Tuesday, June 17, 2008


SAN DIEGO - JUNE 15: Tiger Woods reacts to his birdie putt on the 18th green to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate as Lee Westwood of England looks on during the final round of the 108th U.S. Open at the Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) on June 15, 2008 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)What can I say about Tiger Freaking Woods that hasn't already been said?

He won his 14th major tournament yesterday, the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, in case you hadn't heard. It took 19 extra playoff holes, probably due to his knee injury which was visibly bothering him all weekend. I'm not going to bother regurgitating all of the highlights from the weekend, but he showed flashes of brilliance and between all the limping and grimacing, finally outlasting an eternally upbeat Rocco Mediate to win it. It also reminded me that the golf I play and the golf he plays are completely different sports.

The worst thing about this "classic" tournament finish is that virtually nobody saw it, as it was on at 12 noon Eastern, leaving us working stiffs to follow along on various live blogs (all of which crashed due to overloaded servers). I don't know why they would schedule smack dab in the middle of a workday, but it's probably a USGA rule. Even more disconcerting was that the 18 hole playoff broadcast started on ESPN (the first 8 holes) and ended on NBC (2 PM).

Overall, I'm going to have to say "boo" to NBC/ESPN for their tag team coverage of the event. I really don't understand why ESPN had to have the early coverage on Thursday and Friday, and NBC the Saturday/Sunday broadcasts. ESPN's coverage was even more Tiger-and-Phil-centric than I could have imagined, coming to a head on the par 3 8th. After Phil one-upped Tiger by hitting his tee shot inside his, they cut to commercial and missed Adam Scott's near hole-in-one which clanged off the pin. Classic ESPN jackassery!

When NBC got their hands on the tournament, it didn't get any better. Once FIGJAM! had stumbled out of the picture with a quadruple bogey on Saturday, NBC cranked up the Tiger Hype to ridiculous proportions, bringing in Bob Costas and Jimmy Roberts to contribute to the endless hyperbole. It got so insane that at the beginning of Sunday's telecast you would have thought Tiger was the only one on the course. Even my Dad, who normally isn't bothered by that stuff, said "I like him, but this isn't the Tiger Show." (It seems like the complaining I've done has finally sunk in.)

But in the end, it ended up being the Tiger Show after all. The guy is amazing, there's no other way to put it.

(More importantly, what can be said about my blognostication that he'd win it? I know, I truly went out on a limb. However, I also said that Lee Westwood would be a contender, and he was up until the final hole on Sunday. Yes, that was sheer luck. I also said Jerry Kelly and FIGJAM! would play well, and they both stunk out loud.)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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