Your comments on the British Open?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by aphexcoil, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. I was very surprised to see the PGA rookie Curtis win the open -- but it was also refreshing. He was the only person to score under par for the four rounds, if I'm not mistaken.

    Tiger is now what ... 5 consecutive majors without a win? What's going on with Tiger's game? I wonder if he's reaching his peak?

    Anyhow, it was a good British open in my opinion.
  2. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    I enjoyed this one alot too, to me it's always refreshing when Tiger doesn't win. And you're right, Ben Curtis was the only player to shoot under par for the tournament, quite an accomplishment in those conditions. Thomas Bjorn had the Claret Jug to lose, and he did just that dropping 4 strokes over the final four holes (bogeyed the 15th, double-bogeyed the 16th, and bogeyed the 17th). He tied for 2nd along with Vijay Singh, both ahead of Tiger. Speaking of Vijay, I admire his bold statement after the British Open was complete: "If at the beginning of the week you had given me second place, I wouldn't have taken it. I came here to win and I had the game to do it. I just made too many mistakes."
  3. It was another strange finish, kind of like 1999 when Van de Velde collapsed on the 18th hole to force a playoff. I think Bjorn had a difficult shot under pressure circumstances and may have gotten a bit careless with the first shot. Clearly, he was trying to pull off the "perfect" shot and had a very thin margin of error with that steep upslope that funneled straight back into the bunker. Curtis really didnt finish strong, it was just a matter of having enough shots to "give back" that enabled him to hold off and win. I think that is pretty common in the majors since all of these guys seem to get very tight with a lead, the sole exception seems to be Tiger.

    As far as Tiger goes, I have a few theories. First off, the technology. If we think of Tiger's combination of accuracy and distance as one of his major "edges", that has been neutralized in the past year. If you are really interested in just how big a difference the technology has made on tour, you should look at the player stats section on the PGA Tour website. There are many tour veterans, who 10 years ago, were below average distance wise, back when the guys were using balata golf balls and the old Taylor Made or Big Bertha drivers. These guys have benefitted tremendously and are also benefitting from the low spin rates with the new golf balls. So, they can aggressively swing at the ball with more confidence, knowing that the low spin golf balls will tend to fly flatter and with less side to side spin if they mishit a tee shot.

    Secondly, Tiger has throttled his game back alot in the past few years. I think he has become a more mature player and tends to play more like tour veteran, less like a young guy with nothing to lose. But back to the stats. The Golf Channel recently presented some really interesting stats on Tigers game. It showed that his short iron play is near the bottom on the PGA Tour(i.e 125-150 yards). He is only hitting around 63% of GIR from this distance. Compare this to the fact that he is hitting nearly 65% of GIR from 200yds+. So, he is still the best long iron player in the game, but from inside of 150, he is near the bottom. Interestingly enuf, when he hits greens from 125-150, his conversion rate for birdies is in the top 5.

    So basically, Tiger is not driving the ball as well as he used to. When he does drive the ball in play, he is not hitting many greens from "scoring yardages". His putting is still in good form, but many other parts of his game have fallen off a bit. Still, he is close enough to the top and he does have 4 wins this year. I think its just a case of having a few bad holes a tournament and that is something he avoided back in 1999-2001 when he went on his victory march.

    The bigger question is what the hell happened to David Duval!!!!
  4. David Duval - injuries got him. He's had back and shoulder problems and I'm sure it doesn't take much to slow you down from a premier player to just-another-PGA guy. He showed a "champion's attitude" by not blaming his problems on injuries, but that sounds like the #1 problem. Of course, I may just have a lot of sympathy since I'm having back problems. He may have a tragic flaw or two as well: it is suspicious that he seemed to have a lot of personal problems at the same time: contracts in dispute, nasty breakups, etc.
  5. vulture,

    Good points. I think technology has narrowed the gap between Tiger and some other good but not overpowering players. I also saw stats that he is nowhere near the lead in driving distance either. Some of htat may be attributable to club selection. One factor hurting his stats from scoring range may be where he's hitting from. He will often bomb a drive deep but end up in fairly gnarly rough. Tough to stick the green from there.


    How nasty was that bunker Bjorkman "doubled"? Can you ever imagine having two explosion shots roll back into the bunker? He had to be in total shock.
  7. TM and AAA:

    yes, you bring up some additional factors that could be the cause of his problems. When they discussed his GIR stats on The Golf Channel, they did not distinguish between whether those 125-150 yard shots were from the fairway or the rough. I would assume that since his driving accuracy is down, a greater percentage of those shots are being hit from difficult lies in the rough and therefore he is more likely to miss more GIR's from that distance.

    I agree about the Nike contract. Whats always been interesting about Tiger is that he really is a golfing purist. He has always made certain that whatever company he signs on with builds a true forged prototype iron. With Titleist, I think he had his best equipment, and they make very solid forged irons. He also shuns graphite and therefore sacrifices some distance to maintain control. I think the Nike equipment definitely has something to do with this. After all, all good golfers tend to get mental with certain clubs in the bag from time to time. For amateurs, we can switch around from manufacturer to manufacturer. Unfortunately, Tiger is stuck with Nike. Many players over the years have entered "slumps" after switching clubs. There is no doubt feel and playability vary from set to set.

    Again, not implying Tiger is in a slump, just a few degrees off of his A game...
  8. bobcathy1

    bobcathy1 Guest

    Da Tiger was robbed!:(

    That course was just horrible to play on.
    Cement might have been better for greens!!!!
  9. EricP


    Many people saw Bjorn double-bogey the 16th hole after needing three shots to get out of the sand trap. Pressure? Yes. Tough luck? Probably.

    However, it's interesting to remember that Bjorn also had sand trap trouble on the first round, Thursday. On that hole, his first attempt did not make it out of the trap, and he slammed his sand wedge into the ground (i.e. sand) in frustration => EARNING HIMSELF A TWO-STROKE PENALTY for his childish reaction. (You can't ground your club in a sand trap, while your ball is in the trap). My point is this, had Bjorn shown good maturity and sportsmanship on Thursday, he would not have slammed his club into the ground after his bad shot, would not have earned that two-stoke penalty, and WOULD HAVE WON the British Open with a 4-day score of two under par... Three cheers for sportsmanship!

  10. correction. "Bjorkman"=Bjorn. getting my sports confused.
    #10     Jul 21, 2003