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« Tuesday's U.S. Open Interview Schedule | Main | Davis: “I would contend that if you saw Merion firm for four straight days versus soft for four straight days, you may see an 18-to 20-shot difference in the winning score.” »

"Hogan and Woods a lot alike"

Gene Wojciechowski took his life into his own hands and posed the above thought to Hogan fan supreme Dan Jenkins over Carshon's Deli chocolate pie.

Jenkins' eyes narrowed and for a moment I thought he was going to stab me with my car sun visor. Remember, this week's U.S. Open is the 60th of Jenkins' brilliant sportswriting career and his 218th major. And it is being played on sacred ground: Merion Golf Club, where Hogan won the 1950 U.S. Open, just 16 months after nearly losing his life in a car crash.

There was a painful pause, nearly as long as it takes Kevin Na to line up a putt, before Jenkins finally said, "How so?"

Wojciechowski's comparison is pretty good, even Dan might...might have to admit.

They each completely retooled their golf swings and then totally committed themselves to those changes.

They understood that the secret, as Hogan once said, "was in the dirt." Translation: Practice until your callouses had callouses.

They had little or no respect for players who didn't work hard.

They were aware of their critics, detractors and doubters, remembered every word, and used the criticism as motivation.

They were essentially loners: loyal to a select few; careful, guarded to most everyone else.

Tiger sat down with Wojciechowski for ESPN's Sunday Night Conversation:

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Reader Comments (68)

I would remind Mr. Wojciechowski that Hogan threw himself across his wife to save her moments before the head-on crash with the bus. Woods threw his wife under the bus. Big difference.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroglodyte
In the golf world preview, hogan is quoted as saying that was "bullshit," he was just trying to get out of the way of the bus. It's a great article. Curt Sampson, I believe. Perhaps those who subscribe to GW electronically can link?
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSari
Jenkins has made a lot of money off Hogan over the years.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
I seem to remember Jenkins asking Woods out to dinner near the start of his professional career. Woods, never one to be chummy with reporters (regardless of their status), declined.

I think Jenkins is from a different era when it was commonplace for reporters and athletes to hang out at the bar after hours - the snub by Tiger helped spark Jenkins' personal dislike for him over the years.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ
I think it remarkable Jenkins paused and then asked for more clarification before responding.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Moran
'Tis true. Each had a movie about his life produced after a personal trauma.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
A quick reading of Dodson's biography of Hogan made it clear he took action to save his wife, and to really agitate the media I will add that upon his return he publicly thanked the Lord.

Not sure I would give much credence to Sampson's book on Hogan which was likely one of the worst written books in history.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Blake Moran
I have never been a big Jenkins fan for several reasons (and am often critical of his daughter Sally for some of the same stuff), primarily:

1) Unlike other prominent sports writers of his era, Jenkins did not use his platform to push for desegregation of the sport, in fact he completely ignored it - and the plight of the African-American athletes who were trying to change things

2) He makes it personal. He wants you to hang out and be his buddy, if you are he writes nice things about you. If you aren't he writes crap about you. To me that's not his job, and it's not professional.

Let's just say he is of a type from an era, and I am not sad that that era is largely, though not completely done

Side note, word on the street (ok I heard it from Harig) is that Woj got some good Hogan stuff from Tiger in that interview - but ESPN left it out in the editing. I do think it is a good comparison in many respects - and also this one, both Tiger and Hogan wanted to hit all the shots vs say Jack who primarily played a fade or Arnie a draw.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Elf, I didn't realize that that is a requirement when one signs on to be a sportswriter. If a writer chooses to do that fine, but to say he should have? Come on. PJ has it right, Jenkins was obviously snubbed by Tiger and his entourage(mostly Earl from what I've heard) and Jenkins has held a grudge which he in so many ways(not including Tiger on his list of greatest) admits.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Before he got snubbed, he was full of praise towards Tiger - I especially remember his article after Bethpage in ´02 in which he wrote that Woods executed to perfection shots that Hogan wouldn't even consider attempting. Back then he also wrote that Tiger was the one single engine pulling the entire PGA Tour, which I would assume should translate into making at least some sort of impact on the game... I have always enjoyed his writing and still do, though. No writer is perfect except Jaime Diaz, but Jenkins is still way funnier.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Covering the story is part of the job, and in ignoring it Jenkins failed to do his. Advocacy is not required, but if you want me to hold you up as one of the greats, and someone to be emulated, than doing more than is standard is required.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
I don't think a writer has to be snubbed by Tiger to develop a dislike for him. I also don't think it's unreasonable that someone could admire and write nice things about his talent, golfing ability and power position on the tour as he was burning it up earlier in his career, but come to dislike him as the years ticked by. Again I'll say also that dominating the tour and having some effect on purses and money on tour is not "giving back to the game." However, Tiger is under no obligation to give back to the game at all.

