Mendoza: Woods is 69th but are you sulking, fellas?

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Monday, July 21, 2014


TIGER Woods was fourth to last in the just-ended British Open.

Am I sulking?

With his 294 total from rounds of 69-77-73-75, that is six-over-par.

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Am I sulking?

With his 69-77 result in the first two rounds, he merely made the cut on the dot at 146.

Am I sulking?

The only three golfers Woods beat among 72 survivors from a starting field of 156 were Martin Kaymer, Matt Every and Rhein Gibson.

Am I sulking? The answer is all no.

Woods defeated Kaymer by two shots as the German finished 8-over-par at 296 on 73-72-72-79.

Isn’t Kaymer the recent proud winner of the US Open?

That’s consolation enough for one who had played only two competitive rounds the last five months before plunging into action in the British Open.

And, yes, didn’t Bubba Watson miss the cut with his 76-72 for 148, two shots past the cut at 146? And to think Bubba just won his second Masters green jacket only last April?

To think that Tiger Woods made 3-under-par 69 in only his third competitive round since the surgery to fix a pinched nerve in March was already something to crow about, I believe.

To see him struggle in his next three rounds—77-73-75—will not deter me from continuing to believe he can still equal, if not surpass, the record 18 majors of Jack Nicklaus.

Remember, Nicklaus won his 18th major at age 46, when he won the Masters in 1986.

Woods is only 38.

After winning his 14th major in the 2009 US Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, California, he succumbed to crippling injuries on his knee and leg, which had required at least two major operations already. This is not to mention a back pain that has since been repaired—hopefully.

Initially, he was given doctor’s orders in March to skip the whole season. But last month, the freeze order had been lifted. Then he got cut though after two rounds of the Quicken Loans National at Maryland’s Congressional.

And then the British Open next.

Yes, his fourth-to-last result was his worst finish yet in a major, even as he decorated his week with brilliance as evidenced by those five birdies in Round One over a six-hole stretch.

Overall, good enough. For me.

You were out five months and you make the cut, and next beat the just recently-crowned US Open champ—by two strokes yet—who could be sulking from among his fans? Not me.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 22, 2014.

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