Tiger's Weekend

A 76 and 77. Really?

Jim Rome
February 17, 2020 - 10:06 am
Tiger Woods

USA Today

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Tiger Woods shot a 31 in is first nine holes on Thursday at Riveria. Nine holes in, you had the same tired Tiger Honks high-fiving it out in cargo shorts, yelling like jackasses, and preparing red shirts for Sunday. At that point, it wasn’t a matter of whether he’d win, but how much he’d win by. And how much those tools would cry when it happened.

And then he shot at 38 for the second nine on Thursday. Uh-oh.

But hey, going out in 31 and coming back in 38 was still nice. Then came three bogeys and a double on Friday for a 73. And suddenly the Tiger Bros were sweating it out. Maybe he wasn’t going to win and make history this weekend.

And if that was a question on Friday, it was answered on Saturday with a 76. But at least that was rock bottom, right? No way he can shoot worse than a 76 on Sunday? Wrong.

77. A seventy-freaking seven. The guy just went out there and Ray Bourque’d it. 77.  

Tiger is back, baby! Back to having a bad back and even worse rounds. Back to looking like some guy who slipped under the ropes and got to play in a PGA event, instead of the guy who used to dominate practically every event he ever entered.

Seven bogeys and a double. Not just a bad Sunday, tied for the most he’s ever had in a final round. Played the final six holes in five over. And man did it look like he just wanted out. Like he was ready to pack up his bag after nine and just head straight for the courtesy car.

But at least he still had his trademark sense of humor and some great zingers loaded: "I did not do much well today. Good news: I hit every ball forward, not backward, a couple sideways.” Hey-o!

If you can’t win, you might as well laugh, right?

"I've been in this position many times, unfortunately. Just keeping fighting hole by hole, shot by shot and try to make some birdies, which I did not do. I made one eagle [at the first, his 10th hole], but that was about it.''

Now, it’s important when you work in this business that you remain objective. That you don’t go all fan boy, in any direction, on any issue. Because the moment you do that, you lose all credibility. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – I am paid not to root. It is important that when you tune in, you know I’m giving it to you straight and giving you the truth instead of what I hoped would happen or what I wanted to happen.

Go fan boy and you’re just another run of the mill honk. If I do that, as the host of the show, then I’m no different than the people who email or tweet the show. 

That said, I did put some money down on that PGA tour event. And I put it down on…wait for it…Tiger Woods.

I put money down on him and he finished DFL. Dead Freaking Last. 22 shots behind Adam Scott. That was reminiscent of the disaster at the Memorial in 2015 when he went DFL and was eight shots back of the second to last place guy.

That doesn’t influence me or this take. I’m not mad that he finished DFL. I think it’s funny. I think it’s hilarious that I happened to bet on a guy and he happened to get completely lapped by the field. REMINDS ME OF THE TIME, WE BROADCAST TRACKSIDE WHEN WE RAN A HORSE NAMED ROYAL PUNISHER:

That said, this isn’t about me. It’s about Tiger. And it’s not about his putting, although he had 29 putts yesterday. It was about everything. Because he also only had eight greens in regulation.

"I was just off. It happens.''

PREACH CAT. To quote the man himself, it happens. It happens to us all.

I mean, I’d disagree with the assessment of “just off.” That wasn’t a guy who just had a bad week, that’s a reminder of a guy who still has a bad back. He’s 44 going on 54 with a fused spines and countless surgeries. As his caddie, Joe LaCava said after the round: "That's not normal for him. I'm not really concerned with the score, I just want him to be healthy. Because he's certainly capable.''

That’s a little worrying. If it’s just a bad week, that’s one thing. If it’s a bad back, that’s something else. And if his caddie is worried about his health more than his score, that’s a little worrying too. Red Shirt Cargo Short Nation has to be TRIPPIG right now because the masters is right around the corner. And so might another DFL or two.

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