Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tiger's short game at Quail Hollow

My handicap fluctuates each year between 4 and 6, and even though I am a decent ball-striker, my short game continually holds me back. I like to blame this glaring weak spot on my absolute lack of practice. The only way to improve your chipping and putting is to work at it, and my "improvement" routine is I guess I can't really expect too much. After any round of golf I play with my dad, we like to speculate about what Tiger would have shot if he stepped in for me after my approach to each hole. Usually it's around ten strokes better than my final score. My 79's and 81's (after hitting 11 GIR's) would be 69's and 71's if only Mr. Woods were driving my short game bus.

But what happened to Tiger at last weekend's Quail Hollow Championship? His usually razor-sharp short game was duller than a butter knife! Three-putting at critical moments and lackluster scrambling was very un-Tiger-like, and reminded me of my own struggles. It just goes to show you that even the best in the world is prone to flailing with the finesse shots every now and then. What's amazing to me is that even when Tiger is wasting strokes, he's still right in the thick of things. You can't say that about too many other Tour pros.

Congratulations to Bubba Watson for his runner-up finish. As I've mentioned before in this blog, I get the opportunity to hang out on the road with him and his caddie, Ted Scott. They are hilarious, a couple of really good guys. Here's a little known trivia fact: Ted Scott is a former World Champion foosball player. He used to caddie for Paul Azinger, and taught Zinger all of the finer nuances of kickin' butt in foosball. During the week of the Ryder Cup, Captain Azinger played in a random underground foosball tournament in some basement in Louisville (and nobody recognized him). Zinger is a foosball fanatic now, thanks to Bubba's caddie.

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