Rose Leads the AT&T But Tiger Still Runs It
by Jeff Skinner
Justin Rose may be leading The AT&T National but it was Tiger Woods that kept us interested in this tournament. Wood went out early and shot an even par 70 that left him directly on the cut line. Is this the same golfer that is chasing Jack’s 18 majors? I don’t think so. The only thing that is consistent about Tiger’s game is that he is inconsistent. One round he can putt and the next he can’t. His driver is on for a round and then it leaves him. It was his short game that failed him and prevented him from moving up the leader board.
His wedges were spotty, he chunked a chip and lipped out two short putts. He has been saying that his game is close to being where he wants it but we are not used to seeing Woods back in the pack with the mere mortals. He did drive the ball well in the second round but you have to wonder: is it more than just rust that is affecting his game? So far this year he has only 19 full PGA Tours rounds under his belt but this is the guy that could will the ball into the hole. Woods’ mental strength was one of his main weapons in his golfing arsenal. If his off course troubles have affected Tiger’s super human power to focus on the course he may be just another skilled golfer. Has Super Golfer met his kryptonite? I think we’ll have to wait until the Open Championship to find out.
For those of us naive enough to believe that the removal of Tiger’s name as host of the AT&T National had any effect on the tournament John Feinstein sets the record straight. On The Golf Channel Feinstein said that Tiger’s people are still running the show at the AT&T. Nothing has changed from last year and he expects Tiger to be back on the marquee as the host next year. I noticed two distinct areas that are proof Tiger still claims this tournament as this own. First he is talking to the press after his rounds. How many times has Tiger blown off the press when he shoots over par, almost always. Second, take a look at the sponsor’s exemptions. Of the eight exemptions there are three good friends of Tiger. His new practice partner Arjun Atwal is playing. His old college buddy and closest friend on the tour, Notah Begay played. His 2008 US Open playoff buddy, Rocco Mediate teed it up. Even a hacker like me can see his finger prints on those selections.