PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – I’m not amazed by much in golf. When you watch, for starters, Jean Van de Velde blow up at Carnoustie, Tiger Woods win a U.S. Open on a broken leg and a 59-year-old man put one hand on the Claret Jug, you learn to expect just about anything.
That said, count me flabbergasted by the developments of the last week involving Woods. And we’re talking golf.
Woods, of course, shot 153 at the Quail Hollow Championship and missed the cut by eight shots. Sex scandal, rehab and broken marriage aside, I didn’t think Woods was capable of missing a cut by eight strokes.
His sloppiness has been just as bad, if not worse, in practice here at the TPC Sawgrass this week. Woods played the front nine Monday and the back on Tuesday. In those 18 holes, he hit seven balls into water. I will repeat that. Seven. The rinses came at Nos. 7, 9, 11 (twice), 13 and 14.
My first question is: Does Nike make a floater?
My second: Have you ever seen a ball-retriever with a swoosh on it?
Woods admitted Tuesday that the emotional strain he has been under has affected his golf swing. You don’t need to be a doctor to know emotional stress can affect physical activity. All you have to be is a human who has lived a few years.
All you have to do is remember this old golf saw: Golf is 90 percent mental and the other 10 percent is mental.
“I’ve been trying to make life adjustments and life changes,” Woods said after agreeing the emotional has infected the physical in his case. “A lot of people when they go through treatment, they’re able to make these adjustments in anonymity. I’m not. And that makes it a lot more difficult.”
We’re talking about one of the most mentally tough athletes of all time here. He’s not superhuman after all. But I never thought I’d see him seem fragile.