Love him or hate him, the one thing you will never see from Tiger Woods is quit. It was apparent that Tiger was struggling through some rust and swing flaws during the first two rounds at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on both Thursday and Friday, but Tiger never had any other body language than win. Maybe that’s the reason he is one of the best players we have seen in our lifetimes, and has 14 major championships on his resume.
Even after he was notified on the 11th hole Friday afternoon that he had made an error at the fifth hole, and would probably incur a two stroke penalty, Tiger continued to grind out pars and an occasional birdie. He continued to play as if he were going to make the cut. That’s an admirable trait that sometimes gets under our skin, but never the less is the trait that has made him a true champion.
He put together three birdies in a row on the back nine to get himself to even par and a realistic chance of making the cut. The bogey on 17 turns out to be his demise. Had he gotten to the clubhouse at even par, even with the two stoke penalty, he would have played the weekend. Never the less, he took the news like a gentleman, and went home.
I didn’t see the same resolve from a struggling Rory McIlroy. His body language showed me a person who gave up early, and was ready to go see his girlfriend in Australia. He didn’t look like a person who had just gotten $200 Million Dollars from Nike, and was eager to show the world what he had. That’s a shame, because the youngster from Northern Ireland has a ton of talent, and will eventually work through this equipment change and emerge a winner. I’m just not convinced he can ever attain the Tiger Woods status he desires.
As for Nike, it’s time to quit showing the stupid commercial with Rory and Tiger on the range. It was cute the first couple of times, but now we are seeing it during every commercial break. It has become even more idiotic since both players are on jets headed to other places in the world.
But then again, after spending $200 Million on Monday, they are just trying to get their money’s worth. Maybe they should have signed Justin Rose if they wanted a player who would be here for the weekend. I think Jason Dufner is also available.
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