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19th Hole

Did Tiger Woods choke at The Open?



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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  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 ………..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

Tiger congratulates U.S. team on Ryder Cup victory; Will he be the 2023 captain?



While Tiger Woods was unable to attend last week’s Ryder Cup, he was quick to congratulate the U.S. team via Twitter.

Woods is still recovering from significant leg injuries sustained in a single car crash last February, and when he will actually return to a golf course remains speculative at this current moment. With that being said, it’s fair to imagine how Woods would fare in a Ryder Cup captain’s role.

Last year, Kevin Na appeared on Sky Sports UK to share his Ryder Cup ambitions, and in the process, he dropped a major hint that Woods could be headed towards that role in 2023.

Na said in the interview, “My goal is to make the Ryder Cup team this year, and I know the following Ryder Cup is in Italy and the captain I believe is Tiger Woods, so that’s another thing that I’m looking forward to.”

When the reporter asked the 36-year-old if he could confirm that Woods in fact has already been selected as the official team captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup, Na quickly backtracked, “I heard rumors! Am I starting a rumor? That’s what I heard. Am I not supposed to say anything? I don’t know, I’ve heard rumors! I won’t tell you who I heard them from, but it wasn’t from him. It was from one of his friends.”

Woods has played in a total of 37 matches across eight different Ryder Cups, and he carries an all-time record of 13-21-3. The 15-time major champion was last seen on a golf course in December of 2020 at the PNC Championship, competing alongside his 12-year-old son, Charlie.

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19th Hole

U.S. and European teams party together after Ryder Cup



On Sunday afternoon, the United States team put the finishing touches on a dominant 19-9 victory over Team Europe in the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Coming off a brutal defeat in France in 2018, this was an undeniably exceptional performance from a U.S. team that featured six rookies, who combined for a 14-4-3 record.

As one would expect, it did not take long for the alcohol to start flowing and the celebration to begin. Austin Kaiser, caddie for Xander Schauffele, took to Instagram on Sunday night to share a video of the U.S. team partying. Of course, Xander was tagged, but interestingly enough, Rory McIlroy was tagged as well.

It’s hard to make out in the video who the dancing people actually are, but we can safely assume that Kaiser was alluding to the fact that both teams were partying together.

While the U.S. and European teams were enemies on the course, the Ryder Cup has always strived to be golf’s finest display of sportsmanship and community. The team aspect of the event has always served as a breathe of fresh air for one of the world’s most individualized sports.

While the European team will be the first to admit that they did not play their best golf, there is no shame in defeat when considering the plethora of talent that the U.S. side had at their disposal.

The 44th edition of the Ryder Cup is set to be held in 2023 at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club near Rome, Italy, where the American team will have an opportunity to retain their trophy.

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19th Hole

2021 Ryder Cup Player Ratings



The U.S. recorded the biggest margin of victory in Ryder Cup history at Whistling Straits, dominating the European side all three days to win 19-9.

It was an incredible display by the U.S. youngsters and a chastening experience for Team Europe, with some veterans on the side likely to have competed in their final Ryder Cup.

Here we take a look at each player and rate their performance for the week at Whistling Straits.


Patrick Cantlay: Three and a half points out of a possible four, as Patrick Cantlay continues to impress. Looks as calm and confident in his ability as anyone these days, and while his singles match against Shane Lowry was touted to be close, the 29-year-old bossed the Irishman. 9

Collin Morikawa: Perfect in team play, proving to be the ideal partner for both DJ and Cantlay, and his half a point against Europe’s best young gun in Viktor Hovland capped a top showing by the Californian. 8.5

Dustin Johnson: Perfection from DJ who went five for five in Wisconsin. Outstanding performance. 10

Bryson DeChambeau: Whether it was drives of over 400 yards or strutting off the first tee Sunday with a putter in hand, Bryson was at his very best last week. Dominated arguably the best Ryder Cup player in history in singles, and alongside his teammate Scheffler he was the only player who could deny World Number One Jon Rahm in team play. 9

Scottie Scheffler: There’s stepping up to the plate, and then there’s doing what Scottie Scheffler did over the weekend. Excelled in team action with Bryson DeChambeau, and then the rookie went out against the best player in the world and put him to the sword 4&3. Sensational performance. 9.5

