Former Tiger Woods instructor Butch Harmon said he was "upset for lack of a better word" with Tiger for continuing on at Valhalla Friday where woods missed the cut. Video accompanies the story where you can see Harmon's comment.
“I was surprised he played the back nine,” admitted Harmon, who formerly coached Woods. “He looked really sore on the front nine; he looked like he was in a lot of pain.
“I think Tiger wanted to show ‘I came here to play, I’m going to finish my round’. Quite frankly he swung at about 70 per cent on the back nine and hit a lot of good shots.
“I hope he goes home and gets healthy and comes back because the game is in a better place when Tiger Woods is at the top of the leaderboard.”
Dave Shedloski's GolfDigest.com reports includes a few stats and Tiger's explanation of his back issues.
He found nine fairways but only eight greens in regulation, which resulted in three bogeys and a double bogey against just two birdies. That’s one more birdie than he scored on Thursday.
“I couldn’t make a backswing,” Woods said. “I can’t get the club back. Coming through is fine [but] … it throws everything off. I can’t get anywhere near the positions that I’m accustomed to getting to.”
Jason Sobel’s report focuses on Tiger’s comments that the re-injury of last week’s issue happened before the round, which does call into question why Tiger didn't have his physio but the bone back in place, as he said happened when he came home. I watched Graeme McDowell receive treatment on the course yesterday, including an odd looking chiropractic move that seemed to help him.
Jeff Rude says Tiger just isn't Tiger anymore.
The back issues make it difficult to analyze the state of Woods’ game. Clearly he needs time to recover from the surgery and the “sacrum” issue.
“I need to get stronger,” he said. “I need to get my glutes strong again, my abs and my core back to where I used to have them. … You can’t develop strength the same time as you are playing a lot. I need to get back in the gym and get stronger.”
His swing is shorter because of the surgery and his timing has been off. His driving and putting aren’t as good as they once were. He has been a shell of himself in the four tournaments he has played since the operation.
I followed Woods on the front nine and some of the backswings were shockingly short, validating his view but also raising questions about why he did not get the treatment that fixed the issue and allowed him to make a recovery from his dramatic Sunday WD at Firestone.
Also, why he continued playing on a severely mounded, muddy, wet course where slipping was all too easy to do, just seemed excessively stubborn, even by Tiger standards. Yes, leaving early would have created a spectacle, but long term there was no need to finish. Then again, as Butch Harmon noted, he played pretty well on the back swinging 70%.
The post-round video:
**John Strege noted the comments of the TNT/CBS crew as Woods appeared injured at times during the second round.
“You’re to the point now, what are you doing, why are you playing?” McCord said. “He’s trying to prove to Tom [Watson, U.S. Ryder Cup captain], I guess, that he’s not hurt. But to me he looks like he’s hurt. He can’t quite get in the FedEx Cup [playoffs] this year. So I don’t really know why he’s doing this at this point. I can’t find one reason why he’s playing.”
Ian O'Connor makes a case saying it's time for Woods to tell Tom Watson he's shutting down for a while, including Ryder Cup week.
Woods should call Watson today, not tomorrow, and tell him to go get 'em in Scotland without him.
This has nothing to do with the fact that Woods isn't exactly Ian Poulter in the Ryder Cup anyway, or that the last time the U.S. beat Europe -- in 2008 here at Valhalla -- Woods wasn't part of the parade; he was recovering from the leg injuries he overcame in beating Rocco Mediate in their epic U.S. Open playoff for his 14th and last major title.
**John Strege on Paul Azinger's reaction to the state of Tiger's game, expressed during a Golf Channel Live From appearance.
“Tiger used to hit those short putts like his life depended on it. And you have to believe that he’s not in the same place mentally that he was. There was a convergence of the physical and the mental. That’s what made Tiger great. He’s gone from the artist to the engineer. And it’s difficult to watch a Vincent van Gogh paint by numbers.