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19th Hole

Is Shane Ryan alone in rooting for Tiger Woods to fail?

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Shane Ryan, author of the insightful, singular, and controversial Slaying the Tiger, is regarded as a polemicist by some and an opinionated, original thinker by others. Regardless of whether you’re a detractor of admirer of Ryan’s “break the mold” style of golf writing, I think we can all admit he’s an excellent writer.

So it is with Ryan’s latest work of contrarianism for Golf Digest: “Tiger Fatigue Syndrome, or why I want the comeback to fail”. Is the essay a mere assumption of an oppositional or extreme position in favor of #clicks and self promotion? Is this Ryan’s well-reasoned opinion arrived at after much deliberation and thoughtfully presented? Is it some combination of both?

In the piece, Ryan writes things like this

“What I didn’t realize then, and hadn’t realized in 2014, was that I suffered from a rare disorder called Tiger Fatigue Syndrome. It comes in stages—bafflement, anger, exhaustion. It only afflicts those odd ducks, like me, who are completely at peace with a golf landscape that doesn’t include Tiger in a starring role. We are beset with psychic pain each time a Tiger comeback stops the presses, and we suffer spiritual ache each time its failure renews the “done or not done?!” debate cycle. We feel rooted in history, stuck in the past, like the sons of a rich tyrant whose name we can never escape. It’s at its most acute on weeks like this—Tiger is playing his first official PGA Tour event in a year at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open, and the eyes of the sport can’t look away.”

“To sufferers of TFS, the preponderance of Tiger-mad journalists and fans are the crazy ones. The evidence feels overwhelming: Tiger was the greatest golfer of his time—and the greatest to ever live, in my opinion—but now his watch has ended. The ongoing fixation with a man who is clearly past his prime strikes us as bizarre and a little delusional. And the more time that passes, and the more quixotic his path to glory, the worse it gets.”

Bold words. And while its sacrilege in all facets of the golf industry to cop to “TFS,” it’s doubtful Ryan is alone in suffering from the malady. You’ll want to read his full essay for context.

Not surprisingly, GolfWRX members have plenty to say about the piece, starting with Jarlaxle, who authored the thread.

“I could go on and on about how terrible this article is but will leave that to the rest of you. But I would ask Mr. Ryan to ponder one thing (and I do hope he reads this). If he were to poll all those young, up and coming stars that he feels are being undermined by the never-ending Tiger Mania, what do you think they would say? Do THEY want Tiger to fail? I’d say based upon recent comments by two of the youngest and most “fascinating” young players, Justin Thomas and John Rahm, that nothing could be further from the truth.”

Usually, the practice is to excerpt additional standout replies to give you a feel for the thread and entice you to click through. That is a difficult practice with this piece, however, as all the replies are darn good and many are hundreds of words long.

Instead, I’ll just say, get your popcorn ready and check out this excellent thread.

 

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Alan Boldt

    Jan 29, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    I worked as a Marshall at Torrey 4 or 5 years ago and covered the landing area on #18 on Sunday. Tiger and his caddy were the most incredibly rude and foul-mouthed people I encountered during the entire tournament. We volunteers worked hard to make sure guests were quiet and orderly; Tiger and caddy treated us like filth even as we were being successful with profanity laced insults during the entire interaction. I became an anti-Tiger guy that day and have remained so.

    • AsAMatterOfFact

      Jan 30, 2018 at 4:59 am

      I’m gonna call complete BS on this claim. 4 years ago tiger never made it to the Sunday round to be in your landing area. Then 2013 he never made it to the landing area on Sunday because he had 7 holes left when they suspended play due to a weather delay. It was a Monday finish. #mythbusted

  2. GetRichOrTyTryon

    Jan 29, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    It’s not necessarily Tigers comebacks it was the media frenzy that ensued each time that I grew tired of. He clearly was legitimately injured and not able to perform despite which side of the Tiger coin you fall on. I was amazed he made the cut. If he can keep up the velocity he’s currently swinging without injury he’s got one last charge in him.

  3. kbc

    Jan 29, 2018 at 5:09 am

    I bet he wouldn’t say it to his face.

  4. Ben

    Jan 28, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    IOW, good riddance to bad rubbish ….. :-p

  5. Tim

    Jan 28, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Never heard of Shane Ryan…

  6. Tom Duckworth

    Jan 28, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Hoping someone will fail is pretty sad makes Shane Ryan look pretty small and petty. Many a media person has made a name for themselves by bashing Tiger Woods.
    I’m a golf fan a middle of the road Tiger fan but I hope he can come back and play well again. You know the young guys on tour want to play him he is a hero to many of them and why some of them got into golf.
    Yes he moves the needle like no one else some love him too much and some hate him too much. If he is playing well it’s good for golf on TV that’s about it if that’s good for the game….others can figure that out.
    I’m sure going out and failing is very embarrassing and he could just stay home and lay on a pile of money but I think he still loves to play so just let him.

