Thursday, August 6 2020


Game’s changed for Tiger Woods

Update: November, 26/2017 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

Robert Bicknell looks at Tiger Woods’s refusal to quit and is impressed by the European Tour guys

First of all, I want to thank all of those people who took the time to send me suggestions on how I can spend my “semi-retirement”. These suggestions came via email, Facebook, LinkedIn and SMS.

To be honest, I was going through a period of depression after leaving my former club. I am proud of all we accomplished, but there is a transition period from going 200mph to 0 overnight. One day you have hundreds of decisions to make and the phone ringing constantly and the very next day, no decisions and no calls. It is very unsettling. However, I made the transition successfully.

For the most part, the suggestions I received were highly constructive and gave me quite a few good ideas to consider, but there were always a few jokers out there as well. To the guy who suggested something rather bizarre, let me just say that it is anatomically impossible to do that with a golf bag. But thank you very much, nonetheless.

One person asked if I would keep writing for the newspaper and magazines, and the answer is yes.

In fact, next May will mark 20 years of my writing the column for Sunday Viet Nam News. For those interested, that comes to about 1,000 columns, or about 730,000 words that have come off my laptop.

Anyway, the columns will continue, so those with bird cages and cat litter boxes can rest easy.

However, I will am still going to be looking for the next project to become involved with. I am not someone to rest on my laurels (if I have any at all), or sit around collecting dust. I will wear out, but I will never rust out. A rocking chair is definitely not in my future.

Apparently, Tiger Woods is another one who refuses to fade quietly away, though he has many laurels on which to rest. He also has a billion dollars in the bank, a far cry from yours truly, so if he’s still trying for a comeback it has to be simply due to the love of the game… or to get over the past few years and go out on his own terms.

In my opinion, even if Tiger does return full time, the odds of him returning to the form that made him great is a billion to one, simply because the players have moved on. Nobody is afraid of him, nobody will be afraid of him. They have their own game now and Tiger will not win by intimidating the opposition just by showing up, like he used to do.

Of course, as I am almost never right, the gamblers in Las Vegas seem to be bullish on Tiger and have given him 20-1 odds on winning a major in 2018.

This is actually quite interesting because it will see if golf is truly 80 per cent mental and 20 per cent physical, as we always tell people. Tiger might not have the overwhelming skill he once had, but he has a gazillion tons of experience in dealing with pressure situations in a major event. So even if he’s not blowing people away with ridiculously low scores, if he stays in the hunt he stands a pretty good chance of coming out on top.

To repeat, it will be interesting to see what happens. If nothing more, it will give the scribes something to write breathlessly about, instead of working for a living.

While I often quack about writers relying on Tiger Woods for most of their copy, the truth of the matter is that most of the guys on the US Tour are about as exciting as watching paint dry. They have very little character, so perhaps Tiger is needed just to make things interesting.

Now, compare that with the European Tour and there’s a world of difference. If the videos posted by the European Tour are any indication, those guys certainly know how to have fun. If you want to see some funny stuff, go to their website and check out the videos.

The last one I saw involved them trying to hit a two yard wide fairway from 300 yards away in a 20mph wind. Yes, someone actually did it.

Those guys are good.-VNS



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