Tiger Was Awful, Phil Blew Big Chance

It’s been a long time since we got to talk about Tiger Woods in strictly a golf sense. Usually it’s been about another mistress coming out or some fan heckling, but now we’re actually focusing strictly on Tiger’s golf game.

Tiger was nothing short of brutal this past weekend at the Bridgestone Invitational. Even more surprising about Tiger’s poor showing is that he had won at Firestone seven times including his last four tournaments there. Yet Tiger shot a 77 on Sunday giving him a career-worst score in any PGA Tour event he had ever played. The Tige was frustrated, mentally drained, and defeated. He gave away strokes and looked like he couldn’t get out of Akron fast enough. He was unlike we had ever seen him before. But despite Tiger’s second-to-last performance at the Bridgestone, he’ll remain as the number one ranked golfer on tour.

Phil Mickelson had a golden chance to take over the top ranking in the world. Had Tiger finished 44th or lower (he finished 78th!), all Phil had to do was finish in the top four to take over the number one spot. Phil entered the final round at -5 and only four shots back of leader Ryan Palmer. Mickelson completely bombed on Sunday, going eight over for a 78 — one shot worse than Tiger — to drop 30 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 46th. Phil will have another shot at taking over the top spot at the PGA Championship, but he can’t choke like this if he wants to unseat Tiger who has been number one since 2005. It was a beautiful opportunity missed for Mickelson.

Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Breaking Down America’s 50 Highest-Earning Athletes

Sports Illustrated has released its seventh annual “Fortunate 50″ list, which gives us a sense of the type of money American athletes made last year based on salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees.  Despite the epic downfall of his image, Tiger Woods remained at the top of the list with nearly $30 million to spare.  Phil Mickelson held strong at No. 2 on the list and can probably thank Tiger’s demise for any extra cash that may have been thrown his way over the past year.   Here are a few aspects of the list that stuck out to me:

Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Want an idea of how much money can be made in boxing?  Mayweather, who may or may not be ducking Manny Pacquiao, checked in at No. 3 on the list after not being ranked in 2009.  While most of the top athletes on the list rake in a ton in endorsements, Mayweather made only $250,000 in endorsement deals and the rest — $60 million — in salary and winnings.  A bout with Shane Mosley alone earned him $40 million.

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Tiger Needs to Win for His Video Game to Sell Again

According to a recent report from FOX Sports, sales of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 are down 68 percent from last year. Not surprised? That’s actually a more interesting statement than you may think. It’s no secret that Tiger has experienced his share of woes off the course—a tale of scandal that may continue to unravel in the coming months—but is that a complete explanation for the poor video game sales? I know that Tiger is not the picture of greatness we once thought him to be, but that doesn’t mean parents just throw in the towel and buy their kid Grand Theft Auto instead of a golf video game. Katherine Coulhart, an EA Sports publicist directly responsible for the Tiger Woods PGA game, had this explanation:

There are a number of factors that have contributed (to the decline in sales), but we believe the largest contributors are the slowing of the overall Wii software market and Tiger’s performance on the course.”

Tiger’s performance on the course is the reason people overwhelming have ignored the game. This is true. Now, as a publicist, Katherine does get paid to direct our attention away from Tiger’s real life problems and into video game land, but she does have a valid point. If Tiger were winning, I might think he had his life back in order, and then I would never think twice about buying his video game. More than anything, the video game is an interesting case study in the post-scandal Tiger brand and shows, at least in the short term, where EA Sports finds itself after sticking with Tiger. If and when Tiger starts winning again — and everyone expects him to start winning again — EA sports may look smarter than Gatorade and Accenture who dumped him as a spokesperson.

Sales of Woods video game take a hit [FOXSports]

Tiger Slaps the Swoosh in the Face

Tiger Woods stunned many people by announcing he would use a new putter for the British Open at St. Andrews. Tiger’s justification for pulling out the Nike Method 001 was that he needed some extra speed to combat the slow greens. While Tiger made the cut with ease, he was far from serious contention to win it mainly because of his putting that frustrated him to the point of dropping f-bombs on TV. Tiger took 99 puts over the first three rounds — 32 the first two rounds and 35 on Saturday, including three three-putts.

