Blog Entry

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

Posted on: August 5, 2011 3:04 pm

AKRON, Ohio -- Tiger Woods has looked like his old, reliable self in many regards this week, giving the impression that the past few months, if not the last two years, had never happened.

That's certainly been the case as it relates to his inflexible, if not completely unrealistic, demands placed on himself.

Despite having not played a full round since mid-April, Woods has stubbornly insisted that the only satisfactory outcome this week, his only personal expectation, is to win. Of course, for anybody else coming off multiple knee issues, a lengthy stay on the disabled list and myriad personal issues, including the firing of his caddie of over 12 years, that thought would never enter their noggin.

Woods shot a 1-over 71 on Friday in the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational, then demonstrated that while his game is still in the transitional stage, his mule-headedness is in 2000 form.

In a question that was posed as delicately as possible, Woods was asked if giving himself a break on the lofty expectations, and setting a more reasonable goal, would make things a little easier to accept. Before the question was finished, the answer was delivered.

"No," he said adamantly.

Woods has forever declared that "second place sucks," but in some regards, merely being in the hunt on the weekend would be a goal few envisioned as likely this week, given the accumulated rust and the fact that the field is composed of 76 of the game's true studs.

When he shows up after injury or long layoffs, his comments tend to ratchet up the appetite of his fans to impossible levels, where he almost can’t help but fall short. For instance, when Woods arrived at Firestone Country Club on Tuesday and proclaimed he was here to win -- damn the corrosive effects of the layoff and knee issues -- the betting line actually moved and he became a co-favorite.

It might seem an admirable goal, but he paints an almost impossible standard given his current situation. Anything short of victory becomes failure and leads to more potshots, critical ammo and disenchantment among the gallery. Yet Woods wouldn’t even acknowledge the possibility that scaling back his expectations to a reasonable, pragmatic level would not only be less stressful, but make the early stages of his comeback more enjoyable.

Now at 1 under after 36 holes, his game isn’t quite there, but his levels of defiance are same as they ever were.

"Why show up at a tournament if you're not there to win?" he said when the question was repeated. "There's no reason to come."

Because any other player in a similar circumstance would not back themselves into a corner with such bold proclamations.

"I'm not other guys," he said.

Actually, for much of the past two seasons, that's exactly who he has been. Woods has dropped to No. 28 in the world and because of the layoff hasn't even qualified for the FedEx Cup series later this summer. As he finished his second round, he was tied for 36th in a 76-man field.

After a solid opening round, Woods was a bit more uneven on Friday, with a double-bogey on the card and a missed putt from just over two feet -- though his swing tempo continued to make a favorable impression and he continues to pound the ball as far as he ever has off the tee and is only missing fairways by a few feet.

He hasn’t hit a truly forgettable shot either day, which wasn't the case earlier in the season, to be sure.

"I am so close to hitting it on a string," he said.

If and when that day comes, it might be a better time to bust out the brash proclamations and objectives, no?


Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2011 4:37 pm

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

Brewhafunk: C'mon, man, even a Tiger-drooler has to realize that TW had NO expectation of winning this tournament.  It's only a tune-up for next week's PGA.  If TW had any candor about him (that's never been his long suit) he'd have said so, instead of insisting the only reason to enter a tourney is if you actuallly EXPECT to win...that's so ridiculous it doesn't even deserve any further discussion.  Can you say "hubris"???

Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2011 3:13 pm

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

Ha ha. Funny. Another Tiger apologist calls Elling an idiot. Does he even read Elling's articles about golf in general which routinely compare a rising start to Tiger's former self? Elling is not a Tiger hater.

And by the way, many golfers each week enter a tournament not expecting to win. Seriously. The poster is actually the one who sounded ignorant. Everyone TRIES to win, but I do not believe Harrison Frazar (for example) entered the tourney EXPECTING to win.

For some of the fans who worship at Eldrick's ... uh, feet ... a sports article should only mention his successes and nothing else.

Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: August 6, 2011 2:20 pm

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

Ignorant as usual Elling. Do you really believe that ANYONE on the PGA tour would enter a tournament if they didn't think they could win? How dumb are you? And, if Tiger Woods ever said that he wasn't there to win, you would be the first hack "journalist" to criticize him for being there and potentially taking a spot from someone who is trying to win.

Since: Mar 14, 2011
Posted on: August 6, 2011 1:08 pm

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

Tiger FAILS.  Folding in the final rounds.  Man is he washed up.  Might make a comeback on the senior tour or his local minature golf league.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:42 am

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

Attention Mr. VaHawk! Let me do you a favor and write what you're about to say about your hero, the cheetah. Mr. Woods had a tremendous and courageous weekend @ Firestone and will smoke the field next week. He's the greatest thing since sliced bread or perhaps Tim Tebow. So the guy threw away millions to score with some porn queens; who amongst us wouldn't have? El tigre will be back on top in the same fashion that the Raiders will return to glory. Just ask Al. When Eldrick bombs next week, this will be your take: Woods needs to take the rest of the year off and return with a vengeance next spring. Sorry Hawkster; TW ain't ever going to get back to a shell of his former self.

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2011 10:30 am

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

theROCK2000......I'm not sure there are so many that hate him,there are lots of people that pull for the underdog(which he is now) and he was on top for so long people enjoy seeing others beating him.As far as his personal life that is his business,but there are so many other Golfers you could be a fan of ,why pick him?There are many of us that do judge a person by what he does off the field or in this case off the course and what he did to his Wife and Kids turned off many people and corporations and regardless of what he does from here on out that won't change. 

Since: May 15, 2009
Posted on: August 6, 2011 9:04 am

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

Didn't realize tiger had so many haters.  Personally, what did he did to you? right, nothing!  I guess losers always want to see the top stars fall to the bottom for amusement.  It's sad to think, the guy screws up his personal life and suddenly all of the "judges of moral character" are all over him.
Keep trying tiger, and hopefully you get back to form sooner than later, and then the bandwagoners will be back!

Since: Dec 4, 2009
Posted on: August 6, 2011 4:46 am

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

There is no knock on an athlete who keeps playing to win; in fact it is highly admirable. That is the true mark of a champion. Whether he wins or not is another thing, but really, why play sports at all if you don't intend to push yourself to victory? Indeed, a "win" can be measured not solely by the championship trophy, it can also be measured by a victory over adversity, a win over your trials, a conquest of one's demons. Tiger is a great athlete _ the best golfer of his generation_ and playing to win everytime he steps up is a true hallmark of a champion.

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:26 am

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars


Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:01 am

Defiant Woods keeps shooting for the stars

There is not another golfer in the tournament whose goal is not to win the tournament--whether they believe they can or not.  Why should Tiger be any different from the other golfers?  Why would the greatest golfer of all times, who claims he is feeling fine and is playing well, set a goal of making the cut or the top ten?  Every player goes out to play the best game he can for four days.  Every now and then those are the best rounds of the player's career and they win their first and only tournament.  Why would not the greatest golfer not feel winning is also possible for him?

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