two years he has claimed that he is 100% healthly, "no issues") his game has stunk - putting, distance control, driving accuracy.

In the last two years all he has to show for his efforts is 3 top-4's.

Golf is a cruel game. But, that's golf.
I am impressed that John Cook can perfectly impersonate Ian Baker Finch over the phone while giving an interview to a newspaper.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
John, my theory is that I don't think Tiger and Butch ever developed an adult player-coach relationship. They disagreed on some stuff, and rather then working together and compromising they split up. Butch has muttered a few times that Tiger stopped listening to him. I think Butch was used to dealing with teenage Tiger, and didn't like being questioned, and Tiger felt like he had his own ideas, and should be listened too, and the knee thing is something they disagreed about.

I think Butch can have adult relationships, I can't imagine that Phil listens to everything that Butch says for one, but I think transitioning from an adult-child relationship to an adult-adult relationship is difficult.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered Commenterelf
If it ain't broke don't fix it, it's His swing, bad coaching and all only Tiger is too blame here. Amazing that a guy who could be the greatest ever needs a swing coach. Most be a lot of hot air between the ears.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterA3 golfer
@carnaptious -

Such venom from you against TW ... why? Would it not be better to see him back playing at top form, which allows us (as viewers and fans) to appreciate the art that he can create on the course?

Or do we have to continue to blow sunshine in regards to all the young "up-and-comers" that seem to have a hard time finding the podium at regular Tour stops, let alone Major events? Consistency seems to still be an issue with the young'uns ... that's not a problem long-term (see: Watson) ... but at least Toom was still putting himself in position to win those events.

Dustin Johnson (although I don't dig his wrist action ... especially on pitching/chipping) could be coming up in the "Watson mold" ...

I'm for seeing TW back and contending ... creating shots and moments that we don't get anywhere else.

08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
Oh ... I'm guessing, but I would suspect Arnie wins over TW in the "totals" category.

A different time, however (as Tommy pointed out, re: TMZ) ...

08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
so "a lot of guys are happy' he's not winning...I wonder if thats always been true re the greats, like during Jack's 67-70 slump...or is it worse because TW isnt popular with his fellow pros ( I dont know if that is the case or not)

God, if Haney is as bad as some of you (AK47 for ex) says he is, then that shows how good TW was, since he still piled up wins with him
08.31.2011 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Tiger was asked about Rocco's comments this morning on ESPN (he was there with Notah Begay to promote NB's charity tournament). He gave that same sort of cold stare that made me recall the Bubba Watson "We'll talk" comment from earlier this year.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin
@ Hawkeye ... doesn't alter the fact he made a bunch of money promoting a squeaky clean family image whilst simultaneously cheating on his wife over and over again. Contemptible!

@ LK ... I've got news for you, I didn't like him before he was er, exposed. I find his disgusting on-course habits a real turn-off so you see, he's not even a role model on the course either!

Tiger Woods is not bigger than the game. No-one is.
You are being completely ignorant if you don't hold Palmer to the same standards as your holding Tiger to, maybe worse. (Because he has been doing it a lot longer) But honestly, the only reason I bring it up is for people like you.

Also, excuse me for saying this, Tiger's private life is none of our business just as much as Arnie's life is the same. I suggest looking into your own mirror and looking to see if your life is as perfect as you expect Tiger's to be.

While Tiger also admitted in public--by holding a press conference that he had a problem with sexual addiction. (Seems to me that is an upfront thing to do) he took responsibility for his own actions- AND PAID FOR IT. He then had the public further ingrain themselves in his recovery, holding him to a standard that an addict can almost be guaranteed to ever overcome. His actions have lost him his family, a great portion of his wealth and then people like you expect him to be cast away further into the abyss his life has become. Think about how he must feel to go home to that huge house with no family (no love or glimpse of a future) inside of it. He is angry with himself, that much I can guarantee you.

Honestly, how could one expect him to act any differently?
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
The difference between Palmer and Woods is that Woods is a sociopath.

This year at Dubai, CNN did a feature on Woods who kept going on about how family is just so important to him.

This is a habit that he formed because of the enormous endorsement paydays avaiable to a squeeky clean familly man who was also an athletic star. Following all the escapades he was still doling out that same garbage hoping that we wouldn't see the inconsistencies and that those endorsements would be come back to him

This kind of behavior is in a different orbit compared to the alledged off course activities of Palmer.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarky Mark
Woods isn't angry at himself. He is angry that he got caught. And, he is angry at the media for playing a role in this.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
1. We know what Tiger was doing, without a smidgen of doubt. I wish we didn't, but we do. Such knowledge has been inescapable for almost two years. As far as paying for it, had he really 'fessed up and meant what he professed in the Blue Velvet Room of Ponte Vedra this would be very old news. Not forgotten, but not current.

