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19th Hole

Did Tiger Woods choke at The Open?

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The winds picked up along the coast as the tide came in. The fickle gods of links golf reared their grey heads. Tiger Woods, stitched up and fused together, chasing his 15th major, felt the fury of both late Sunday at The Open.

Carnoustie’s 11th and 12th holes: A pair of poor efforts off the tee in howling crosswinds found the fescue. A pair of recovery efforts saw Woods’ True Temper Dynamic Gold shaft ensnared and golf ball gone awry.

At the par-4 11th, pressing, feeling he couldn’t afford to drop any shots (Woods stated he thought the winning score would be 9 under)–and indeed would need more birdies coming in–Woods left a flop shot out of the rough just short. Trusting in his powers with a 60-degree in hand, Woods went for a shot that would have left him a good look at par, had he pulled it off. Instead, his ball ultimately trickled away from the putting surface in sad retreat.

Two shots later, he filled in a double-bogey 6 on his scorecard, dropping back to even par for the day through 11 holes. He bogeyed the 12th after another sojourn into the thick stuff.

From that point on, Woods escaped the par-5 14th with what was probably an undeserved birdie, but it was all pars on a difficult stretch of holes. After wedging his approach to seven feet at the 72nd hole, Woods should’ve made the putt, sure–his impotent effort fizzled and fell away from the cup. A made putt would have left him one stroke back of Molinari, who was closer (and ultimately made his putt), but it wouldn’t have won him the tournament.

While it’s fair to say Woods didn’t play his best golf down the stretch, and perhaps he asked too much from shots from the rough at the 11th and 12th, the suggestion that he choked, failed to capitalize, or got nervy when the heat was on is off base.

That said, Woods’ legion of detractors will gleefully claim he choked. The Choke Lite take is that while Woods didn’t totally let things slip through his fingers, but the combination of opponents not self-destructing (most did though, Sunday, didn’t they?) and lacking the “step on their necks” gear he displayed so often earlier in his career did him in.

More to the point, the 79-time Tour winner hit a few poor shots and tried to do too much on a couple of occasions. He paid the price for both. The larger import we see likely had more to do with our preconceived notions of Woods than anything that happened inside the ropes at Carnoustie Sunday.

A final word: In the course of admitting that he was “ticked off” at himself for not getting the job done, Woods said

“I need to try and keep it in perspective because, the beginning of the year, if they’d have said you’re playing The Open Championship, I would have said I’d be very lucky to do that.”

We’d do well to maintain the same perspective: If you’re a fan, be glad you have something to cheer for, and if you’re an anti-Tigerite, be glad you have fodder for criticism. Everybody wins!

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46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. Keenan Van Zile

    Jul 24, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Spieth was leading sunday and all he had to do was shoot par. IF any one choked he did-it was his to win-he ended up +5…Tiger was trying to make something out of bad lies in which he did not have too..

  2. Dave r

    Jul 24, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Love these people who think golfers choke. They have and never will be in the position to even known . So stop asking the question. Did he choke? No he was trying to win just like the others in the field. So mabey ask yourself did the rest of the field choke or were they not good enough that week at that time to win.

  3. joro

    Jul 24, 2018 at 11:40 am

    HE DID NOT CHOKE !! His normal game just came back and his luck ran out. Simple

  4. Kfischer

    Jul 24, 2018 at 8:56 am

    This from a writer that never won anything!

  5. D

    Jul 24, 2018 at 3:29 am

    That bounce on 18 off the edge of the burn on the left was lucky.
    But no, he did not choke, but his strategy to play only cuts cost him as he could not hit a proper draw to target to save his life

    • Mihaly

      Jul 24, 2018 at 8:22 am

      There was a 20mph wind swirling every which way but loose. Nobody was hitting secondary shots with any real knowledge of where the ball might end up.

      • D

        Jul 24, 2018 at 10:11 am

        Not for the whole week! Wind was up only on Sunday

  6. Mat

    Jul 23, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Eddie Pepperell choked. On scotch.