Xander Schauffele: Phenomenal in team play, taking three points from a possible three and looks like he could partner anyone and get the best out of them. Suffered a hefty defeat in Sunday singles but had done his part brilliantly in forging the USA’s monstrous lead by then. 8

Harris English: Looked excellent alongside Tony Finau in taking down the Irish duo of McIlroy and Lowry on the opening day, but that was as good as it got for the 32-year-old who lost his Saturday fourball and Sunday single matches. 7

Daniel Berger: Another man who justified his Captain’s pick, ending the week with a winning record thanks to his single’s victory where he played the tricky anchor match. 8

Justin Thomas: Started slow but rode a wave of confidence bordering on arrogance and ended up delivering the goods. Played four times, and while he won just once in team play, JT’s crushing defeat of Tyrrell Hatton on Sunday was a statement win. 8

Jordan Spieth: Played four times and ended up on the winning side of those matches just the once. Earned half a point on Sunday, which means he’s still yet to taste victory in single’s RC action. 7

Brooks Koepka: Began the event with a nice win but struggled on Saturday, where he went 0-2 in team action. Stepped up on Sunday with a strong showing. Has the feel of a guy you’d dread to be paired against in singles play. 7.5

Tony Finau: Carbon copy of his partner Harris English’s week. 1-1 in team play, but couldn’t handle the Postman in Sunday’s singles. 7

Steve Stricker: From his captain picks to his pairings to the course setup, Steve Stricker got everything right when in the build-up to the event many had their doubts. Captained the most dominant Ryder Cup team ever. Enough said. 10


Matthew Fitzpatrick: Played three and lost them all. Has now played a total of five matches across two Ryder Cups and still hasn’t earned even half a point. Doesn’t look cut out for the competition. 3

Tommy Fleetwood: Fought hard but was only able to earn a point from his three matches in Wisconsin. Hard not to feel he was underplayed, particularly in foursomes where his omission both days raised some eyebrows. 4.5

Sergio Garcia: Another strong showing at the Ryder Cup for Sergio, who excelled alongside his fellow countryman Jon Rahm. Perfect in team play, but couldn’t handle Bryson on Sunday in a match that was more one-sided than anyone expected. 7.5

Tyrrell Hatton: Looked flat all week which was a surprise for a player that gets amped up quite often on Tour. Earned one and a half points in team play, but when Europe needed him on Sunday, he offered nothing as JT ran over the Englishman. Highlight was a stunning shot on 18 to earn half a point on Friday afternoon. 4.5

Paul Casey: Played four and lost four. Really poor performance from Casey, who despite his experience, looked out of his depth at times. 3

Rory McIlroy: Failed to contribute anything in three appearances in team play. Was bitterly disappointed in his performance in a very honest interview on Sunday. Did show up and perform admirably in singles action, but his assessment of his contribution over the week was correct; he needed to do much more. 4

Viktor Hovland: Didn’t play particularly poorly, but when you play all five matches and bring home just one point, it must go down as a big disappointment. Will learn a lot from his experience at his first Ryder Cup. 4

Shane Lowry: Trusted just the three times by his captain, Lowry delivered a great moment on Saturday on 18 to win his match, but that was as good as it got. Comfortably defeated in Sunday’s singles. 4.5

Jon Rahm: Showed he’s now the European leader with a strong display, particularly in team play. Earned three and a half points from a possible four over the first two days, which was a top, top display against this U.S. side. Ran out of gas on Sunday in a surprising upset. 7.5

Lee Westwood: Likely to be Westwood’s final Ryder Cup, and while he offered very little over the opening two days, it was nice to see him pick up a point, albeit a pretty meaningless one, on Sunday. 4.5

Bernd Wiesberger: A very tough debut at the Ryder Cup for Wiesberger, who went 0-3 in Wisconsin. You’d hope he’d be better for the experience. 3.5

Ian Poulter: Credit to Poulter, put him out in Sunday’s singles, and he’ll will himself to a point against anyone it seems. Sadly his days look numbered as a competitor at the event, however, as he looked miles off it in the team format. 4.5

Padraig Harrington: Didn’t get much right, offering himself fewer captain picks than his adversary, some odd pairings, and not picking Fleetwood for foursomes was a strange one. In his defence, if he had done everything perfectly, he’d still have been on the losing side. 4

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