What would a world without Tiger Woods look like? For a start, Vijay Singh might have been a world number one for longer. Elin Nordegren would have remained an anonymous babysitter for Jesper Parnevik. A raft of prostitutes wouldn’t have considerable nest eggs at this stage. Nike would not have had the world’s most expensive walking commercial. We wouldn’t have had a stroppy, sulking golfer who, every time he hits a bad shot, behaved like Kevin the teenager. And this week we wouldn’t have Hank Haney spilling the beans Woods’ personal and private life while he was his coach.
Golf is so much fun we could be writing for the Daily Mail.
Tiger (36) makes his way to the Arnold Palmer Invitational as his former coach Haney is about to release his tell-all book (or is it kiss and tell?) on the pair’s relationship.
Thanks to the good folk at ESPN, we can reveal a small snippet from that yet-to-be-published-easily-leaked book. We can tell you Tiger Woods thinks Ian Poulter is a d***. It only took the golfer till 2007 to realise this but I certainly have had my faith restored in the American.
Apparently the English golfer had the temerity to ask Tiger ‘How are we getting home?’ when practising at Oakmont shortly before the 2007 US Open. Woods didn’t offer him a lift on his private jet but the cheeky ‘real number two’ turned up at the airport anyway. Tiger texted – as he was quite fond of doing at the time – Haney to inform him “Can you believe how this d*** mooched a ride on my plane?”
Anyway, Woods is back in action on the PGA Tour and seems to have recovered from the Achilles problem he suffered at the Cadillac Championship.
He goes to the tournament in Orlando as a six-time champion in the event and is a 7/1 favourite to make it seven. Consistency has been the American’s enemy as he strives to regain the form that made him world number one. He’s gone low in tournaments, but has failed to finish out events. He freely admits too that his putting has let him down, but just as much as other facets of his game have not been 100%.
“I hit them right on my line, and they were just lipping out,” Tiger said at Doral, “I just have to be committed to what I’m doing and continue rolling it, because I’m hitting the putts on what I’m reading.”
Confidence, despite the injury eight days previously, may also be returning as he put in a good performance at the Tavistock Cup on Monday. A solid weekend before the Masters is just what Tiger needs and he will be determined as ever to do so.
Of his main rivals, Jim Furyk is finding a form at the right time as is Sergioa Garcia. Forgetting that horrendous 44 at Doral a couple of weeks ago, the Spaniard’s ability was demonstrated with a 31 on the front nine in the very same round. Bay Hill has been a happy stomping ground for him in the past with several top ten finishes.
Tiger and Phil Mickelson don’t represent much value on the face of it, but if your faith is restored in him on a course he loves, the 33 year old might finally come out of the Woods at Bay Hill.
- Arnold Palmer Invitational