Major

Major issues for Tiger

So Tiger announced last week that he will be missing the US Open in a couple of weeks…Noooooo! I don’t know about you but through his trials and tribulations, injuries and so on I just want to see Tiger back to his best, and at the top of that leaderboard.

The Masters - Final Round

A question so many ask and I guess only time will tell, will he pass Nicklaus, will he get passed 18? Well not by missing majors he won’t!

There is nothing magical about the age of 38 for many professional athletes. Late thirties bring about certain changes in an athlete’s body, you start to slow, injuries keep popping up and the majority have sights set on their future after they fall in to retirement.

The minority who preserve themselves thanks to good genes, habits, luck, Ryan Giggs’ Yoga DVD, you name it know the clock is ticking. Okay golf is a little different, plus you get the senior tour too, however when you’re talking about beating records, age has everything to do with it!

Even for the great Jack Nicklaus. “My golf game can only go on so long,” he said……. at 38.

One might have been an unmarked intersection out in the country, the other a junction with bright, flashing lights in a big city, but Nicklaus was at a crossroads when he was 38 as Woods finds himself in the same situation. At that point of their careers, there are similarities and differences between the legend who set the standard and the one who is trying to eclipse it.

Nicklaus, who turned 38 on Jan. 21, 1978, had gone two years without winning a major championship after capturing the 1975 PGA at Firestone CC for his 14th professional major title (a number that wasn’t used nearly so much as 16, which included his two U.S. Amateur victories). In the 1977 Masters and British Open, Nicklaus had been beaten by a younger man, Tom Watson.

NICKLAUS

“Sure you wonder if you’re going to win again,” Nicklaus said,

For Nicklaus, major No. 15 was indeed a drought-buster — although he had won eight regular tournaments since the ’75 PGA — but it wasn’t being plotted as an essential way point on a journey. When he won the 1973 PGA Championship, it was Nicklaus’ 12th pro major, surpassing Walter Hagen’s 11, and 14th overall, bettering Bobby Jones’ 13. Nicklaus would have plenty of opponents after August of ’73, but history wasn’t one of them.

He was so competitive, and so good, that a back stretch with a target number at the finish line might well have pushed Nicklaus to win more than 18 majors — converting at least a few of the 17 top-four major finishes he had after the ’73 PGA into victories.

That is speculation. The reality is that Woods’ hopes of surpassing the great Golden Bear are slowly fading, missing the Masters and now the US Open, you wonder if he can find that fire in his belly again to compete let alone win another 4 majors.jack-nicklaus-tiger-2009-vert-apjpg-2a840c9d9c356a31

Fourteen was just a number for Nicklaus. For Woods, it is a punctuation mark no one ever dreamed would be a period. Since then he’s hit trouble in some way or another, many thought last year could see his return, Tiger was on the prowl, however another set back meant he fell short of another major success.

“I know I’ve won with something besides the shots,” Nicklaus told Deford in 1978 after rediscovering his major touch, “but I don’t know for sure what that something is.”

Well the first thing Tiger needs is a new back, knee, hip, and elbow that all work, joking!! Once fit again he needs to find that ‘something’, that very same something that made him one of the most remarkable athletes of his era, that desire, that passion to win, that.. fear factor! Tiger, who once seemed to overflow with it, needs some magic!

What are your thoughts, reckon he will match or pass the great Jack Nicklaus or will he fall short on his mission to conquer the great game. Let me know.

 

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Where it was won, The Masters!

A week on and we take a look at how the Masters really won!

A Masters without Tiger just didn’t seem possible, however this year marked the first year Tiger didn’t feature at Augusta since 1995!! This undoubtedly opened the door for so many, now yes Tiger may not have been in the form of his life but I still believe he has that ‘Tiger’ Factor, he would still have taken the favourite spot! This gave a massive opportunity to those in the field to showcase what they truly had!

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Off the back of several top ten finishes many thought Matt Kuchar would come close to wearing that green jacket, however few stumbles in the final round saw him drop to T5 along with Rickie Fowler.

Jiminez marked a late challenge for the green jacket however it was too little too late, however he finished nicely in 4th spot, the Spaniard was the only one looking to challenge the two at the top.

Moving day

The 3rd round found 8/9 players in with a shout, however that soon went down to four at the midway point, Kuch, Fowler and Young Swede Jonas Blixt fluttering with the top spot however Bubba Watson started to show signs of his former Masters form!

The American left-hander, 35, shot a final-round 69 to win by three after overhauling a two-shot deficit on his co-overnight leader Spieth on a sultry day at Augusta. Watson became the 17th player to win two Masters titles, eight of whom have gone on to win three or more Green Jackets. He showed signs of brilliance where so many faltered, his short game accuracy, his distance off the tea, he just didn’t seemed phased by any of it, he proved myself and im sure a lot of people wrong when he grabbed his second win at Augusta.

Stand Out?

Jonas Blixt was one of two who stood out for me, the young Swede came from absolutely nowhere to grab a slice at Augusta but fell short towards the end when his birdie run dried up.

The other stand out was of course Jordan Spieth. A debutant Spieth, 20, was bidding to beat Tiger Woods as the youngest ever winner and duelled with Watson for much of the day, but the Texan’s chances were sunk in the water of Amen Corner and he carded 72 to end five under.

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So where was everybody else?

Justin Rose started round 4 nicely after struggling in the first couple of days, although he seemed to struggle to go low towards the end and ending any hope of putting an early low score on the leader board. Westy, well he did what he does best, play better than everybody tee to green and just couldn’t get that putter warm enough. Adam Scott and Rory two more  favourites who just couldn’t get in to the swing of things (apologies about the pun 😉 ) and Luke Donald still struggling after some swing changes which have left him fall short of his sublime form.

What next?

After his first Masters win Bubba had a bit of a hangover didn’t he, leaving him waiting till 2014 for his next victory on Tour at the Norther Trust Open, hopefully he can replicate his masters form and kick on this season!

I fancy Kuch to have another good season, he’s a safe bet, whether he can get to the finish line is another question. Westwood, well hopefully he gets the flat stick working, his game tee to green is second to none and that could see him up there this season, a major though? I’m not sure. Spieth and Fowler are looking good so far, Spieth may taper towards the end of the season, he’s young and a long season could take its toll, however I feel Fowler isn’t far away from something special!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!