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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

Retired pro cricketer blasts Kevin Na for slow play. Is he right?

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A tweet and follow-up video from a retired English cricketer are making the rounds in the golf social mediaverse and snackable content realms. And while most agree that it’s not a good look for golf when Kevin Pietersen, who has more than three million Twitter followers, mocks Kevin Na for taking a small eternity over a putt and slow play is an issue on Tour, Pietersen may not exactly be hitting the mark.

Anyway, here’s the tweet and succeeding tutorial.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Surely it’s hyperbole to call the putt a “tap-in,” no? But given the length of the putt, how excessive is the amount of time Na took?

And for the millionth time, expecting players like Kevin Na (who prefers a…deliberate pace) to play quickly because it’s courteous, isn’t going to happen. Pro golf is the man’s job, and he clearly believes he does it best when he does it slowly with great deliberation. Expecting Na, or any other player of a similar mindset, to change without outside influence (slow play penalties) is unrealistic.

In other words, Pietersen ought to include @PGATour in his tweet as well.

Update: Na posted this defense/explanation on Instagram. 

 

 

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On the range at PGA National: Gerald is missing, a major winner throws down the WITB gauntlet, Artisan sighting

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And just like Monday, there was plenty of visual interest Tuesday. We got WITB looks at Sergio Garcia, Harold Varner III, and Ian Poulter, in addition to others, as well as a look at a new Toulon offering. Two galleries of general range photos as well, for your viewing pleasure.

Here are a few of the best shots.

We’ll start with Sergio Garcia, who is gaming some absolutely savage stuff since signing with Callaway. Apex MB irons with the Sergio Garcia logo and a chrome finish that’d make an exhaust tip blush.

Garcia is also gaming this Toulon Azalea putter, appropriately.

Also in the Toulon department, Cody Gribble’s Toulon San Diego is, classy. It…stays classy, if you will.

Interestingly, we spotted Gribble with this Nike Engage wedge. And is that an Artisan Golf stamp? Hmm…

A quick scan of Harold Varner III’s bag revealed Gerald, Varner’s iconic puppet-like headcover to be absent. Upon closer inspection, Gerald is embroidered on HV3’s putter cover. Does this mean Gerald the headcover is no more? Say it ain’t so!

The only Ben Hogan staff bag on Tour. And a beauty it is! J.J. Henry with a set o’ Hogan PTx irons.

We spotted Ian Poulter with some Superspeed Golf sticks and a…baseball bat? That can’t be right. What is that thing? At his side in case Ted Bishop comes around?

Poulter, one of the most frequent flatstick flippers, also looks to be a new admirer of the work of Rife Guerin, as he was testing both an Evnroll and Rife Antigua putter. We’ll see what he puts in play.

Oh boy, the putter buffet was fully stocked at PGA National Tuesday. Golden Corral has nothing on these offerings.

A helping of Odyssey…

Bettinardi…

SeeMore…

Toulon…

…makes you want to fill up a plate and come back for seconds.

Check our full spread of photos from Tuesday at PGA National below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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19th Hole

11 insights from Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington’s wide-ranging chat

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Paul Kimmage of the Irish Independent got Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington to sit down for an extensive and wide-ranging interview. That alone is an achievement.

McIlroy and Harrington, the greatest golfers in recent memory from Northern Ireland and Ireland respectively, have never been the best of friends. That isn’t to say they’ve been adversaries, they’ve just never been particularly chummy.

Both men, accomplished and insightful, are great interviews individually. Together, however, the transcript is even better. Harrington, for example, can probe McIlroy in a way a reporter can’t. And McIlroy is compelled to answer the elder statesman when he calls him on the carpet for trying to act like Tiger Woods in press conferences, for example.

Here are a few of the more insightful portions of Kimmage’s Q&A.

