Tiger Woods and the U.S. Open

Golf Digest writers and editors discuss Tiger Woods' success in the U.S. Open as well as his chances of ever winning again.

Released on 6/15/2015

Credits

Executive Producer: Harris Levinson

Transcript

00:00
(rhythmic, pulsing guitar music)
00:07
Tiger was more well suited for the U.S. Open
00:10
than any player in history by a wide margin,
00:13
with the exceptions, possible exceptions,
00:15
of Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus.
00:17
It was a mixture of a sublime golf game,
00:21
combined with these emotional and psychological factors
00:25
that just made him one of a kind.
00:27
Whoever was leading or whoever was in the field knew,
00:30
he's coming, or he's making a run.
00:33
They couldn't deal with it on top of dealing
00:35
with the difficulty of the U.S. Open.
00:37
It's like, can I catch a break, okay?
00:39
I'm tough enough to survive the U.S. Open,
00:41
but now you've got Superman on my back.
00:43
For all of Tiger's talent, incredible talent,
00:47
maybe his best attribute is being able to grind out a par,
00:51
and I don't think any player liked grinding out a par,
00:54
or hated making a bogey, worse than Tiger Woods.
00:57
In some ways Tiger is the ultimate U.S. Open player.
00:59
He's, by temperament, very much a disciplined player,
01:03
who plays percentages, even though he's got all this power,
01:06
and people remember the spectacular shots.
01:08
He's very good at continually making pars,
01:10
making the smart play.
01:12
At Pebble Beach in 2000, you saw the dominance,
01:15
the ability to just beat a field into submission.
01:17
Bethpage was a real tough, big man's golf course,
01:21
and he just drove it well, kept it in play,
01:23
made the putts he had to keep making,
01:26
didn't make any big mistakes.
01:27
And then Torrey Pines I think was the epitome of Woods.
01:30
Standing on that last hole, needing the birdie
01:32
to get into the playoff, having that putt,
01:35
it was no gimme, by any stretch of the imagination.
01:38
That's what showed what Tiger really separates himself,
01:40
and that's mentally.
01:43
You know, it's not just the years, it's the mileage.
01:45
We're seeing his nervous system is sort of eroding,
01:48
if you will.
01:49
He's been hard at it for so long.
01:51
I'd say the flaws that he's showing
01:53
in his game these last five, six years,
01:55
are ones that are antithetical to the U.S. Open.
01:58
I mean, to be crooked, is pretty much death
02:01
in the U.S. Open, be consistently crooked.
02:03
His chipping now, to not have a great wedge game
02:05
around the green, which he always had, maybe the best.
02:07
Now to be on the opposite side of that,
02:10
is also fatal, I think.
02:12
The fact that he's down right now,
02:13
he's had all these injuries,
02:15
he hasn't played well in a while,
02:17
it still wouldn't surprise me
02:19
or anyone to see him come back and win.
02:22
I think he still wants to be great.
02:24
There is something innate about him
02:26
that he will not stop trying, and I think that's why,
02:30
as long as he's walking, I think he'll have a chance
02:33
to win a major, and particularly win
02:35
the toughest major there is.
02:37
(inspiring music)
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