Several random musings from the Scrambler from the weekend:
Mickelson and Woods – One Picture Says It All
It’s been almost 17 months since the last Phil/Tiger Pairing, but Sunday at Pebble Beach sent TV Ratings skyward. And viewers saw two men at vastly different points in their lives.
Think about the status of Tiger’s relationship with Steve Williams, and then consider the image of Phil with Bones Mackay. The bro-hug photo that swept the internet perfectly juxtaposes the status of their careers right now.
You can sense the joyous moment that Bones & Phil are sharing – a feeling that they accomplished something as a team. That they have stuck together through the good & bad and now can savor the moment. They appear relaxed, peaceful and contented.
Even when Tiger was winning, his 72nd hole photos had a burning intensity, the satisfaction of knowing “I just kicked everyone’s a$$.” But now, the winning isn’t there, the Sunday Mystique seems lost, and there is no longer the same caddy that shared the whole journey.
10 minutes after this photo, the contrast was displayed again, as Mickelson shared an embrace with his long-time wife, Amy. If Tiger does return to the winner’s circle, who will be there to share it?
But the differences between the two golfers isn’t just in the caddy & marital relationships – it has extended to the golf course. The same relaxed look that Phil displayed on the 72nd hole was manifested in his shotmaking throughout the day. Lefty doesn’t seem paralyzed by swing thoughts, and has decided to simply trust his natural abilities. In contrast, Tiger still appears uncertain about his swing, backing off several times during the day. The comfort and ease from knowing his talent will prevail is conspicuously absent.
I’m not giving up on Tiger or predicting that Phil will go on some multi-major winning streak. But for one day, the two men couldn’t have seemed farther apart, despite their physical proximity.
CBS Telecasters – Review Notes
One of the best moments of yesterday’s telecast was eavesdropping on the conversation between Mackay & Mickelson on the 72nd Tee. After the moment was broadcast, Nick Faldo commented, “Great job by our production crew picking that up.”
I wanted to inform Nick, “Your crew was right there on the 17th tee during an even more animated discussion between Bones & Phil. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hear a word, because you wouldn’t shut up about the latest CSI spin-off.”
You know what else we missed? Any coverage of the 14 people who finished higher than Tiger not named Phil or Charlie. I think Ricky Barnes’ family is going to be very surprised to discover that he played on Sunday, yet alone finished 3rd.
I realize that Tiger is a draw, but you can only milk it so far when someone is free-falling down the leaderboard. Not much drama in watching a player grind out a 75.
Look, I recognize that I’m a fashion dork that wears Dad Jeans, turtlenecks and even has pleats in my khakis, but even I get to shake my head at Tiger’s white golf shoes with black pants. When your shoes are visible from the blimp, that should set off some alarms.
Nike has a fairly extensive R&D Department, so I have to imagine they could shell out a few dollars to get Tiger a few darker pairs of shoes. At the very least, someone in the Marketing Department has to realize this can’t be good.
How many casual golfers (or significant others) watched yesterday and thought, “That’s the look I’m going for – gotta get a pair of those shoes.”