Harrington and McIlroy prepare for tournaments in very different ways

PH: And we have a very different way of preparing for tournaments. He likes to play early, I like to play late. I’m not prepared to do his thing, he’s not prepared to do mine…
RM: Yeah, what’s the best way to prepare?
PH: I like a good sleep and to play later.
RM: I’m up at five every morning.
PH: I can think of nothing worse than playing practice rounds when you do.

McIlroy’s tournament week is structured with little socializing outside his inner circle

RM: Yeah, for example, I’ve rented a house this week and I have a chef and everything revolves around that house. I get back (after playing) and there’s six people in the house and that’s my week: I don’t see anyone else; I don’t want to see anyone else.

See above

PK: What about you, Rory? Any player you’re close to?
(Long pause)
PK: I’ll take that as a no.
RM: Not particularly, but I think that’s more to do with the stage I’m at in my life. If Erica wasn’t with me, I’d reach out to some people or play a practice round or whatever. But I wouldn’t be particularly . . .

They keep their trophies in very different places

Where do you keep your Claret Jug?
RM: (Nods to Pádraig) Ssss . . . plural.
PH: Sitting on the breakfast bar in the kitchen at home.
RM: I don’t have it on display. I have a trophy room, but if you were in the house you would never find it.

Three majors would be a failure for Rory, both agree

PH: I’m at a stage where I’ve done what I need to do. You’re at a stage, Rory, where you’re still trying to get more . . . actually, I’m going to say this, and it’s probably not what you want to hear, but four Majors for you is a failure.
RM: I 100 per cent agree.
PH: Three Majors for me was an over-achievement. I love what I’m doing and I’d like to win another one, but I’m well aware that I’m not going to change my legacy at this stage. Whereas you’re still on that path.

McIlroy admits he doesn’t have Harrington’s “mental stamina”

RM: (smiles) Yeah, he’s the ultimate . . . at 46, I’ll probably be at the point where I accept what I have – he does not accept it. There’s always something to work on; there’s always something to get better at. That’s where we differ as well; I don’t know if I have the mental capacity or the mental stamina to get up every morning and do that.
PK: You don’t?
RM: Yeah, to practise like that. The way he goes about it is too mentally draining for me.

Self belief or the lack thereof determines the quality of Rory’s play

PH: There are two things that stand out with Rory; the first thing kills him but it also makes him and that’s his belief: when it’s there it’s phenomenal, and when it’s not there it hurts him. When he has it he sends people running scared, and when he doesn’t have it he fades – you can see that from the sideline.

Harrington thinks McIlroy often comes off as cold in interviews

PH: I don’t think I’ve ever been in your company where I haven’t walked away thinking you’re a nicer guy than I thought beforehand. And yet, media-wise, you can sound quite cold and clinical at times and I think: ‘He’s trying to be Tiger Woods.’ Because you present this . . . wall.

When Rory and Tiger played in November, Tiger insisted Rory bring his dad

RM: On the night before we played (in November) Tiger sent me a text: ‘Why don’t you bring your dad along?’. Dad wasn’t sure. “I’ll leave you two to it,” he said. “I don’t want to get in the way.’ So I sent him a text: ‘No, I don’t think he is going to make it.’ He texted me back: ‘Oh, come on! When he is ever going to get a chance to play with two former number ones?’

McIlroy thinks Spieth is golf’s most underrated player

RM: I had a chat with Brandt Snedeker last night and we both said it: “Jordan Spieth is the most underrated player in the game.” When you look at what he’s done, and what he’s achieved, but all you hear are negatives.

Neither seem to be fans of Brandel Chamblee

PH: They can’t see the X factor. Dustin Johnson hit a drive a few weeks ago (in Hawaii) and one of the main TV commentators said it was the greatest shot ever hit.
PK: Brandel Chamblee.
PH: Talk about hyperbole.
RM: It was nonsense.

All this is but the tip of the iceberg of a frank, insightful, and often funny exchange. Check out the full transcript of the sit down here.

 

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