  7. Chris

    Jul 23, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    No he didn’t choke he was 4 shots back to start the day Spieth kisner and shaufelle choked

  8. Liberty Apples

    Jul 23, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    You seem to be the only one posing the choke question.

  9. Kfischer

    Jul 23, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Really, and 2 yrs ago you probably said his done………wake up pancake…….did Spieth choke, did Johnson give up …..no……..get a life pleeeease.

  10. XO

    Jul 23, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Not a choke in my opinion, but ONE bad decision. Everything changing with that double bogey…..Tiger honestly took himself out of the win attempting that flop shot. Yes, he is capable of pulling it off but if he looked around the leaderboard and was aware that the trio of leaders were rapidly dropping strokes, the time and place to attempt that shot was not right. The play was to the left and trying to save a 10-15ft putt. He was playing so solidly too up until then. After walking off that hole, the strokes to be made up was just too much to ask with the finishing stretch ahead.

    • Kevin

      Jul 24, 2018 at 10:45 am

      if he plays it safe, bogey’s the hole, and loses by 1 people criticize him for not playing to win. he’s pulled those shots off numerous times. it didn’t work out, but it was inches from being the shot of the tournament that could’ve propelled him to a win. hindsight always 20/20

    • BowieMan

      Jul 24, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      I think you are right…

  11. drashley

    Jul 23, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Tiger played well…the two holes cost him. Yes the old Tiger would not make bogeys or double on the back 9…but this is TW2.0. He has to learn to win again and be in the heat of the battle/opportunity. Small steps folks…be patient he is back competing.

  12. Tartan Golf Travel

    Jul 23, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Unfortunately Tiger has choked every time he has gotten close this year. It’s something he needs to overcome to get that first win. It’s certainly mental at this point. May be he will get over it but those things get harder with age. We will see.

    • Caroline

      Jul 23, 2018 at 11:51 pm

      I would agree, I think his lack of faith in his driver on Sunday was the killer….and Taylormade thinks they can fit you and I…….

  13. orangeology

    Jul 23, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    a few folks—including the writer—seems to choke at Tiger’s return as well as his performance. dude. look at where he was 6 months ago and where he is now. such impatient bunches, whether you are a fan, a hater or a writer…

  14. Birdswing

    Jul 23, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    He never choked he went for it! even going for the miracle lob shot that ultimately cost him big time.

    If he played safe there then we would be knowing he wasn’t confident of the W he went for and got punished

    • Caroline

      Jul 23, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      Only on that one shot, 4 tee shots could have been driver on that back nine if he was really “Going for it”.

  15. Greg V

    Jul 23, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I don’t know why anyone in the press would suggest that Tiger choked. He was coming from behind, and he felt he had to take some chances. They didnt’ work out.

    Jordan choked. But the press gives him a pass. What’s up with that?

    • D

      Jul 24, 2018 at 10:12 am

      They don’t want to call him “Metldown” Spieth is why

    • JR

      Jul 25, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Spieth didn’t choke. If you’ve watched golf at all this year you’d know he’s been playing poorly all season and Carnoustie isn’t a course you’re going to score on when the wind blows if you’re playing poorly. As for Woods, I wouldn’t say he choked either but he wanted the win so badly that he let it cloud his judgement on a few big decisions.

  16. Sam

    Jul 23, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I thought his caddie could have helped him a lot down the stretch, and that just didn’t happen. Not a fan of Joe …

  17. Nolan

    Jul 23, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    No. He played really well. Really well just wasnt good enough to win a major. Way she goes.

  18. DaveJ

    Jul 23, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    He was the solo leader on the back nine then lost by 3 strokes (to his playing partner no less)… he kinda choked. He didn’t collapse or anything, but he had a very good chance to win and couldn’t get it done. Missing the putt on 18 was pretty chokey as well, though it didn’t matter at that point.

    • George

      Jul 25, 2018 at 7:04 am

      That last putt DID matter. He could have finished T2, more points, more money, higher position in WGR etc. T2 or T6, the difference can be huge.

  19. Tee-Bone

    Jul 23, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    For 12 years, Tiger’s play was supernatural. Now he’s mortal. Still, this is one of the greatest comebacks I’ve ever seen in sports. Not only was he away from the game for a long time, but he legit had the chipping yips. When he wins again, which will happen soon, then it will be official.

