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FINALLY Lefty gets 'er done, head-to-head, against Tiger Woods

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by RokSki, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    http://www.boston.com/sports/golf/articles/2007/09/03/mickelson_wins_in_beantown?mode=PF

    Mickelson takes the Deutsche Bank Championship after winning down the stretch while paired with Tiger Woods. According to the article, Mickelson played 3 out of the 4 rounds of the tournament in Woods' group. At the start of today's play, Woods trailed Mickelson - who started the day in 3rd place - by a single stroke. Not only did Woods not make his characteristic dominant charge to overtake Mickelson during the final round, he actually ended up losing a stroke on the afternoon to Lefty, who won by two strokes over Woods and two other players.

    The article discusses Phil's hand injury earlier in the season which is said to have ruined any chances of his being able to challenge Tiger for the #1 player's position. I don't know how much of a factor that injury may have been, but this victory today will certainly make Phil's wrist, nerves, and psyche feel a lot better, particularly as they relate to competing against Woods.

    After all these years, Lefty finally wins head-to-head against Woods. It remains to be seen if this victory will have any lasting impact on the two players' future encounters. Many PGA fans might hope it would, but all previous history says don't count on it. For now, Phil remains past the horizon in Tiger's rear-view mirror.

    But at least for one day, Lefty can finally claim victory against his biggest rival.
     
  2. doubledown68

    doubledown68 Active Member

    If this happened in April at Augusta, or Father's Day weekend, or over the pond in July, or in the middle of August, then you'd have a story.
     
  3. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    Agreed. I guess on the PGA, you have to take 'drama' where you can get it. With football gearing up, "Phil beats Tiger head-to-head" is just background.
     
  4. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    Well, that and because I don't think anyone even understands anything about the FedEx Cup, so there's less willingness to get involved and more of a "what does this mean? I'll leave it alone" aspect to it.

    That being said, why the heck do these guys start with 100,000 points? Can't it just be simple? Can't we start at 100 and award fractions of a point? It's all the same scale, anyway.
     
  5. doubledown68

    doubledown68 Active Member

    Points, schmoints. If they really wanted to make it intresting, they'd make everybody chip in a set amount, with the pot going as a bonus to whoever wins.
     
  6. Speaking of golf, what's with all the cursing?

    I turned the TV on today. Golf was on. Before I could change the channel, guy hits ball and immediately starts yelling, "Shit, shit, shit." My four-year-old looks at me with a grin and says, "shit."

    Don't they have a two second delay or some shit?
     
  7. doubledown68

    doubledown68 Active Member

    You should know better than to let your kid watch all that dangerous programming. :)
     
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Say what you will, but it's still a proud day for left-handers everywhere.
     
  9. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Hey, Rok, obviously you didn't watch the tournament. Tiger sure as hell did charge, cutting a five-stroke lead to two (with a little help from Phil's double-bogey) and birdieing 14, 16 and 18. Phil matched Tiger shot-for-shot down the stretch with birdies at 16 and 18. He almost pulled one of his patented Tin Cup routines by going for the green in two with a risky shot on the par-5 18th with a one-shot lead over Oberholser -- in fact, he hit into really deep rough around the green while Tiger had a put for eagle to tie. But Phil stuck the chip close, made the birdie (so did Tiger) and hung on. Lefty showed some major gonads in this one.
     
  10. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    I caught a lot of it. It's just that after the front nine, any back-nine 'charge' became meaningless, as Lefty held on and, as I said, he ended up gaining a stroke on Tiger for the day. Perhaps I should clarify: My definition of 'charge' isn't the same as, say, 'making a run' in the NBA when you allow yourself to get down by 15 after only being down by 2 at halftime. Sure, it is technically a 'run' if you get the lead back down to 5 late in the 4th, but it was your own 'anti-charge' that got you there in the first place. Same with Tiger today as relates to Phil. He started the day at 1 stroke behind Mickelson, fell back further and not only never got that stroke back but ended up losing another stroke to the eventual champion. Any too-late 'charge' notwithstanding. I saw Tiger's 'comeback' as kind of a tempest-in-a-teapot kind of thing which did little more than save the tied-for-second-place finisher from having to answer questions which Mickelson is usually being asked in these situations.

