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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tiger Woods commits For The Barclays

Tiger Woods is the Legend of the golf. He has lot of prize of golf. He is playing the first FedEx Cup playoff event with hopes that it's not his last.
Woods on Thursday officially entered The Barclays, which starts Aug. 26. It's the first of four playoff events that conclude with the Tour Championship and a $10-million prize to the winner of the yearlong FedEx Cup competition.
Woods is No. 108 in the standings, and can go further down the list depending on the Wyndham Championship. Only the top 125 players are eligible for The Barclays, which is at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus,

Tiger Woods doesn't look so invincible. Last week Rory McIlroy talked about it; that the Europeans would love to face him in the Ryder Cup.
Luke Donald, who's No. 12 on the current European Ryder Cup point list, added this in a Chicago Sun Times story to the question: Is Woods still the intimidating opponent he once was?
''Probably not. Intimidation comes with playing well, and he hasn't been playing well. Distractions off the course can affect you on the course.''

The Troubles of Tiger Woods
For Woods, those are shocking, astronomical numbers that gave rise to speculation, unthinkable a few months ago, that maybe he doesn’t even belong on the United States Ryder Cup team this fall. When the FedEx playoffs begin at the Barclays this week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey, Woods will carry a rank of 108, his lowest ever.
Athletes go through bad spells all the time, and golf has provided some disquieting examples of players who dived into a slump and never pulled out. David Duval gave some signs of twitching back to life at the United States Open last year, but essentially, he has never been the same since winning the British Open in 2001. For a while, he couldn’t even get off the tee. Much the same thing happened to Ian Baker-Finch; after winning the British Open in 1991, he went into such an embarrassing downward spiral that he retired from competitive golf a few years later.
No one thinks that Woods’s collapse is permanent, but even so, we have seldom seen anything quite like it in sports. What’s startling is not so much that he has fallen, but that he has fallen so far and from such an empyrean height — from a level of skill and success that no golfer had ever attained. It’s as if one of the gods were now stumbling among us, dazed and vulnerable.
The lesson has clearly not been lost on Woods’s competitors, who are no longer intimidated by him in quite the same way — they sense he’s mortal, after all — and no longer cede him an automatic advantage.
A few experts say that Woods’s woes are all technical — that his swing is too flat, that he’s moving his head too much. A teaching professional named Don Trahan, or the Surge, as he calls himself (short for swing surgeon), recently posted an online video in which he claimed he could fix Woods’s swing in a half-hour. All Woods needs to do is widen his stance, firm up his knees and limit his backswing — swing more like Don Trahan, that is.
But most of his fellow pros seem to think that Woods’s problems are in his head, not in his mechanics, and that his game won’t return until he straightens out his personal life. Brad Faxon said as much in a recent radio interview. This is a very discouraging notion for those of us who love to play golf precisely because it’s an escape from the rest of life and who would much rather work on our short game than, say, our relationship with our boss or our spouse. But we also know that in golf as in no other sport, your mind can mess with you — especially with those insidious self-doubting thoughts that attack you midswing.
Not the least of Woods’s woes, it would seem, is that he is too much alone inside his own brain these days. He is estranged from his wife, even from some friends, and he can hardly go anywhere or see anyone without attracting a swarm of the curious and finger-pointing. He’s a prisoner inside his Florida compound. And now that he has split with his last swing coach, Hank Haney, there is no one to check or to validate the cloud of swing thoughts at once paranoid (“I’m cupping my wrist!”) or falsely hopeful (“If I just hold my spine angle!”) that invariably descend on the golfer who is doing badly.
For Woods, standing alone on the range, with nothing else to do and no one else he particularly wants to see, not wanting to pick up a paper or turn on ESPN, lest he read more speculation about what’s wrong with his game, it must seem sometimes as if he were hitting shots in the dark.
Woods’s recent history is a reminder of how very difficult golf is and of how hard it is even for the best players to sustain a winning game. It’s a reminder, too, of how much good golf depends on confidence — on feeling good about yourself, as the self-help gurus say. Good shots inspire more good ones. Bad shots, as any duffer will tell you, lead to even worse ones: the oil starts to spurt up there in your brainpan, the gears begin to screech and the guy working the levers that direct your arms, shift your weight, cock your wrists, throws up his hands in dismay.
What’s unusual about Woods is that until recently, he seems not to have had this common experience, or at least not to the degree experienced by others. His stumble might have happened even if he had not made such a mess of his marriage and his reputation — Woods is edging up on 35, after all, the age after which Jack Nicklaus won only four more majors. But for whatever reason, he is now playing a kind of golf that looks more nearly like everyone else’s, and the experience seems to have discombobulated him.
To be a god may not be such a great thing after all. If we didn’t learn that from mythology, we know it now from seeing what use Woods made of his godly perks. But to suddenly become a mortal after being awarded locker room privileges on Olympus is surely no fun. Woods may recover his game, but that most exclusive of clubs won’t have him back.

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