Sunday, June 19, 2005

Taming the Tiger

What a round of golf. The final round of the US Open was quite entertaining.

I will admit I have been somewhat frustrated with watching golf as of late with the way Tiger Woods has fallen apart recently. Yes, I was truly impressed with Tiger's string of greatness at the turn of the century. And now that he has clearly come back to earth golf is admittedly a little less interesting. Frankly, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh just don't interest me.

Anyway, coming into Sunday, I was terribly thrilled with the prospect of the 4th round. Only one player coming into the round was under par and it was Retief Goosen with a 3 shot lead. Yawn.

Then things began to unravel for Goosen. He was being touted as the great, steady 2-time champ that would just shoot even par and walk away with the trophy. Well, he shot a very unsteady 81 and opened the door for some other players. Including Mr. Woods.

Tiger played an incredible 4th round, but as was so rare 4 years ago, but has become less surprising recently, he just couldn't get it done. His pedestrian play on Saturday was his undoing as his work on Sunday just couldn't overcome the deficit he had dug himself.

Instead, the trophy goes to New Zealander Michael Campbell, who must be given major props because he played right behind Tiger and did not wilt. While he did not tear up the course, he played a smooth and steady game and really looked like he had blinders on. You could almost hear him thinking to himself, "I'm not looking up, I'm not looking up, I'm not looking up."

At any rate, congrats to Campbell. I do believe he'll be another Open champ who takes his trophy and moves back to the middle of the pack quietly, but no one can take that trophy away from him, especially not the way he tamed Tiger by completely ignoring him. The encouraging thing to take away from this: Tiger looked a little pumped up, which may make for an exciting British Open.


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