Hank Haney’s book “The Big Miss” was well timed from a marketing standpoint, with a release date just before the Masters.
He had no way of knowing for sure that Tiger would be in form and notching his 72nd PGA Tour Victory in the same week, so that was quite a bonus for Tiger’s ex swing coach as well.
I haven’t read it yet, but, I think I might. Mainly because I am anxious to see just how much of a snake Haney really is.
As you know, if you’ve been around the blog here at all, I have been a consummate Tiger supporter (to put it lightly) all the way from the US Amateur Championships to the hydrant incident through today. Why? Because he’s good for golf!
Never once has their been a drop of doubt in my mind that Tiger would be back and back with a vengeance.
Well folks, he’s back.
The swing looks great, the putter is working under pressure, particularly on long par putts and it will only be a matter of time until it is working just as well on even longer birdie putts.
The devastating stinger is in full effect and the tee ball is bombing off the driver, even longer than pre-Foley. Tiger has been registering Club Head Speeds of 124 MPH+ and Ball Speeds off the driver of 176 MPH+.
Tiger also ranks Number 1 in Total Driving and Number 1 in Ball Striking on Tour.
Iron shots are crisp and long, distance control is tuned in and he’s effectively moving the ball in both directions. Currently, Tiger ranks 4th on Tour in Greens in Regulation at 71.85%.
Even more important, the confidence and mental toughness that made Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods, is back and in my opinion, it is even more tuned in than it was in the past.
All it was going to take, was a taste of winning and let the Major Championships begin racking up once again.
Bay Hill Bore Teeth
The timing of Tigers win at Bay Hill simply couldn’t have been more important. Tiger needed a win before the Masters and it was more than just any old win.
Mr. Palmer had the course at Bay Hill tweaked for mayhem.
During the previous week’s coverage of the Transitions at Copperhead you may have heard the motivation for the mayhem tweaking.
Charl Schwartzl was in the midst of a real tough round, he was 5 over on the first day and obviously on his way to missing the cut.
The Golf Channel announcer mentioned that Charl had summoned the advice of his PGA Tour Peers and asked which course was a better test as a lead up to the Masters, Bay Hill or Copperhead?
The advice he received was that Copperhead was by far, the more difficult course and thus the better Masters warm up.
Well, Arnie obviously heard this and set the Bay Hill Club up to resemble the US Open at Oakmont as opposed to a Florida Resort Course.
That course was screaming angry!
The greens were dry and fast, the fairways all dried up and pins on Sunday were set just a few paces from front right bunkers, tucked up in corners about as close as any self respecting Superintendent would ever consider placing a pin.
The range was even dried out….take that Charl!
The Sunday scores proved that Arnie knows how to tweak a course, and due to the pissed off Arnie set-up, only one player from the final 13 pairings went south of par.
Yes, that was Tiger.
Tiger pummeled the angry layout and only faltered for a brief moment on Sunday, he blew an iron shot on 11 and then missed his driver on 12.
Other than those two swings he played flawless Tiger Golf.
So perfect, Foley said Tiger’s 3-iron on 6 “was pretty damn sexy”.
I’m sure, with the crap Foley’s been taking over the last 18 months it did appear sexy, from his point of view.
Tiger will win the Masters next week and that will be 15 Majors, as I called last year, Tiger will win The Masters this year and he will win the PGA at Kiawah.
There is absolutely no doubt that everyone else is playing for second place this year in Augusta. No disrespect to Rory, Luke, Phil or any of the other fine players in the field.
They simply don’t stand a chance.
The timing is perfect, it all sets up so well, Major Championship number 15 is all but in the books, a four stroke victory in fact.
I hate to run the risk of jinxing this but, this is coming from a place in Sports History even more powerful than superstition.
By the end of next week, every golf fan in America will forget the last two years and Golf will be back in its rightful place.
Tee times at courses filling up, TV ratings through the roof, new courses being built and all the members of the Anti-Tigerian Party can eat crow.
I can’t wait! Thank You Tiger!
ps. The only shame here, Haney’s book will sell an extra half million copies, he’ll need it, he’ll never get another big name coaching client in this lifetime.