2. We know what people SAY* Arnie was doing . That is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug (h/t Samuel Langhorne Clemens). If Arnie was the horndog he is reputed to have been, in the age of TMZ and Radar one of those ladies would have sold the story by now.

*And to repeat, an apocryphal story from Rossie, one that he regretted immediately upon publication, is not evidence.
Ky, what do you mean really 'fessed up? He said he cheated. Or did you want a yes, no, maybe one time while I was high press conference where he talked about ll the alleged women and acts one by one?

Arnie wasn't the first guy on tour who was a serial cheater, Tiger won't be the last (and he's not the only one whose been doing it for the last decade, just look at the stats on adultery esp amongst athletes). None of these guys portrays themselves as a serial adulterer. The guy down the street from you cheating on his wife doesn't tell you about it either.

Now please show me which commercial he did where he said buy this bc I'm a good husband, or an interview where he used his now ex-wife to make him seem more sympathetic or human. The reality is more than most high profile athletes, Tiger has always kept his family out of the public (until the whole brought the tabloid world down on them bc of his sex scandal), as opposed to using them for branding, more than most.

And if you really bought something he endorsed bc you thought he was a good husband, you're an idiot, most athletes cheat, and it's a horrible reason to make a product decision anyways.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered Commenterelf

Strap yourselves in ... :)

08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
@elf - you are far more of a Woods apologist than a marketing expert.

If you didn't have a fetish for The Chosen One, this poll result on Woods' marketing value might teach you something:
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarky Mark
Thanks LK, remember that one well. Personally can't wait to see more shots like that, could care less if he was diddling around on his wife, I'm not his maker or his judge, just a golf fan
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
Tiger's apologists are out in force today. I wonder if any of them saw Tiger's physical and rude response to being asked about Rocco's comments on TGC's Morning Drive and, if so, what they have to say about it.

Holding by my much earlier prediction: Tiger retires with no more than a half dozen mediocre finishes in 2012.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered Commenterpasaplayer
Ask and you shall receive (#3 is particularly good):

"I chose The Cliffs at High Carolina because of the great people and the amazing location," Woods said when announcing the design. "I'm really looking forward to making it a premier destination to share with my friends and family."

But Woods' "family man" image has been a key selling point for The Cliffs. "With a wife and two kids, your perspective in life changes," the golfer says in a video on the development's Web site, as spotlighted by a CNBC reporter.

The video continues: "I want to have my kids experience something like this. I want to be able to bring them up here and feel safe, feel secure โ€” enjoy running the trails and being a part of nature like this. Because your priorities start changing and evolving once you have a family, and I want to come up here as often as I possibly can." Woods also says: "One of the things that has drawn me to this is the fact that I can bring my family here. We'll be here a lot."
@LK and Brad
Ahh yes - watching great golf shots - great stuff. Remember YE Yang's towering hybrid to 18 at Hazeltine with the PGA Chmp on the line? Or how about McDowell draining a must make 30 footer at the Chevron, and then doing it again 15 mins later! Incredible. Wow.

Whats that? ... Tiger didn't hit those shots? And, those shots went against Tiger? Well then, all those shots sucked. There are no great shots and more. I totally agree with you. Unless Tiger comes back, and is the one hitting those shots, we will never see great shots again.
08.31.2011 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
Results from the Notah Begay Challenge today:

1. Hunter Mahan & Christie Kerr
2. Rickie Fowler & Annika Sorenstam
3. Tiger Woods & Suzann Pettersen
4. Notah Begay & Natalie Gulbis

This from the AP: Woods made birdie at the opening hole and rallied with another at the 18th at the Atunyote Golf Club course. After hitting his drive at the final hole some 65 yards left of the fairway into the rough, he chipped on the green and sank a 15-foot putt.

Only two birdies at some powder puff event? And being shown up by Annika, a retired golfer and friend of his ex-wife. Ouch!!!

The only saving grace is that he and Pettersen were able to avoid last place and keep from finishing behind Begay and Gulbis. Sheesh.
@Sgolfer -

Fantastic way to twist words! Obviously, there will always be golfers hitting great golf shots ... TW just did it more often, and with more flair than most. And, in spots where other pro golfers have stated that they would "be unable to hit that shot."

(ie. plenty of basketball players make great shots ... but there is only one MJ, plenty of boxers have epic fights ... but there is only one Ali)

08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
KLG, for the win!
08.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ

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