How many majors for Tiger in 2011?

I say zero.

I predicted his demise from the greatest player ever to normal status 3 years ago and as I said, the Thanksgiving Day Massacre only sped it up. The TDM will also slow down his recovery as his mental toughness and focus is what made him great more than anything else.

The second most important part of Tiger’s dominance in his short game…which is not getting the attention it got in years past because he is working on fixing his swing so much. I am familiar with this painful issue, as well. That is not my speculation, that is a comment out of his own mouth on ESPN last year. Now with a new swing guru, I suspect this lesser attention to the short game is just as pronounced, if not more so.

That will make Augusta tough to win at. Congressional and Royal St Georges are not places he has done that well before when he was on top.

I am not familiar with Johns Creek and neither is Tiger. He always does well at courses he knows and has done well at before. So he has no built in advantages or previous successes and he is in the middle of a swing change. In addition, he just gave away his biggest lead ever when he was trying to win for the first time in over a year.

Maybe Torrey Pines will be some good medicine for him, but right now, he has a ways to go before he is a threat to win any golf tournament in a romp, never mind a major.

Next week I am going to talk about someone I think will win their first major…Bubba Watson. Really, you say?

Really, I say.

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17 Comments

  1. S.

    I give Woods a better chance than Watson.

    Watson is not known for precision driving. He’s streaky. Mental toughness is not his forte.

    Watson: a first, two seconds, and a third. Okay, his breakout year. Can he back it up?

    Woods: did very well at Ryder Cup, had a win snatched from his grasp by two miracle shots.

    The worst indicators against Woods: young talent (male & female), age, injury status, more scandal revelations, and an overly technical guru. And pressing too much to win a Major.

    Reply
  2. hank

    I agree with you on Tiger. I would bet a lot of money that Jack’s record is very safe. I’m not sure I see Bubba tho. I can’t see his putter ever getting hot enough.

    Reply
  3. geoff duncan

    Hard to say. He’s still the best player in the world. But your right about the mental aspect. Not just his approach to everyone else, but their approach to him. McDowell proved that. I think losing to Yang in the 2008 PGA was the first nail. I still wouldn’t bet against him winning 18.

    Reply
  4. banner12

    I’ve been predicting this for several years as well. A golfer has a prime where he wins most of his tournaments that lasts about 10 years and generally goes from ages 25-35. After that it’s a pretty steep decline. Some player’s peak starts earlier (like Tiger) so I’d say his prime was 23-33. On top of that is his yet another swing change which may or may not correct his flawed swing, his timing going (think of a 35 year Derick Jeter being last on a fastball all last season), the personal stuff, the left knee(which still seems to be hurting) and most of all the Tiger Effect: The fields he now has to play against are a lot stronger with players in their 20’s(many of whom took up the game because of Tiger) are now winning Majors and are not intimidated be an aging Tiger.

    So even in the unlikely event that Tiger were to regain his ‘A’ game it probably wouldn’t be good enough to beat all of today’s top players in a Major.

    At the end of the day, Tiger might have it all come together in a Major at some point in the next 5+ years, get some breaks and win one more, but that’s it.

    Jack can now go out and celebrate.

    Reply
  5. Steve Bishop

    I have to disagree. I think now that the divorce is final and he doesn’t have to jump through the “I’m a sexaholic” hoops anymore, he’s got time to dedicate to his game again. Golf is life for Tiger. Going back to routine and practice is exactly what will ground him in his life again.

    Secondly the problems with Tigers short game haven’t been with the flatstick, it’s been with his new wedges. As anyone who buys new wedges can attest, they take some getting used to. Especially since they have to meet the new USGA rules and no longer impart the same type of spin Tiger used to have. Tiger may have lost to Graham but he was THERE.

    I predict one major and at least 5 total wins this year putting him firmly back to the world #1 ranking.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      To Steve and S. This is why I have to have more posts on golf in general. I love these debates. There is no real right and wrong answer until the year is over. I made good points on the negative, Steve made good points on the positive and S. made good points on Bubba. Next week you will see why I think Bubba will win one.

      Reply
  6. Wally

    When I was first divorced, my lawyer said no matter hoe much it hurts, DO WORK ANY OVERTIME UNTIL A YEAR AFTER THIS IS FINAL. HMMM I wonder what advice Tigers lawyer gave him. Tiger missing five foot putts how strange. He will be back!!!

    Reply
  7. Huikai Liu

    T woods still have the solid iron game, but for me, i think he lost his touch of magic putting. i would think he should have 1 or 2 wins but maybe not any major.

    Reply
  8. Michael

    As fast as he’s been picking up the swing changes, I think he’ll start putting in extra time around the greens again.

    Btw, wasn’t the AT&T at Congressional for a while? He’d won there and had another high finish.

    2011 will be an interesting year for sure.

    Reply
  9. Bob34

    I think Foley is a good match for Tiger. There’s a lot more going on in that guys mind than just how to swing a golf club that I think fits Tiger’s personality.

    Reply
  10. falcon50drvr

    Man, hard to believe everyone thinks Tiger is washed up. I have never been a fan of his and typically would root for everyone but him, even before last Thanksgiving. But I think that he dominated for way too long to simply be written off at this point. Once a champion, always a champion from what I’ve seen with the best athletes. He may not win multiple majors in one year, but I don’t think he’s finished unless he just completely quits golf. If he gets any sort of consistency with his swing and musters up half of the mental prowess he had a few years back, he will still be a force to be reckoned with. Still not a fan by any means, but he is an amazing talent IMO. I sure wouldn’t bet against him.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Nowhere did I say he was washed up. I said no majors in 2011.

      I respect his game and work ethic. I just think it will be 2012.

      Reply
      • banchiline

        Foley has snakes in his head. But that doesn’t matter. Foley ain’t playin.

        It boils down to this. If Tiger putts like he used to……..he will win like he used to. If he doesn’t , he won’t. I don’t give a shit how he hits it, if he continues to putt like he has recently……I don’t care if he’s right THERE……..he’ll get his ass beat.

        The mystic (& his short game)is gone.

        BTW…..Bishop you are on the record lol

        Reply
      • banner12

        2012 he’ll be 36. Don’t you see? Check non-steroid BB players post age 35 and see how they turn on a fastball.

        Reply
  11. Bob34

    @ Banchiline – Oh no doubt, some of those guys; Nietzche for example, Foley likes to quote are out there bad 🙂 I like Foley’s swing ideas for the most part; stay centered, turn your shoulders pependicular to your spine. Kinda reminds me of the old CQ and Monte. Tiger’s head isn’t moving nearly as much as it used to and that was his biggest issue in my opinion. His swing is much simpler now and I don’t think it’s gonna take him that long to own it. This will let him focus on getting his shortgame/putting back. The confidence will stem from that and he’ll start to believe he’s unbeatable again. I see that happeing in 2011.

    Reply
  12. jwmonty

    Just looking over some of your old posts. I probably read this at the time but didn’t remember it. You said Bubba Watson would break through and win a major; he did it a little over a year later at the Masters (and again two years later). You said Tiger Woods was not going to win more majors and that the short game would especially be a problem for him. That one came true as well, and has held true until now (2016).

    Monte, you certainly seem to have a good eye for what direction players are going in. Maybe this comes from having some idea of what does, and what doesn’t, constitute a good golf swing?

    Reply

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