  7. Nick

    Jan 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Willing to bet that everyone who writes about how they’re sick of Tiger and his attempts at a comeback will discover that their most read articles are the very ones at the person they claim to be sick of reading/writing/talking about. The modern golf industry owes it success almost entirely to Tiger Woods and I will accept no arguments on this.

    • Andrew

      Jan 28, 2018 at 3:05 am

      The modern golf industry is on an unsustainable path and is thus dying. Thanks go out to Tiger Woods and his fickle bandwagon.

      • Nick

        Jan 28, 2018 at 8:58 am

        Participation in golf, tournament attendance and TV viewership all went up during Tiger’s period at the top of golf. It’s not coincidence that all three started to decline once injuries and personal issues forced Tiger to take time away from golf. So if you really want to say golf is dying because of Tiger then it’s purely because of his absence.

  8. Mike

    Jan 27, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Who cares what Shane Ryan thinks..

  9. Andrew

    Jan 27, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Come on, Shane! A constant reminder of womanizing, drug addiction, and insincerity is no match for phony paper dollars. It’s money over moral compass today. Golf is now a great game.

  10. CB

    Jan 27, 2018 at 2:42 am

    I enjoyed Mr Ryan’s writings, loaded with the kind of sarcasm and derision that I enjoy, it reminded me of so many comedians who use this tact for their acts. Well done. Excellent stuff. Hint hint nudge nudge know wot I mean know wot I mean? that sort of thing.

  11. Ty Webb

    Jan 27, 2018 at 2:07 am

    I’m mixed on this one. I started golfing in 2004 and one of the first tournaments I remember watching all 4 rounds of was the 05′ Masters, so needless to say I’m a fan of Tiger Woods. He made the impossible look effortless and had a swagger that wasn’t really around in golf, yet. That being said, I even find myself growing tired of all of his comeback attempts. I can’t imagine what he’s been through, and I truly hope this one works out and he can be competitive for another 5+ years, but I’m too much of a realist to think that that’s plausible. I’m in love with the game of golf, not Tiger, so even if tomorrow he decided to hang it up for good, I would be perfectly fine with it, as I’ve been treated to enough from him and I’m excited about the young crop of players we currently have.

  12. Reality Kid

    Jan 26, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    All these journey clowns on tour owe Tiger Woods their millions while playing mediocre golf. Before Tiger Woods these fools were playing the mini tours making crap money.

    Tiger Woods saved the PGA Tour.

    • Andrew

      Jan 27, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Tiger made the golf market more volatile and uncertain because he appealed to the worst: fickle trust fund brats and adults who behave like children. Overall, golf is not better because of Tiger.

      • rogolf

        Jan 27, 2018 at 12:08 pm

        Somewhat like this country. Starting at the Very Top.

  13. dr bloor

    Jan 26, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Ryan might be an “excellent writer” insofar as he has an excellent mastery of written language, although in this instance his entire argument is built on a foundation of sand. The only guy keeping him from moving on from “Tigermania” is the guy he sees in the mirror every morning.

    • Jim K

      Jan 29, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      Exactly. This guy wants Tiger to fail because he’s can’t bring himself to stop watching and writing about him.

    • Rich

      Jan 31, 2018 at 2:24 am

      I’m not sure you understand the point of the article. I’ve been waiting for someone to put this out there. I too suffer from TFS. It’s becoming tiring. In the days leading up to the Farmers Insurance Open, ALL the Instagram posts were about TW. Well there might have been one about Jon Rahm in about 50 posts. And after round 1? I didn’t even know who was leading till I actually went and looked it up. But I knew what TW had. I couldn’t agree more with Shane Ryan that it needs to stop. Am I also the only one stopping myself moving on from TW mania? Tell me exactly how to move on from it and I’ll gladly do it.

  14. Acemandrake

    Jan 26, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    I can relate to Ryan’s TFS BUT…anything good that puts golf on Page 1 on the Sports section has to be good for the game.

  15. Hawkeye77

    Jan 26, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    We most all certainly cannot agree that Shane Ryan is an excellent writer, lol.

    Golf Digest still have a tie in with this site? Come on guys!

  16. Crazy About Golf

    Jan 26, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Jarlaxle: Of course Thomas and Rahm (and everyone one else on Tour for that matter) are gonna say they “wish all the best for Tiger” or something to that effect…..to say anything else could be viewed as callous and puts them at risk of public flogging. To suggest that comments by Thomas and Rahm, with a camera stuck in their faces, are somehow the barometer for collective opinion of today’s players is simply naive.

