It was a gutsy, fascinating exercise by DiMarco. If he makes any putts early in his round, I suspect he might have pulled off the come from behind win over Woods. Instead, Woods makes an improbable chip on the 16th for birdie (you could actually see DiMarco deflating as the chip fell in…) and then the World’s No. 1 golfer makes two straight bogeys to make the whole thing interesting again.
Though Tiger won, I don’t think he’s returned to the form of 2000-01 that saw him dominate on so many fronts. His performance yesterday was enough to win, but hardly dominating.
I still wonder about the wisdom of using Hank Haney to rebuild his swing. Like Ben Hogan, Tiger will likely always been tinkering with his mechanics, but I doubt you’ll see Haney around as long as Butch Harmon was. Though Haney seems more comfortable outside of the limelight (in other words, he doesn’t have to become a product pitcher like Harmon is — given the infomercials he does, when does he teach?), I doubt Woods will stick with him.
Already Haney is garnering more press than Tiger would probably like. Take the recent story in Golf World, for example, where Haney squares off against critic Jim McLean.
McLean questions the need for Woods to rebuild a swing that made him so dominant a player.
“It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in golf, Tiger making a major swing change,” McLean told the magazine. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anybody dominate the game like that and make major changes like this. It’s an almost unimaginable risk, but Tiger is a guy who will take that chance.”
Haney responds badly, calling McLean, “an asshole.” If that’s the way he’s going to deal with criticism, then I doubt very much he’ll hold up to the constant strain of the spotlight that’s always on Woods.
The entirety of the Golf World story can be found here.
Here’s a pretty decent timeline detailing Tiger’s rise in the world of golf.
At Golfobserver.com, Lorne Rubenstein writes about why Jack Nicklaus should be allowed to do whatever he pleases — and notes that Jack had long since given up competitive golf prior to his appearance at last week’s Masters.