Tiger is an amazing golfer, we all agree, but he has all the charisma and charm of a house plant. An arrogant, angry, bitter house plant. From the very beginning Tiger has made it seem like he hated the very machine that was responsible for building him up to such greatness, that is on him.

He is not a likable person. Period. A person doesn't have to be likable to win a bunch or tourneys and majors and break records, but fans and writers don't have to like the golfer just because he can win either.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
It was an issue of the day. But as I mentioned elsewhere, Jenkins professes to enjoy playing Cypress. However admirable its design (and it is; I know), it is a club that was so hostile to mixing its membership that it gave up being part of the US Open rotation rather than integrate. Jenkins would have had to choose between enjoying a place with such an ethos and entering the racial discussion. He chose.

His well-known appreciation of Cypress may have been known to Earl or Tiger Woods. Or not -- Woods' cited response to Jenkins' invitation, that there was nothing to gain, was vulgar and ignorant whatever his reason for uttering it. Woods throughout his career has resented that journalists "make money off him," ignoring the fact that they have jobs to do, are paid by others to do them, and that they contributed substantially to his marketability.

From what I know of Woods and Jenkins, they deserve each other, but are unlikely ever to get sentenced to each other!
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
@Press, but liking the subject is not part of the job of a journalist - which is why I have an issue with Jenkins. He very much changes how he writes about a subject based on his own personal like or dislike. And he is unapologetic about it.

Sally Jenkins is in many respects the same way. Exceedingly smart and a good writer, but the difference in her coverage of Lance Armstrong, Joe Paterno and Tiger is pretty stark.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
The only thing WBH and TW had in common was they both played right-handed. While they were / are champion golfers, their personal lives were as different as anything imaginable - monogamy vs. a promiscuous adulterer. Great golfers, but any comparison beyond that needs to end there. Being a great athlete does not guarantee any individual of having high moral fiber or being of good character.
Hey, Ghillie -- it was the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am rota that Cypress Point opted out of, not the US Open rota. They had every right to do so, as they are a private club. A private club can restrict its membership in any way it pleases.

The fact that Mr Jenkins has expressed admiration for the golf course but has never publicly spoken out in favor of pressing the club to change their membership policies (policies which are 100% legal, I might add, and nobody's business but their own – as long as they are a private institution), does not make him a bad person.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterWill o'the Glen
@ elf, I respectfully disagree.
The amount of 'like' or 'dislike' that is involved in covering politics today, for instance, massively eclipses the amounts we see in sports. Yet traditionally it would have been the other way around, there would have been more expectation of objectivity in a journalist covering affairs of state than sports for example. To hold a journalist covering sports to a higher standard than those covering affairs of state is lop-sided to say the least.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Pro from dover: are you SURE that ben was faithful? I mean 100% sure. Really? Are you sure that you favorite baseball player didn't juice? Did arnie play around? Does your next door neighbor cheat?

All you blue noses who hate tiger for cheating: do you hate jordan or magic too?
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
Hogan's car was hit by a bus -- Wood's car was hit by a fire hydrant...
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterd
If I was an American golf journalist, I would stay well away from writing about race. In the US it is a politically super-charged issue. There are so many people who want to latch on to the issue and make a crusade out of it. Things quickly degrade into a battle royale of race baiting, accusations, victimization, restitution. If you are in the US, do yourself a favour and keep away from the subject. Once you start chirping about this, someone has got you where they want you.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAziz
@joe - Tiger is hated because he lies. If he made himself out to be like Dennis Rodman and then shagged a 1,000 women, no one would really take notice. However, that route would have kyboshed his endorsement revenue. So he lied in order to construct a family man image. That is the lowest of character. Bottom of the barrel.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Foster
Robert, the money was there long before he whores. Your Lied to Get The Money Thesis is void.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Attack Jenkins... check! Attack Hogan (this takes some gumption)... check!

