Tiger Woods, the leader of the tour pack, the benchmark for contemporary golf, the icon of fitness and dedication for millions is on the sidelines for the rest of the year. And tour players are licking their chops. As Stuart Cink said with a smile, “It’s time to make hay while the sun shines.”
Stuart meant no offense or disrespect, but he humorously voiced what other players have said, and what must cross every player’s mind: Now is the time to chalk up those wins, get a major on my resume, and make a name for myself.
With Tiger absent, will heretofore runners-up suddenly turn into champions? Will the Rory Sabbatinis rise to legendary dominance and achieve the heights of his bravura? Will real talent step out of Tiger’s shadow of intimidation and showcase something we haven’t seen before? Will a new star be born, and will this young golf god be ready, flexing, and waiting to clash with Tiger when he returns?
Not bloody likely.
There is a tournament every single week, and Tiger plays scant few of them, so every week there is an opportunity for any player to win, with or without Tiger in the field. So why all the happy-dancing and talk of a golden opportunity to chalk up wins? I think any teenager out there can answer that question. There’s a humungous difference between your parents being upstairs vs. your parents away on vacation. And you workers who go head-to-head with your boss everyday, you are well-aware of the great difference between your boss being down the hall vs. out of the office. Tiger is out of the office.
We all have our invisible constraints, things that tie us down emotionally, people or challenges that intimidate or shrink us, scenarios that seemingly force us to act in ways that we wouldn’t naturally act otherwise. Tiger has that influence on many tour players, perhaps all of them. The question is, will all that vanish just because he’s sidelined?
Until Tiger returns, you’ll be reading a lot of speculation and opinion, much more eloquent and pointed and ridiculous than mine. Right now, my advice to tour players is to put on your darkest sunglasses, because the eyes of Tiger are upon you. He’ll be watching and taking names.
Let me ask you this, dear fan: Will we all feel that for every subsequent tournament this year that the second-best player won? When we turn on our TV, will we feel as though we spent big bucks on a famous Broadway play, only to see the understudy in the leading role?
Some of you (I’ve read with stupefied shock) are glad that Tiger is out of the picture. You’re darned sick of having him dominate and you want to give the other players a chance. I think the old-time comics had the best response to people like that: a pie in the face.
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Tour Photo Galleries
Photos from the 2023 Valero Texas Open
Ah, the Valero Texas Open — a tournament as rich in history as it is in Texan charm. The event has been around since 1922, making it one of the oldest on the PGA Tour calendar.
Over the years, it’s been held at a variety of courses across the Lone Star State, but it’s found its home at TPC San Antonio in recent years. Some of the biggest names in golf have taken home the title here, including Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, and Ben Crenshaw. But the real star of the show? That would have to be the legendary Texan wind, which can turn a benign par-4 into a 500-yard monster faster than you can say “y’all.”
Per usual, GolfWRX was on site to check out what the pros are playing with the Masters just a week away.
Check out links to all our galleries, below.
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Monday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Monday #2
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Tuesday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Wednesday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Wednesday #2
- Chandler Phillips – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Hayden Buckley – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Brandon Wu – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Rickie Fowler – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Paul Haley II – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Kevin Chappell – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Austin Truslow – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Peter Lansburgh – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Peter Kuest – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Trevor Werbylo – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Doc Redman – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Padraig Harrington – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Ryan Fox – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Ricky Barnes WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Hayden Buckley’s custom Cameron putters – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- S H Kim’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Beau Hossler’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- New Garsen grip – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Brent Grant’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Luke Donald’s new Odyssey Twelve putter (w/ SuperStroke grip) – 2023 Valero Texas Open
Join the discussion in the GolfWRX forums.
Spotted: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three “anti-right” prototype putter
Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K putters have really taken off on tour, and we have seen a handful of models in tour player’s bags. The latest version we spotted out on tour is a very unique design.
Odyssey makes this putter head with a standard flow neck that offers plenty of toe hang for golfers who prefer or need that weighting. This prototype has a long slant neck installed more near the center of the putter head that lets the toe sit slightly up in the air when held horizontally. This is pretty different since most putters sit with the toe hanging down towards the ground or are face balanced (face sits parallel to the ground). A full shaft offset looks to be achieved with the slant neck and the look at address is definitely different.
We spoke to Callaway PGA Tour manager Joe Toulon about the putter and he had the following to say
“On course [we had a player who] had a little push bias that didn’t necessarily show up in practice but it is something that he felt on course. So we wanted to build something that was a little easier to release and maybe not necessarily open the toe as much in the back stroke and not have to work as hard to release it in the through stroke. That was kind of designed to give a little offset and when you rested it on your finger it would rest toe up a little bit. We thought for that player it would help him square the putter face at impact rather than leave it open a little bit.
“It was more of a concept we had and will continue to work on it. When we had it on the truck and we were hitting some putts with it we noticed that you had to work really hard to push this putter. We wanted to make an anti-right putter. Just a fun little concept that we have an idea and work with our tour department to test things out.
“It isn’t something that ended up in a player’s bag but we learned some things in that process and will keep in mind for future builds and projects.”
The finish also looks to be a little different than the standard Tri-Hot 5K putter’s black and silver motif. The face and neck are finished in silver and the rear done in more of a blueish-gray tone. The White Hot insert looks to be standard and the sole still contains two interchangeable weights.
The shaft looks to be painted in the same metallic red as their standard Stroke Lab shaft, but we don’t see a steel tip section. Not sure if this putter has a full graphite shaft or painted steel.
Check out more photos of the Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three Putter.
More “Spotted” pieces
- Spotted: S.H. Kim’s Custom Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport putter
- Spotted: Brent Grant’s Scotty Cameron Circle T T5W putter
- Spotted: Beau Hossler’s custom Scotty Cameron Circle T TG6 putter
- Spotted: Tom Kim’s 2 new Scotty Cameron Circle T putters
- Spotted: Bettinardi BB41 Flow 25th anniversary putter
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Jun 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm
At first I was let down that Tiger wouldn’t make an appearance the rest of the year. But there is something fun about anticipating all the suitors to the #1 spot now clawing at each other for a win.
I know you like Phil’s and Ernie’s chances, and who can argue…still, without the Shadow of the Tiger clouding the minds of all tour players–which it has done in the past, whether Tiger played or not– I think this will be a season of surprises.
Jun 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm
This is the time for Els to make his move to become #1, that is if he can putt.
Mickelson has the best chances to win as long as he can keep the bogey man away.
As a fan It will be a bit disappointing not having the Apex of golf talent on the field. But on the other hand, it will be fun watching the vultures tear away at the carcass left behind by the Tiger.