Poor Tiger. No matter how many times he tells the golfing scribblers that his game is better than it's ever been, they refuse to believe him.
Bob Casper over at SI.com has been looking at Tiger's swing change patterns and equates the 1999-transition season with 2005, another transition year.
FYI: 1999 Tiger in the majors: T18-T3-T7-1; 2005 Tiger: 1-2-1-T4.
But Casper says 2006 will not like Tiger's 2000. Why? Five reasons, here's #1:
Earlier this year Tiger said, "driving accuracy means nothing these days, it's a non-stat." He had better reconsider that statement with two of the four majors being contest at traditional old -style layouts with majestic tree-lined fairways.
They've taken out a ton of trees at Winged Foot and apparently have done a fair amount of trimming over at Medinah, which may neutralize the whole "majestic tree-lined" thing. The USGA's David Fay has said he would like to see 8-inch at Winged Foot (because this flogging thing is really shining a big annoying light on optimization), but they can't do that if the men in blue want to finish on Sunday.
In 2000, Tiger hit 71.2 percent of his fairways. If he gets close to 70 percent in 2006, watch out. But that's a big if. Great scoring on golf courses is set up off the tee and Tiger needs to do a better job.
Sorry, that was five years ago. The game has changed and Tiger has not only kept up with the times, but established how the game will be played in the future.
It will be interesting to see how long people go before they realize the absurdity of grinding out tee shots and worrying about hitting fairways when 340 yard drives and proficiency with 15-footers far outweighs tee-shot accuracy.
On another note, just in case you have an interest in meaningless trivia, reader Jon reports that "flog" (golf backwards) is a member of the palindrome family. It is a semordnilap.
A popular motivational saying goes, "Desserts is stressed spelled backwards." This is an example of a reversible word, which when read from the right yields another word. All of this week's words exhibit this quality. Just like reversible clothing that changes pattern when worn inside out, reversible words result in other usable words. A special case of reversible words are palindromes, which spell the same when reversed. So palindromes are a subset of reversible words which in turn are a subset of anagrams. Another name for reversible words is semordnilap, a self-referential word coined by reversing the word palindromes.
How about that news flash from the city!