Looks like the TW fanboys and fangirls (errr "fanpeople" is politically correct) have done their work.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRandon Fan
This gets old. Those that don't like Woods will view all of his actions/comments with distrust or ridicule. Those that like Woods will say he's human and great at his profession. No one will be able to convince the other side otherwise. At the end of the day, he will be known for his golf accomplishment, just like countless other athletes/entertainers are known for their professional achievements. The rest of us, as golfer, golf aficionados, sport writers, are merely jacking off and the fact that the internet allows us to air our opinions to thousands of people make us think our comments are actually worthwhile, accurate, or convincing. I'm certain without the internet, those that hate him will continue to hate and those that love him will continue to love him, but we do it quietly in our own head. Now we can publicize our thoughts and seeing our little comment on the screen give us a sense of importance, falsely I might add.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenternguyenvuminh
The saddest thing about this whole thing is that anybody/anything remotely associated with Woods will be attacked or revered. The haters love the like of Jenkins sarcasm and hate McIlroy for associating with Nike who endorses Woods. The lovers ridicule Jenkin's lack of mentioning of golf's troubled past and compliment's Nike's continuing endorsement of Woods. Haney and Foley likewise get knocked about although they had nothing to do with Woods' sexual escapades or viewed as instructional geniuses, etc. etc. etc. Sometimes I don't think Woods or the entertainers are pathetic, it's the like of the fans and haters of these people that are more pathetic in my mind.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenternguyenvuminh
There is no "They" in Hogan.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDirtclod
Perfectly put n_____h.

Journalists replace their pacfier with a free shrimp the day they get their first press pass.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterB.I.G.
@ nguyenvuminh,

Cry me a river. Thank God they have so much money to help soften the hardness of such a rough life.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Private clubs...what sort of Americans are they, in particular, that they do not want to "have to" associate with non-white people? I am well aware it's strictly legal. But it is a major contributor to the image of golf as a rich white man's preserve.

Defence of private clubs with restrictive membership policies has always been vehement on golf discussion sites. I have often wondered why.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
So Ghiilie you're good with excluding people based on sex...but otherwise it's not OK?
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

"the money was there long before he whores. Your Lied to Get The Money Thesis is void."

Often guys who think they are the smartest in the room say the dumbest things.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Foster
You don't get it?
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF, if you don't see the quantitative difference between racism and sexism, I despair of you.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Y, just love how vehemently golfers defend the right to exclude different looking humans. Everybody has their cause or calling in life, I guess.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRon
DTF - apparently you don't think humping whores would have hurt his endorsement income if he was upfront about it - you're an idiot.

Apparently, you think you know when Tiger started humping whores - you're a delusional idiot.

Apprarently, you assumed that I thought Tiger had no money when he decided to adopt the family man schtick - you're an arrogant idiot.

Yep, DTF. I get it.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Foster
Funny how every conversation about Woods turns into a love-hate fest based on his personal life. Tiger is probably not a nice person. Certainly wasn't a good husband. Don't care and not relevant. This post is comparing Tiger and Hogan coming back from injury, retooling their swings, devotion to practice and relationships with other Tour members. All the comments seem to be focusing on the wrong things.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
@The O
"All the comments seem to be focusing on the wrong things. "
Welcome to the internet.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRon
Ghillie, explain the "quantitative difference racism and sexism", please. I am interested in your position on the subject.

So let's recap with Robert....he's now called me:

- the dumbest guy in the room.
- an idiot.
- a delusional idiot.
- an arrogant idiot.

All this reaction from a simple statement, and a simple question! So much anger Robert, where's this coming from?!?

Now, before I destroy Robert's argument in the next post let me go on record, again....Tiger's off-course behaviour was inexcusable. The way he treated his wife and family is inexcusable, and cannot be rationalized in any way. In many ways Tiger is truly an asshole, no doubt about it. I wish he'd stop the on-camera cursing. OK, back in a minute ;)
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Agree with DTF, the money was always there. And what's he supposed to do: "Sorry, can't take that check you're sticking in my face. Why? rather not say, just can't." And why didn't he come out and tell his Rodman story, because most dirt bags don't do this!! He wasn't lying for the money, no human can spend the money he has, he's like every other dirt bag cheater: "I love my wife, but....blah, blah" No you don't, or you wouldn't have an affair, simple.

And I don't know how much the "Media Machine" made him great either. I turned in my fan card in 2009, but there is no real debate about his greatness. If they were still collecting $180,000 first prize checks he would still be the greatest. The golf he played in 2000 - ish will be known as the greatest performances of the game. That Tiger is the best golfer in history. Time will tell if he becomes the games greatest champion by surpassing 18 Majors. (Or 20 Majors as used to be noted until his 3 Ams, just saying...)
06.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNC Phyllis
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