  20. TONEY P

    Jul 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Tiger doesn’t seem to realize what those surgeries have done to his swing. He has to become a left to right golfer now, back injuries don’t play well with fare shots.

    • Geohogan

      Jul 23, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Its what his swing contnues to do to his spine. Now the part of his spine, not fused is the weak link and his steep DS will do its damage. Its been that way since his ‘Expert’ instructors changed his swing post 2000.

      Lets hope Tiger will be lucky to be able to continue to play a half dozen tournaments a year, and not become incapacitated.

  21. Jolter

    Jul 23, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Hardly a choke but more likely the result of a 42 y/o surgically repaired adult who has a mind that still believes he can will a win even with less then a perfect round. This is the Tiger everyone will see for the foreseeable future which will be entertaining but loss of skill and nerves will be evident with each passing year now. He has fought injuries and scandals with a miraculous recovery but Father Time is now close on his heels seeking him to pay his fees for all those years of greatness.

  22. Paul

    Jul 23, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Tiger hit many irons off the tees but still missed allot of fairways. His drives are still his worst enemy, regardless of what he hits off the tee. Good thing the corse had no trees.

    • John

      Jul 23, 2018 at 11:20 am

      Guessing you didn’t watch the tournament. Tiger led the field in fairways hit by a significant margin.

    • JW

      Jul 23, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Standing on 12 tee he was leading the entire tournament in driving accuracy…. Lol.

    • orangeology

      Jul 23, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      do some google at the least if you want to comment on something you didn’t even watch. SMH

  23. Rob

    Jul 23, 2018 at 10:56 am

    This is someone trying to make something out of nothing. You should be ashamed of yourself. He played well overall. T6 in tough conditions and only 1 player…..1 player separated himself from a congested group at top the leader board. Give credit where it’s due! It was good golf all around.

  24. Painter33

    Jul 23, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Pathetic commentary by a know-nothing. Tiger had only two “bad” holes among the many good to better-than-good holes. His composure, ability to hit the correct quality shots, and his other-worldly skills (bunker 2nd on 11) made his round remarkable and only in comparison to Moliari’s great round did it pale. Anyone old enough to have seen Tiger in his prime was allotted a flashback of sorts, and we loved it. This absurd, immature “article” deserves to be sent back to grammar school.

    • Ben Alberstadt

      Jul 23, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Did you read the article? That’s exactly what I said…

      • Gary

        Jul 23, 2018 at 4:51 pm

        Ben’s a fa*got cuck!

        • Ben Alberstadt

          Jul 23, 2018 at 8:03 pm

          Thanks for the kind words, Gary. Much appreciated.

          • Kevin

            Jul 24, 2018 at 10:47 am

            i’m willing to bet 90% of commenters read the headline and then jump to the comments

  25. Kevin

    Jul 23, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Choke? No. Made bad decisions? Yes. If you want to see the definition of choking at a major, go watch Spieth at the masters a few years back. That is choking.

    • JW

      Jul 23, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Jordan did a pretty good job choking Sunday @ Carnoustie as well… TW shooting 71 with two bad holes is choking but Jordan shooting 76 after starting the day -9. He simply needed an even par round to win or +1 for a playoff. And who knows had he done that Molinari may have felt some added pressure.

      I think the tides totally changed for Tiger with the double… he should have just pitched that ball to 10-12 feet and tried to make 4 with no worse than 5 but he got cute trying to hit it tight and made 6. The old Tiger would have just chipped it to 12 feet knowing he was gonna hole the putt. Even with that he literally missed the easiest birdie putt possible on 18 for a share of 2nd place.

      • Geohogan

        Jul 23, 2018 at 5:03 pm

        Ye OLD TIGER would have hit the impossible flop and it would have gone in the hole for 3 rather 6, tournament over.

        Now those days are gone.