  17. Les Tombay

    Jan 26, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Shane shouldn’t obsess so much over Tiger Woods. After all, who does that besides him???

  18. Billable Hours

    Jan 26, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    I also have TFS. Enough is enough.

  19. Dave

    Jan 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    He is a real Winner…NO? Rooting for someone to fail. We’ll here’s hoping your book fails!!

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19th Hole

The Florida Mid-Am final ended with a player getting punched in the face. Or did it?

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On paper–that is the Florida State Golf Association’s paper, not the police report–Marc Dull won the Florida Mid-Am when his opponent, Jeff Golden, withdrew.

Dull had just birdied the 16th hole to pull even, when the skies opened.

A FSGA statement on the final match indicates what happened next

“With the players on 17, play was halted by heavy rains. When conditions permitted play to continue nearly two and a half hours later, Golden was unable to continue due to an unfortunate injury and defaulted the match.”

Indeed, the statement is technically correct. However, it hardly tells the full story…and what a story it is.

Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner did some digging into the “unfortunate injury,” and what he found was certainly surprising.

Per a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office police report, Jeff Golden (the man who suffered the “unfortunate injury”) called police. Golden claimed he was assaulted in the Coral Creek Club parking lot by his opponent’s caddie. According to Golden, Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs, punched him in the face.

Why in the world did this happen? Apparently, during the ninth hole of the Golden-Dull match, Golden asked Dull about the condition of one of the holes, inquiring as to whether the cup was damaged.

“Don’t worry about it,” Hibbs (again, this is Dull’s caddie) told Golden. “If you’re going to make it, you’re going around it.”

Following this, Golden told a rules official that he believed the caddie’s statement constituted advice (to Golden, who was not his player). Apparently/incredibly, the rules official agreed, and Golden was awarded the hole.

Hibbs, presumably furious, left the course at this point and returned to the clubhouse.

During the previously mentioned rain delay that interrupted the match, Golden claims Hibbs approached him in the parking lot while he was at his car getting additional clothing.

Per the report, Hibbs “approached him, apologized, then punched him on the left side of the face.”

Now this story would be ridiculous enough if these facts were agreed upon. However, Hibbs says the incident never happened. He claims after leaving the course, he was in the clubhouse during the entire rain delay.

Nobody saw the alleged attack, and there were no surveillance cameras trained on the parking lot. Further, Golden’s face was not swollen or cut and Hibbs’ hands showed no evidence that he’d punched anything.

Golden maintains he was punched and that his shirt had blood on it, also claiming that he suffered “concussion symptoms.”

Golden declined to press charges, and both Hibbs and Dull maintain nothing happened.

Per Ryan Lavner, FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that Golden “didn’t want to play anymore.”

“Regrettably, the golf course was very playable and Jeff understood that he needed to resume the match. I think he was just ready to go,” adding police “found absolutely no evidence of an assault.”

What do you make of this, GolfWRX members? The scales of justice don’t seem to be tipped in Mr. Golden’s favor, do they?

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19th Hole

Ricky Barnes DQd at the Byron Nelson

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Ricky Barnes took a trip to Dairy Queen at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Barnes was disqualified following his second round 1-over 72. He signed for a three at the par-4 sixth hole, when in fact he had made a par.

Ultimately, he won’t rue his impromptu trip to get a Blizzard: Barnes was 3 over and was in no danger of making the cut.

Because this is the world we live in, Barnes apparently found out about the DQ via LuckyTrout Golf Pool on Twitter.

Of course, no scorecard error will ever top “What a stupid I am,” Roberto De Vicenzo signing for 66 when he shot 65, handing the green jacket to Bob Goalby at the 1968 Masters. Such an unfortunate legacy for a man who won hundreds of tournaments around the world.

Also unfortunate: Ricky Barnes is on the way for being remembered as a man who never lived up to the promise he showed at that same tournament, The Masters, as an amateur.

Let’s hope that changes.

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19th Hole

WATCH/LOOK AWAY: Jordan Spieth misses a 15-inch putt

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Aren’t you glad there isn’t video of all the 15-inch putts you’ve missed? I certainly am.

Unfortunately for Jordan Spieth, his failed attempt from little more than a foot at the Byron Nelson was captured on video, and it will exist on the internet for all eternity.

Spieth, who has struggled with the flatstick lately, stood over a short par putt at the par-4 15th hole, and well…

Spieth is currently 183rd on the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained: putting, losing .412 strokes per round to the field on the greens.

But at least he hit the hole, right?

Here’s the offending weapon: Spieth’s trusty Scotty Cameron 009.

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19th Hole

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