Congratulations to Hunter Mahan for winning the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He played really, really well on a difficult golf course against a great field. He’s made a few minor changes to his backswing but he’s always been really, really good from half-way down through impact.
The focus of news should have been about Mahan but the big story was about Tiger Woods playing so poorly. Mahan beat Tiger by 30 shots. Tiger was 12 under par at the 2009 Bridgestone but 18 over at this year’s event; his four rounds included 22 bogeys and three double-bogeys.
It’s the perfect storm: scandal…divorce…injury…confusion with his golf swing. He’s not been driving the ball well for a long time but he has maintained his #1 status by making up for poor driving with phenomenal recovery shots, pitching, and putting. But he’s made golf look tough.
My roommate at the University of Houston was Bill Rodgers. Bill was the best in the world in 1981 and won 10 times, including the 1981 Open Championship (British Open). He also won in Japan and twice in Australia. He played on the 1981 Ryder Cup team. He won again in 1983 on the PGA Tour but when his game started to leave him, it was tough. He couldn’t stand finishing 30th or 40th. He was a great driver of the ball until he started seeing all the bad stuff instead of the fairway: all he could see was the trouble off the tee. It puts a ton of strain on you. Like Tiger, Bill suddenly found himself in “search” mode with his golf game and he was just 33. I remember seeing Bill give up at the U.S. Open one year. I never thought I would see that. I never thought I would see Tiger give up the way he did at Firestone.
I’m sure Tiger’s tempted to take some time away from golf to get his head straight. But it’s dangerous to stop playing for a while.
I’m in Toronto for a few days working on a high definition video version of the Eight-Step Swing.
For the Jim McLean Golf School site, go here.
#1 Golf Schools in America
Scott Martin, a copywriter who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, is helping me with my blog. For his site, go here. Scott’s helping me with a business book I’m going to sell initially as an ebook.