With a few golfers still to finish in the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods is not expected to make the cut (the low 60 golfers and ties, or any golfer within 10 shots of the lead). His 6-over on Thursday was followed up by a bad round on Friday, including two double bogeys.
The point of this being, you really have to consider how good these pros really are when you think about how pure Tiger Woods seemed to be hitting the ball at the 45-minute clinic he gave at Alotian Golf Club here three weeks back. No, it wasn't perfect hitting for those 45- minutes, as Woods pointed out a couple of mis-hits during the session. But mostly, it was practice shot after practice shot going exactly where he wanted it, and he said he went a month following the Masters tournament without touching a golf club; then his father died on May 3 after a long battle with various ailments, including prostate cancer.
Most of the experts wondered if Woods could contend for the Open having not played competitively since the Masters. Most figured he would lack the crispness of his game needed for a major. Apparently, they were right.
But, we think about how brilliantly he hit the ball that Tuesday morning, just after Memorial Day, with sand wedge shots almost landing on top of each other, and one almost going in a hole on a target green. He worked 8-irons any way he wanted: a slight draw, a slight fade, a stunning moonshot. He drove the ball 300 yards exactly to the spot he wanted. He did almost everything he wanted to do with the golf ball, and we're going to assume he could have done that practicing this week as well. But, on the course, with its 22 to 25-yard-wide fairways, heavily contured greens, thick and brutal rough just a few yards off those tight fairways and around those greens, Woods was more than 10 shots worse than the leader, and a whole bunch of other golfers were between him and the lead, as Friday wound down.
And all we could think is: Damn, those guys really must be good, as the PGA commecial says. They're hitting it and playing better than Tiger, at least these days. And, from what we saw of Tiger in person here in Little Rock, that's simply phenomenal.
Oh well, for us it's back to Golf World and a large bucket, and balls going whatever direction they want to.