While Tiger Woods didn’t win the PGA Championship, he sure did make a marked improvement from his Firestone performance, where he finished 18-over par.
There were moments throughout the PGA tournament where Tiger displayed flashes of brilliance. Even during the final round at the PGA when he got to five-under with 12 holes to play I was thinking if just went nuts and got it to 10-under-par then maybe he would have a shot. Just by getting his name on leaderboard for others to see may induce the others to falter, and he could win in a playoff.
But then I woke up.
While that would have been the stuff of legend, that’s not the Tiger Woods who is playing golf right now. This is an embattled Tiger Woods, and every facet of his life is being tested to the hilt. The one thing he could always depend on was his game, and now that’s in question too.
His game is in such a shambles that there’s a chance Tiger may be left off the Ryder Cup team. Currently he’s 12th in the standings. The first eight spots are automatic qualifiers, and the remaining four are captain's picks.
Captain Corey Pavin said of Tiger, “He’s high on my list. He’s a big consideration for being on the team.”
Some experts are suggesting Tiger doesn’t deserve to be on the team. They suggest his game isn’t where it needs to be and he would hurt the team more than help it.
Does Corey Pavin have the guts to leave Tiger Woods off the Ryder Cup team?
I know we live in a world of “what have you done for me lately” but we are talking about the No. 1 player in the world. We are talking about a guy who has 14 major titles to his credit and who could go down as the greatest golfer in history.
While most are focusing on his game as of late, I think we must look at the body of work here.
Tiger has more major titles than everyone else in the Ryder Cup standings combined. He’s the most recognized athlete in the world who still is the best in the world.
No, Tiger is not playing well right now. But don’t you understand why?
It pains me to see people dissect his game. They say, "His swing is bad, he’s not focused, he’s not just the same guy."
If you were the most famous person on earth, and it was revealed you are not the person the world thought you were, how would it affect you?
If it you were the most revered athlete in the world and you were found to be a liar, cheater, and fraud, how would that make you feel?
If you were about to lose in upwards of $300 million dollars in a divorce, how would that make you feel?
If you were induced to give an 11-minute speech about your “transgressions” that was viewed like a Presidential address, how would that make you feel?
If everywhere you went there was a consistent reminder of the lie you lived, how would that make you feel?
Don’t you think that could affect one's focus just a tiny bit?
I think it’s a miracle that he’s even making contact with the ball. I think Tiger is playing exceptionally well considering what he’s battled through since he crashed his Cadillac Escalade on that November evening late last year.
Just think about it. How many players could essentially come off the sidewalk with virtually no practice and a life in shambles and finish fourth at both the Masters and the US Open?
It’s safe to assume no one on the Tour can do what Tiger has done this year given all that’s been on his plate.
Look at what happened before his game faltered: When you consider Tiger’s body of work this year, there are many on Tour who would take his results in majors this year instead of their own.
So now let’s look at this Ryder Cup talk and finally put it to rest.
Despite Tigers’ struggles on and off the course, you must keep it all in perspective. You have to look at his play, his current points standings, and his willingness to play.
It all points to Tiger playing in the Ryder Cup because he wants to. Despite his erratic play and what he’s going through, he’s still Tiger Woods. He’s golf royalty, and he should be treated as such.
Pavin is acting like he’s the President of the United States. He seems to revel in the power to select who he thinks should play on his squad. But at the end of the day his tough talk will wither as September 7th arrives.
Bottom line: Based on what Tiger Woods means to golf, Corey Pavin won’t have the guts to leave Tiger Woods off the Ryder Cup team.