      • XO

        Jul 23, 2018 at 7:53 pm

        Totally agree with everything changing with that double bogey…..Tiger honestly took himself out of the win attempting that flop shot. Yes, he is capable of pulling it off but if he looked around the leaderboard and was aware that the trio of leaders were rapidly dropping strokes, the time and place to attempt that shot was not right. The play was to the left and trying to save a 10-15ft putt. He was playing so solidly too up until then. After walking off that hole, the strokes to be made up was just too much to ask with the finishing stretch.

  26. Dixie doc

    Jul 23, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Maybe choked is a little harsh but it was, at least, a hiccup. He hit an iron on both those for goodness sake.

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19th Hole

The DailyWRX (10/21/2020): Golf dad jokes | How to make the Match 3 better

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Yes he will….God willing….

Dad Jokes……

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This fucking guy ????

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I have some thoughts…..3 on 1….Phil Gross vs Threesome Net, Stroke Play….Threesome gets to call “no driver” on 3 holes….”no wedges” on 3 holes and no “putter” on 3 holes…Make it interesting. Everyone plays from White tees. LFG

I thought his mask was a beard he grew just to work out….

Yah but it doesn’t make me a bad person….

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What golf ball do you use?

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DM @johnny_wunder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19th Hole

Tiger weighs in on the distance debate: ‘They should have been worried a long time ago, but the genie’s out of the bag now’

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The distance debate in golf continues to rumble on, and this week, the greatest player of his generation had his say claiming that the game’s governing bodies should have been worried a long time ago about the surge in distance amongst Tour pros.

Asked before this week’s Zozo about the recent urge players have to find more distance, Woods spoke about the importance of length in the game and how it’s more accessible than ever for players to find an extra gear or two off the tee.

“Distance has always been an advantage. Now that we have the tools, that being the launch monitor, the fitting of the golf clubs, the adjustability. I think all that plays into the fact that you’re able to maximize the capabilities of a driver.

There’s no reason why you can’t pick up more yardage, and guys have done that. They’ve changed shafts, they’ve changed lofts, they’ve changed weights on their heads and length of clubs. Driving is such a huge part of the game and it’s so advantageous if you’re able to get the ball out there. It just makes the game so much easier.”

When asked by media if the game’s authorities should be worried about the recent surge in the added distance in the game, Woods claimed that though he would like to be able to see a complete rollback, he doesn’t see it happening.

“They should have been worried a long time ago, but the genie’s out of the bag now. It’s about what do we do going forward, and how soon can they do it. I don’t know if they’re going—you’re not going to stop the guys who are there right now. Guys are figuring out how to carry the ball 320-plus yards, and it’s not just a few of them. There’s a lot of guys can do it. That’s where the game’s going.

There’s only going to be a small amount of property that we can do, we can alter golf courses. I just don’t see how they can roll everything back. I would like to be able to see that, as far as our game, but then we go back down the road of what do you bifurcate, at what level? So that’s a long discussion we’ve had for a number of years, for 20-plus years now, and I think it’s only going to continue.” 

Tiger will tee off for his first round at the Zozo Championship this Thursday at 1.45 PM ET.

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19th Hole

The surprising event Tiger Woods hints at playing before the Masters

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Many people were under the impression that this week’s Zozo Championship would be Tiger Woods’ last stop before heading to Augusta National in three weeks, but not so fast.

According to the Big Cat himself, the Houston Open may well be on the 15-time major champion’s radar, which is the very week before the Masters kicks off.

Speaking to media at Sherwood CC this week, Woods said

“Well, I think my plan is just to play and practice. I don’t know if I’m going to play Houston or not. I’m not playing next week, and we’ll see how this week goes and make a decision from there.”

That event that he has ruled himself out of next week is the Bermuda Championship, and further explaining his preparation before the Masters, Woods brought up the possibility of Houston once more to reporters:

“This entire year has been different for all of us. And my run-up to Augusta is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. That’s just the way it is. The whole idea is to be ready in a few weeks and whether or not that’s playing one more event, whether that’s Houston or just playing here at Zozo, just making sure that I’m ready for Augusta.”

Woods has never before played the Houston Open, and in 2020 it will be the first event to have fans back on-site since the Tour’s restart, with 2,000 spectators to be allowed through the gates each day of tournament play.

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