    In the past, Phil would have choked, possibly striking a course-side tent enclosure.

    That he didn't do so today, and didn't wilt over the course of the weekend although paired with Woods 3 of the 4 rounds of the tournament is a very good sign for Mickelson, and, some would say, the PGA tour in general. I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment, but many do.

    The bottom line is that after what -- a decade? -- Lefty finally stared down Tiger and didn't blink. Yes, it's not a major and yes, nobody really cares at this time of year, but the two players involved now actually know that Mickelson is capable of such a feat, something which could not be said before today.

    Tiger did an excellent job winning the PGA to 'salvage' the year, majors-wise. And he's still far superior, IMO, to anyone else on the Tour. But looking at this year, personally, I see a Tiger who had a few opportunities slip through his fingers.

    At the Masters, he lost by two strokes, shooting an even-par round on the final day, while eventual champion Zach Johnson -- who started the final day of that tournament in the same position Tiger was with Phil today, behind Woods by a stroke -- shot a 3-under. If Tiger makes even a slight surge at Augusta he likely forces a playoff and takes the title rather than finishing in a 3-way tie for 2nd.

    Similar story at the US Open. Eventual winner Angel Cabrera started the final day 2 strokes behind Woods. But Woods shoots a +2 for the day and Cabrera goes 1-under on the final 18, and Tiger has his second tied-for-2nd-place majors' finish of the year, missing a potential playoff by a single stroke.

    And then what happened today, basically losing the tournament straight-up to Mickelson in a two-man pairing which, except for the two men whom Tiger shared the 2nd-place finish with, was for all the marbles. And even if neither had won the tournament, Phil still outplayed Tiger for the day, on the 'money day' of the tournament. And he 'withstood' Tiger's presence for 3 of the 4 days he was grouped with him. In the past, I think we all can agree that would not have happened, for one reason or another.

    The point is that the Woods 'mystique' has taken a hit this year, and the head-to-head loss to Mickelson today merely serves as the coup de grace of that development. Was Rory Sabatini stupid for opening his mouth? Yep. But I think there's also truth to what he said, and the two 2nd-place majors finishes for Woods this year support that, IMO. In previous years, Tiger would have seized those tournaments by the throat the way he did the PGA this year. Now that was vintage Tiger.

    Does it matter, in the grand scheme of things? Nope, not IMO. Tiger still will pass Jack's record of 18 majors, and Phil probably will resume the chokingness we've all come to expect, at least as regards competing against Woods.

    But at least now there's a little bit of hope for those who seek supposed 'better rivals' for Woods.

    Because this year has shown that not only can Tiger seemingly not come back to win tournaments (not a new development), he also seems to have lost some of his astounding mojo regarding the ability to take control of tournaments no one else seems to want to win, and tournaments where he is clearly in the driver's seat to take. After this year's Master's, US Open and now the Deutsche Bank titles, there are as many questions around Woods as there have been since the two majorless years of 2003 and 2004, IMO.

    Ironically, it was Vijay Singh's victory in the 2004 Deutsche Bank Championship which saw the end of Tiger's long streak as the world's #1-ranked golfer. I'm thinking that Tiger might want to skip-out on the 2010 version of the event.

    Only time will tell if 2007 represents a 'turning point' in Woods' dominance of the Tour, after having won 2 majors in each of 2005 and 2006. At 31 years old, Tiger could win but one major a year and still pass Jack's 18 in 2013, at the ripe old age of 37. That's as good as done, in most people's eyes (including my own).

    All that remains is to find out how fast he'll get to 19. If Phil does gain some confidence from today's events, and the rest of the field feels similarly to Sabatini, perhaps the apparently inevitable will be delayed by a few years. If not, it won't.

    I don't think anyone would disagree that even if he literally had to crawl to do so, there's no way Tiger's not getting to 19 majors before he leaves the PGA Tour. And I can't wait until he does it.
     
  11. joe

    joe Active Member

    Mickelson is right-handed. He only plays golf lefty.
     
  12. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    What hand does he use in blackjack?
     
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