When answering questions after Saturday’s round, Tiger said it wasn’t the putter that was causing his problems on the greens but rather his inability to get speed on the putts. Those comments now appear hollow as Tiger made a switch for Sunday’s final round at The Old Course.

Tiger ditched the Nike putter in favor of his reliable Scotty Cameron putter, the one he used to win 13 of his 14 majors. Tiger wound up shooting even par on Sunday to remain at -3 for the tournament and tied for 23rd. He didn’t play too poorly throughout the week, but there’s no doubt his putting failed him. Between the poor putting and the switch back to the Scotty Cameron, Nike cannot be happy with the results.

Tiger Woods switches back to his Scotty Cameron putter [Golf.com]

Tiger Woods Cusses Up a Storm After Missing Putt

Just Tiger being Tiger. I should probably be a little more specific given the various types of behavior Tiger Woods is known for.. Tiger being Tiger could be dominating a tournament, playing through pain, or cheating on his wife. In this particular instance, it was Tiger being Tiger by throwing a hissy fit and swearing loud enough to hear on national television after missing a putt. Check out the video of Tiger Woods dropping f-bombs after missing a putt at the British Open. You might have to turn the volume up a little at around the 20-second mark when the curse words start flying.

Video Credit: YouTube user schwisow9688

Tiger Takes Tough Questions in Ireland

One could say that the Tiger Woods firestorm has cooled off over the past few months. Sure, he’s faced rumors that he’s fathered children out of wedlock and dealt with the occasional heckler, but things have calmed down for the most part. He’s no longer making covers of the tabloids on a daily basis nor is he the brunt of every comedian’s jokes. Tiger played in the charity J.P. McManus Invitational Pro-Am on Tuesday, his first foreign tournament since all the madness went down. He was peppered with questions unlike any other media session since the Tom Rinaldi interview. Witness the following video of Tiger being questioned by the Irish media as shared by You Been Blinded:

The questions arose because Tiger’s heading back home from Ireland rather than sticking around in the U.K. to prepare for the British Open at St. Andrews. While all the questions were fair and much harsher than what Tiger will face from the U.S. media, it’s pretty clear that he’s keeping matters private. That’s probably the best thing he can do.

Reporters Grill Tiger at JP McManus Pro-Am [You Been Blinded]
Woods turns icy at personal questions in Ireland [AP/Golf.com]
Video Credit: ESPN

Tiger May Have Fathered Child With One of His Mistresses

Here we go again.  Is it ever going to stop?  Channel 4 in England is set to air a documentary on Thursday that will supposedly reveal yet another dark secret regarding the life of Tiger Woods.  We’ve already had a porn star claim that Woods impregnanted her twice while his wife, Elin Nordegren, was also pregnant.  While Joslyn James’ accusations are still difficult to believe, the documentary may make them a bit more credible if it can prove what the London Daily Mail reports it will prove — that Tiger Woods has a love child we didn’t know about.

The story alleges that the documentary will prove Woods paid Theresa Rogers two million Euros — the equivalent of about $2.44 million — to remain silent about their daughter after she chose to give birth in 2003.  The London Sun, via Sports by Brooks, reports the following about the Tiger Woods love child situation:

A journalist who helped the golfer hide affairs says he knows someone who has full details of the girl – and DNA evidence. Neal Boulton added: “There is a lot more to come out. Tiger will eventually admit to fathering a child.”

Sports by Brooks also reminds us that Boulton is the same man who says he quit as editor of Men’s Fitness magazine because their parent company, American Media, which also owns the National Enquirer, blackmailed Tiger into the cover story that broke the news that has ultimately led to the golfer’s demise.  Apparently Boulton is done sticking up for Tiger.  I’ll be curious to see if Bodog ups their $100 million endorsement offer to Woods if this story turns out to be true.

Brit Documentary: ‘DNA’ Links Tiger To Love Child [Sports by Brooks]
Tiger in ‘love kid’ TV claim [London Sun]