The 2006 season was a tale of severe ups and downs for Tiger Woods. It started as a lot of seasons do for him, with a win at Torrey Pines and another at Doral. All things as we would expect from TW in the first run of the season.
Then, life happened in a brutal way that would affect all of us severely: on May 3, 2006, his father passed away. Earl Woods was not only Tiger’s dad but his best friend, most trusted confidant, and Tiger’s security blanket. The passing itself was not a sudden shock per se but regardless it was a hit to the heart and soul of a young man who was on the verge of becoming a father himself.
Leading up to his passing, Tiger had top 25s at Bay Hill and The Players and a T3 at Augusta. Not bad by any measure, but in comparison to the rest of his year, a downtick. Looking back it’s to be expected, and by normal human measures, his play was pretty solid.
In the aftermath of Earl’s passing, Tiger had his first missed cut in a major at the U.S. Open. Not shocking at all, considering how tough the course played and the long layoff leading in for TW. It would be like not swinging a bat for two months and your first at-bat is against Randy Johnson. I don’t care who you are, but the odds are stacked against you in a major way.
It’s at this point that Tiger started a run that I believe was the greatest of his career, maybe even in history.
The Cialis Western Open was his first tournament back, roughly a month after his missed cut at the U.S. Open. It was simply a warmup for TW with a T2 and some signs that his ball-striking was rounding into form.
It was at the 2006 Open Championship that every part of Tiger’s game rounded into form. Some say his performance at Royal Liverpool was his best ball-striking performance ever.
This is what his coach at the time Hank Haney had to say:
“Many consider that the best ball-striking tournament of Tiger’s career but given the fact that he didn’t hit woods I probably wouldn’t go that far but he was nearly flawless with the irons, he hit all the shots, high and low, left to right and right to left.”
The win at The Open that year was monumental even beyond the ball striking. The moment the final putt dropped for a five-stroke victory Tiger Woods, the man who had been a stoic brick house since day one, broke down in tears. Exhausted physically and emotionally, Woods melted into caddie Steve Willams’ shoulder and let it all go. It was a beautiful moment.
The five tournaments after the open were a display of play that I think will go unmatched…ever.
Just look at the results: These are consecutive starts mind you. Keep in mind that winning any tournament is exhausting, two in a row, Herculean…What is six in a row? Not of this planet. And four of them were against the best fields in the world.
If you do the math, he was a combined 109 under par for a tournament average of 18 under. Also, keep in mind that this run included two majors and two WGC championships. Just one of those wins designates a great year. Tiger had four in the span of six weeks.
His final tallies were
Staggering performance, given the fact that he missed a good portion of the year dealing with the death of his father, which changes people in so many ways.
I’ll get pushback on this, especially from those who say the 2000 run was the pinnacle, but I disagree.
But of course, I’m a reasonable man. So I say: Bring it on. Change my mind.
Morning 9: Latest memo from Tour to players | Phil’s post-Match perspective | Greg Norman’s regrettable take
1. Latest “bubble” memo
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard details the most recent communique from Tour to its players…“In a memo sent to players on Wednesday, tournament director Michael Tothe outlined many of the protocols that will be required when play resumes on June 11 at Colonial including the four Fort Worth, Texas, hotels that will create the foundation of the circuit’s “bubble” for the week.”
2. Little John finishes second at Crooked Stick
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star…“Daly II made that same walk on Wednesday, up the 18th fairway for the final round of the inaugural Dye Junior Golf Invitational at Crooked Stick.”
3. Phil open to wearing mic
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Mickelson admitted that he didn’t expect the same level of banter during a typical Tour event with a seven-figure prize on the line, but he’d nonetheless be willing to broadcast his inside-the-ropes dialogue.”
4. …wants annual Match
AP report…”Phil Mickelson, fresh off the success of Sunday’s charity golf exhibition with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, says he would like to see “The Match” become an annual event.”
5. More audience info
Interesting stuff from Geoff Shackelford…“According to Showbuzzdaily.com, almost 1/3 of The Match 2’s audience was in the coveted 18-49 demo and the number was even better on on TruTV, also meaning there are people of any age group who know how to find TruTV”
6. After a long layoff, how do the pros play?
Dylan Beirne, 15th Club for PGATour.com, examines the question…“As we might expect, there’s a clear relationship between performance and the number of weeks a player has been off. We can analyze how well players perform by comparing our estimate of their ability (how we would expect them to perform) to how they actually performed.”
7. A really bad take from Greg Norman
I mean, what else can you call it? A man who has a history of obtuseness and putting his fin in his mouth outdid himself with unfounded speculation about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in an interview with Michael Bamberger…“I asked Norman about the January helicopter crash in Los Angeles that killed all nine people aboard, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among them. I asked Norman if he had any insight, from his own experience as a helicopter pilot, and as an elite athlete who has flown often in helicopters as a passenger, into the tragedy.”
8. Sprint to the Cup
Ben Everill at PGATour.com…“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations and postponements of tournaments leaves just 11 eligible tournaments over a 10-week stretch for players to qualify for the Playoffs and a chance at the $15 million bonus that comes with the season-long FedExCup crown.”
Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?
1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…“Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot”
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…(This is just the introduction to a fantastic piece that talks to Bob Weeks of TSN and Steve Williams, among others!)…”Had it slipped between Tiger Woods’ 6-iron and golf ball, one rogue grain could have sunk his hopes of winning the RBC Canadian Open in 2000, becoming the first since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win golf’s Triple Crown – the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens in the same year.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive?
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…“How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (05/27/20): Adams, Mizuno, Ping
At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.
One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.
Forged – check, Multi-Material construction – check, cool as all heck because these clubs are sweet and Adams made some really cool gear – check!
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams CMB Irons
Did someone say brand new Mizunos??? What else could you really want from a forged blade beside being meticulously crafted and forged in Japan – as well as being priced lower than retail.
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: MP 20 Irons
Speaking from experience let me just say this “stop denying the inevitable and embrace the 7 Wood” It’s endlessly versatile, more forgiving than a hybrid, and because this one for sale is a Ping G410 it is adjustable. Here’s your chance to dial in your own par 5 killer.
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 7 Wood
Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds
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