You are here: Home > Golf > Tour Confidential: Can Tiger fix his game for the British Open? Plus, the rise of the LPGA and our golf movie wish list

Tour Confidential: Can Tiger fix his game for the British Open? Plus, the rise of the LPGA and our golf movie wish list

Tiger Woods

Getty Images

Tiger Woods missed the cut by four strokes at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional.

Every Sunday night, conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

1. Tiger Woods focused on the positives after missing the cut at his first post-surgery event at the Quicken Loans National, saying, “I made a ton of simple, little mistakes. … Those are the little things I can correct.” Do you agree with Tiger’s assessment of his game and, if so, can he fix it in time for the British Open?

Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine (@JoshSens): Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. It should also be the name of Tiger’s yacht. Sure, there’s rust, but the problems in Tiger’s game predate his layoff. It’s hard to tell whether Tiger always believes the things he says publicly, but his issues don’t seem as “simple” and “little” as he makes them sound.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@GaryVanSickle): I hope you weren’t expecting Tiger to say, “Boy, I never shoulda come back this soon. I am such an idiot.” Of course Tiger put a positive spin on things. He might be right that he can fix things for the Open. I hope he is right that they’re just little things and that he didn’t come back too soon and do something to hurt his recovery. But I didn’t see enough positives from Tiger to think he’s ready to contend yet.

Jeff Ritter, senior editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): Tiger didn’t do many things well last week, but at least at Hoylake he won’t need to hit many drivers. He had the dreaded two-way driver miss going at Congressional. He might be able to get around Hoylake with guile and strategy, but you can’t fake the short game, which didn’t look so hot this week either. If we’re listing Open favorites, I’d slot Woods in the top 10, but not the top five.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): It’s true that the worst part of Tiger’s performance was his short game and no doubt he can tune that up considerably. But as has been the case the last half-dozen years or so, he needs more reps. It’s baffling that he’s not playing the Greenbrier and/or Scottish Open to prepare for Hoylake. Given reports that the heather is knee-high, and Tiger’s driving was typically erratic at Congo, it’s hard to imagine him being ready to contend at the Open.

Joe Passov, senior editor, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): If anyone deserved to be rusty, it was Tiger this week. Hey, it’s not like he shot a pair of 82s. I like his chances at a quick fix.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine (@CameronMorfit): He also looked pretty hopeless when he came back from a long layoff at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Then he won the British at Hoylake a month later. This difference is now he’s eight years older, and he’s given himself two fewer weeks to sort himself out. I’ll say he makes the cut at the British, but it’s hard to envision him doing much beyond that.

Michael Walker, assistant managing editor, (@michaelwalkerjr): I agree that Tiger can correct his problems, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll regain the mastery of his game he would need to win the British Open in just two weeks. I like that he’s dialed down his expectations and taking it slow. Lindsey Vonn — who is recovering from her own surgery — must be a good influence on Tiger, who sounded more patient this week than I’ve ever heard him before.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated (@MarkGodich): He looked like the same old Tiger to me — missed tee shots both ways, the occasional sloppy iron shot and a tentative putting stroke. I know he’s going to be especially careful with his back, but perhaps it’s time that Tiger shake up the routine. I’ve been saying it for a few years now: he needs to play more.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Only Tiger can know, but he sounds like a pol.

2. 54-hole leader Patrick Reed collapsed on the back nine at Congressional, opening the door for Justin Rose to grab his sixth PGA Tour title at the Quicken Loans National. Does this win put Rose back on your shortlist of serious Open contenders?

SHIPNUCK: Hell to the yes. Rose has been close to putting it all together for months and he finally has. Dude is certainly dangerous at Hoylake.

GODICH: He’ll contend, but I wouldn’t put Rose on the short list. Keep in mind that he hit an indifferent short iron into 16, scrambled to make par at 17 after hitting iron off the tee and dumped his second in the water at 18, getting into the playoff only after making a 15-footer for bogey. Give him credit for grinding out a win, but his week was built on the Friday 65.

SENS: Yes. Post-major hangovers are common. Rose suffered from one after Merion. But lately he’s shown signs of shaking off the fog.

BAMBERGER: Rose would be on my watch list for Hoylake no matter what he did at Congressional. Have you seen his iron play?

RITTER: After a nice run of first-time major winners since 2008, this year we’ve had two guys with strong pedigrees back it up with their second titles. That trend could continue at Hoylake. Rose was looking like a potential threat for the No. 1 ranking before getting derailed with a shoulder injury earlier this year. But now that he’s back on form, he’s as good a bet as any of other one-timer to take No. 2 this summer.

MORFIT: At this point my two co-favorites are Adam Scott and Martin Kaymer. Rose is at the top of the next group of favorites, along with Snedeker and Streelman and maybe Stenson.

VAN SICKLE: As a former U.S. Open champion, Rose was already on a short list of contenders. The fact that he’s in good form again is a good sign, not that Congressional and Hoylake are similar courses, however.

PASSOV: I didn’t like his judgment at the 72nd hole, but loved the putt he buried for bogey there. Congressional played tough, and he’s a great tough-course competitor. He jumps into my top 5 Open Championship contenders.

WALKER: Justin Rose is on my shortlist of contenders at any major, along with Woods, McIlroy, Kaymer, Mickelson, Watson and Scott. An English winner at Royal Liverpool would be fun. Tours and News RSS Feed

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS