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Discussion in 'Golf' started by Menelik, Apr 8, 2007.
Go Zach Johnson! I loved watching Tiger loose! Anyone else notice his behavior? Spitting, swearing, and a farmer nostril blow! Rather crass manners for Augusta. Edited by: C Darwin
I was thinking the same thing. Hiscomportment (including also smashing an iron on the ground after a bad shot) contrasted with Johnson's humility and obviously sincere religiosity.
I give Nick Faldo credit for stating early on that he thought this was going to be the first time Woods was going to lose in the final round of a major whenstarting the day in thelastpairing. That takes some courage given Tiger's standing in the media as being beyond criticism. More typical was Peter Oosterhous declaring while Woods was playing the 17th, with absolutely no evidence to back up his assertion, that Woods must be in ill health, as if that was the only possible explanation for him not winning.
Also it was nice that the field didn't collapse around Woods either. The play ebbed and flowed, but that was due to very difficult course conditions, not the vaunted "Tiger intimidation factor."
Woods is over 30 years old and still skulking around when he loses.Edited by: Poacher
I commented to the person that I was watching the Masters with that Tiger is going to be one crabby golfer as he ages and he makes more mistakes. Right now he is never satisfied with his shots. He looks like he has a bad case of constipation the way he grimaces and frpwns after every shot that isn't perfect.
He is still the best golfer in the game as he striggled but still managed to finish second. There was a stat that Tiger had never won a tournament (maybe it was just Majors) when trailing after the 3rd round. Which means he can take a lead but not seize one.
I thought everything was in place for him to win this one. A younger inexperienced golfer had the lead and all the other "pro's" backed away, but kudos to Johnson for playing so well. Maybe we have a new good player to root for. It was a great scene with his baby and wife afterward. His credit to God seemed genuine unlike the way so many other athlete's praise the Lord when they win.
The only reason Tiger Woods didn't win yet another major is that, for the first time, a single golfer didn't wilt and hand him a victory. Zach Johnson is to be commended for doing something none of the more celebrated golfers can seem to do; play his game without being intimidated by the almighty Tiger. Tiger tried his best to give this one away, but no one seemed to want it. Retief Goosen should have run away with it, but missed too many easy putts, as did all the others. I still think that at least one of the other top ranked golfers (Mickelson, Els, Singh, Goosen) needs to put together a string of major victories, in order for the nonstop Tiger worship to fade. That doesn't appear likely; Els hasn't won a major for some time, neither has Singh, Goosen has now folded in two recent majors when he appeared headed for victory and Mickelson appears to have been permanently affected by his collapse at last year's U.S. Open. But, let's look at the positive; Tiger didn't win!
Mickelson likes to say the following (paraphrasing): "If I win another 20 tournaments and 7 more majors, that will give me 50 wins and 10 majors, which would be an awesome career. But even if I accomplish that, I'll still be behind what Tiger has right now at the age of 31."
Unfortunately, given that Woods has been labeled solely as a Negro by the Caste media, the non-stop Tiger worship will neverabate until Woods retires or completely loses it for a number of years. He's been too dominant; his legacy is already there, barring a most unlikely total collapse from here on out,as either the greatest or second greatest golfer of all time.
We can hope that one or more dominant white golfers come along to challenge him over an extended period of time, but I don't expect Zach Johnson to be one of them. Most likely that'll be the only major he wins. At least Woods is certainly not going to set off the "black takeover" of golf that many white reporters actually predicted would quickly happen. The fact that he's stillthe one and only black on tour (and is of course less than one-half black) is a continuing source of great embarrassment to the Caste System. That's the silver lining, because Tiger-worship is going to be with us for a long time yet.
Way to Go Zach! You responded to the cheers from Tiger's gallery by calmly nailing another birdie. We meed to see this from Phil and Retief and Ernie.
You outplayed him, plain and simple.
Every close match which Tiger loses, is a dent in his rep that he only loses when he "plays himself out of it."
Well, although he made some mistakes, Tiger was genuinely breathing down Zach's neck, and Zach met the challenge.
We need more white golfers like Zach. Keep it up. One non-Tiger major down, three to go. Every year that Tiger doesn't win a major is a year that could lead to slip in confidence, a psychological glitch, maybe a case of the "yips".
It's a long way from the Hooters tour, Zach!
I disagree with those that say that except for Zach Johnson the field backed away from Woods again. For most of the round it was Woods doing the backing up. He took the outright lead early onthen slowly but surely slipped back to fifth place while Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini, Johnson, and Justin Rose all made charges.Woods had an eagle on 13 to get him close again after falling four strokes back, but then hit the water on 15 and missed a birdie putt on 17.
Of the top five finishers -- Johnson, Sabbatini, Goosen, Woods and Jerry Kelly -- Woods' final round score was the highest. He shot 72, while the other four all shoteither 69 or 70.
Yes, he did outplay Woods and the rest of the field. ESPN's Dan Patrick was down in the dumps today. He said he expected to see some very good golf played at Augusta, but we didn't get that this year. The scores were like those of a U.S. Open.Oh, boo hoo! Woods didn't win and he is crying in his beer. If the previously unheralded ZackJohnsonhad been black and named Jamarcus Johnson the sports world would be describing his victory as a feel good story for the ages.
I generally hate this guy but this article is pretty good.
Score one for the "normal guy"
By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
April 8, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga. - We've been waiting a decade for someone to step up on Sunday and take on Tiger Woods, to refuse to concede anything, to throw out a low score and make him react to a challenge. Ten years. A dozen major titles for Woods. Countless "rivals" without a spine.
And so the guy who finally, at last, does it is ... Zach Johnson?
Who? You mean the chiropractors' kid from Cedar Rapids? The one who played college golf - averagely - at that not-so-noted powerhouse of Drake? The guy who is a product of the Nationwide Tour, the Hooters Tour, the Buy.com Tour, the TearDrop Tour and the Prairie Tour?
This 31-year-old journeyman who is straighter than a row of corn, so sweet he makes honey jealous and, truth be told, thought Sunday at Augusta was good, but didn't like missing church back home, it being Easter and all?
"A giant has to fall at some point," Johnson smiled.
Yes, Zach Johnson, who had one career PGA tournament win, shot a 76 on Saturday and is sleep-deprived from having a 14-week-old son, turned out to be the steel-minded killer who looked up at Tiger Woods on a Sunday major leaderboard and said, well here I come, catch me if you can.
Ten years ago Woods won the Masters going away, and ever since he has humbled the competition on various Sundays, including 11 more times in major tournaments when he took the lead after 54 and was rarely even challenged. It has been psychological as much as physical, a decade worth of golfers just wilting in his wake.
Sunday should have been no different. Woods was in the final pairing, sitting at 3-over, just one stroke behind leader Stuart Appleby. And Appleby was going to collapse, that much was certain. Woods took the lead by the second hole, Appleby finished tie for seventh place.
The problem for Tiger was everyone else. In any other year he could have played the round at par (which he did) and slipped on a green jacket. But the front nine suddenly brought a flood of contenders. It was like half the leaderboard decided to say, screw it, we're trying to win here too.
Woods could stand on the fourth green and hear roars coming from all around, a thrilling approach shot out of the trees by Retief Goosen on seven here, an eagle putt on eight by Rory Sabbatini there, consecutive birds by Justin Rose on eight and nine to boot.
It wasn't just Johnson going for broke. Sabbatini led for awhile. As did Goosen, who started Saturday play in last place and 25 holes later was on top of the leaderboard.
But they eventually stumbled back to Tiger. Johnson, who started the day at 4-over, turned it on in Tiger country - the back nine, no less.
He drained birdies at 13 and 14 to get to 1-over. Woods was at 5-over, but after wrapping an iron around a tree on a follow through, he seemed to be turning it on. On 13, Woods nailed a putt for eagle, his gallery roaring loud enough to shake the ground around Amen Corner.
At that precise moment Johnson was standing over a tricky approach shot on 15. The screams of the crowd enveloped him, the classic psychological shot across the bow - here comes Tiger - that had melted scores of men with greater resumes than Zach Johnson.
Johnson knew what had happened - "I assumed it was Tiger making an eagle" - but rather than rattle he stepped back, took a deep breath and hit a nice shot to set up par.
A hole later he birdied to move to even for the tournament, putting Tiger on the ropes. Here in the weekend that nobody was supposed to make such a charge at rock-hard Augusta, Johnson was pouring it on, telling Tiger to match his rowdy gallery cheers.
Johnson claimed he didn't look at the leaderboard - "I guess ignorance is bliss" - but he knew he was in a dogfight. He knew if he kept playing well, scoring low, then Woods would have to press. On 14, Tiger wound up in the water after a daring and, considering Johnson's surging lead, necessary approach, and he essentially never got his momentum back.
His fifth Masters, 13th major and third leg of a second Tiger Slam was taken from him by the fearless Iowan, whose 1-over-par was the ugliest score since 1956 to win this event but plenty beautiful on Sunday.
"It's so surreal," Johnson said.
He's an improbable champion even to those who knew him best. At Drake he wasn't even the team's top player, yet he decided to try his hand as a pro against virtually all advice.
He was lucky, of course. His dad is a doctor, and he has plenty of other friends with money, too. So 10 guys in Cedar Rapids decided that if they were going to blow their extra cash on something it might as well be sponsoring the Johnson kid's silly golf dream, no matter how little faith they had in him.
"His mom and I thought, 'Boy, this is crazy,' " his dad, David, told the Des Moines Register a few years back.
"Emotionally, all of us were hopeful he'd make it," Pat Cobb, one of the money guys, told the paper. "Intellectually, there was not a lot of thought [that] this kid was going to be on the PGA Tour."
They were burning money on a lark, as a favor, on the chance a good kid might catch fire. Johnson couldn't even believe they believed in him. Then that first year, 2000, he entered 11 Nationwide Tour events, missed seven cuts and never finished better than tied for 25th.
Then he really couldn't believe when they continued to believe in him.
He went on to play in every two-bit tour imaginable. He played in Bellevue, Neb., in rural Missouri, in Lawrence, Kan. In 2001 he got to Augusta - but only by purchasing a practice round pass.
He didn't care. The guy lives an "aw shucks" life where family, religion and golf mean everything. It's all about giving an honest day's effort, staying true to yourself. He did that and kept getting better. He started winning on the Hooters Tour, where, in a world away from the stuffy Masters ceremony, a scantily clad waitress would hand him some oversized check for a few grand on the 18th green.
"I thought those were the best days of my life right there," he said. "Chicken wings and everything."
Then his game came together. He made the PGA Tour in 2004, the Ryder Cup in 2006 and Sunday dropped three back-nine birdies at Augusta to run down and then run away from the legend of Tiger Woods. Green jacket (size 40-regular) on his back, he had the golf world abuzz with a single question:
Who the heck is this guy?
"I'm Zach Johnson and I'm from Cedar Rapids, Iowa," he said.
Everyone laughed at the Opie Taylor bit.
"I'm a normal guy," he claimed.
Not on Sunday, Zach. Not on the back nine. Just ask Tiger.
Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Score one for the "normal guy"
Woods has won a little over a quarter of the majors he's played in since turning pro, which means that 75 percent of the time the field doesn't "collapse" just because Tiger is in the field as Woods is almost always in the hunt.
How quickly everyone forgets Rich Beem's PGA win in '02, when he held off Woods in the back nine of the final round. Arch-journeyman Bob May played brilliantly against Woods in the '01 PGA final round, taking him to a playoff. Phil Mickelson held off Woods last year to win the Masters, and in '05 to win the PGA. Chris DiMarcoplayed outstanding golf against Woods in the final round of the '05 Masters and lost only because of Woods' miracle chip on 16.
The fact that Woods has never come from behind starting the last round to win a major also says something, namely that he's beatable. What's needed is for some players to start catchingTiger from behind in the final round when he begins it with the lead.
I know one thing for sure, the media is in mourning today, as St. Eldrick didn't win. Did anyone notice after the first round was over that ESPN ran in the corner of the screen on their crawler, that Tiger was +3? Not who was leading after the round, just what "Tiger" had done.
In one of our local news broadcasts Sunday night, the giggly, bubble-headed Blonde "Newswoman" segued into the sports report by asking "how did Tiger do today?"
This is why I cannot watch any tournament that Eldrick is playing in, because in those tournaments, it is always, always all about him.
All too true. The lead story on Sports Center tonight was, "Has Tiger lost his bite," replete with an Internetpoll encouraging viewers to vote.
I have seen a lot of media celebrating Zack Johnsons victory.
Even a cameo appearance on Letterman.
Yeah, I guess it's just one of those incontinent hoops the media has to jump through to "seem" unbiased.
The cover storyof this week's issue of Sports Illustrated is about The Masters. Guess who's on the cover? Hint: It's not the winner of the tournament. Well, actually, the winner is on the cover, too, but only in a postage stamp sized inset.
Another hint -- this same individual had been on the cover of SI just two weeks before. . .
...not surprising. They just can't set aside their Tiger-mania, not even for one issue.
On the plus side, Skip Bayless (I know, I know, of ESPN) still thinks that Nicklaus is the greatest golfer of all time, *mainly--he says--because the competition was so much stronger for Nicklaus*, and Jack is still the one with the 18 majors.
That's not a bad observation---Palmer, Casper, Player, Watson, Floyd, Irwin.
DW, thanks for the correction on who actually did the "backing away" at the end of the Masters, and on the final scores of the other white golfers. That's an encouraging sign that they made some decent charges.