by Emily Kay on Aug 13, 2011 7:15 AM EDT
With Tiger Woods missing his first-ever cut in a PGA Championship after hacking his way around Atlanta Athletic Club Thursday and Friday, there was precious little that was positive for No. 30 to take away from his 10-over par after two days of more reps than he could have imagined.
Sure, his most recent non-injury-related layoff will give him all the hours, days, weeks, and months he needs to work with swing coach Sean Foley on that "laundry list" of issues he mentioned after Thursday’s 7-over opening round. On a happier note, he’ll have more time to spend with his kids.
For Tiger fans, Woods’ clueless play and upcoming absence from public view (he won’t be in New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, or back in Atlanta between the end of August and last part of September after failing to make the FedEx Cup playoffs) should afford a welcome respite from Tiger scolds like Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.
"His short game is atrocious to match a long game that is complete disarray," Chamblee fulminated following Friday’s second round, in which Tiger scuffled to a 3-over 73. "It’s fragile. It’s like a wet grocery bag full of jugs of milk."
Chamblee let loose with what seemed like pent-up fury that might even have caught Tiger's angry ex-caddie, Steve Williams, off guard.
"I think he’s lying to himself," ranted Chamblee, who was not alone in saying Woods appeared delusional about the state of his golf game. "When he was with [former coach] Hank Haney, he said, ‘I used to just dump [my swing] off at the top and cut across it.’ Well, now he dumps it in the water, he dumps it into bunkers, and he snap-hooks it into trees."
Tiger Woods could not bear to look after hitting yet another poor shot during the second round of the PGA Championship (Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Chamblee was also not the only pundit to question -- albeit in a more sneering, I-told-you-so kind of way than other critics -- just what the heck kind of "process" Woods was talking about in describing his swing changes. Indeed, he was so outraged, Chamblee could barely finish his own sentence about all that ails Woods.
"He’s talking about all of these changes as if it’s a process," he said. "I have no idea what more evidence he needs, tee to green, to convince him that the stuff he’s working on -- we’re not really talking about the one thing that would make this guy stick around on the weekend; it was four for 16 in saves, he missed the cut by 5 shots."
Perhaps if the Woods who offered a widely scorned February 2010 public apology for his off-course behavior had met the press with the same patience, smiles, and even laughter that he brought to this week’s media gatherings, he could have earned a Mulligan or two from Chamblee. Maybe Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte would not have dreamed of suggesting that the former ace, who played out of 22 bunkers and dunked his golf ball in five water hazards to the tune of five double-bogeys in two days, take to golf’s minor leagues to make his much-needed fixes.
But, as Woods is wont to say, it is what it is. And GC’s Frank Nobilo was hardly telling secrets out of school when he responded to Chamblee’s diatribe with the observation that Woods "hasn’t played well, let’s be honest."
Whether you’re in Chamblee’s anti-Tiger camp or share Nobilo’s gentler concern for the erstwhile No. 1 (does Woods domination on the course and atop the world golf rankings not seem like a lifetime ago?), you may take Woods’ layoff that began Friday as something of a relief from hearing moment-by-moment assessments of his woeful golf game.
Surprisingly, the trunk-slamming Woods did not slam the door on teeing it up sometime during the tour’s fall season, so he could be back as early as September 29 for Justin Timberlake’s Las Vegas tilt. Barring that -- and not counting his pal Notah Begay III’s exhibition at the end of this month -- Foley’s struggling student is not scheduled to make his next professional appearance until November at the Australian Open.
Perhaps by then, Tiger will have figured out what shot he needs to "go to" under Foley’s new "model," as the frustrated golfer told reporters Friday when discussing his inability to hit the ball anywhere near his selected target. Or maybe he will have traded in his laundry list for a shopping list -- for a new swing coach.
Classic.....vintage.....Chamblee :-))) And some wonder why he heads the list???
True......true.....oh so true :-))