Tiger’s 3rd Round Saturday: OMG

I’m glad I’ve opened up to golf in time to witness and enjoy Tiger Woods. I didn’t grow up playing golf, still don’t, and I never really watched or followed it growing up. Make that at all. It wasn’t until recently for work purposes that I started following golf much closer, even watching events. So while I always knew the big names just from watching SportsCenter enough, I really couldn’t, and probably still can’t have much of a historical debate on the subject. But I do know this much: it’s not too late for me to be up-to-date on Tiger Woods.

Coming off the knee surgery, playing through pain on Saturday, Woods was incredible. You could see him grimace when he took his shots. You could see his body tweaking and not properly rotating because of the knee. It clearly was hindering his game and he clearly was playing through pain. And I’m not talking about John Daly sacking it up after a night of tequila shots — I’m talking about real, authentic, I have to grit this out because my knee is killing me pain. And what Tiger did, the eagle putt on 13, the birdie on 17, and then the other eagle put on 18, was simply incredible. I didn’t think he even had a shot at sinking either of his putts on 13 or 18, yet he did, and he climbed up the leaderboard.

Could anyone else overshoot their chip shot and have it land in the cup on one bounce? That’s just how things work when you’re Tiger Woods. By the time things are done on Sunday, Tiger will probably have his 14th major and third U.S. Open title. If not, no big deal — nothing can top what he did in the third round on Saturday to take the lead. Only three golfers are under par for the tournament. The course is eating alive the world’s best players. Yet here’s Tiger, on the shelf for six weeks because of knee surgery, atop the leaderboard. He makes you want to work harder and be better at whatever it is that you do. And if he doesn’t, well, then you need to check your pulse.

Andy North’s Formula to Win US Open

Considering Andy North actually won a U.S. Open or two, his word holds slightly more credence than the standard analyst. Not really, but his formulas for predicting a winner are pretty cool. With that in mind, I would like to present the formula Andy North went through to arrive at a projected U.S. Open winner on ESPN. Check it out:

In case you can’t watch, I have transcribed the formula below …

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Tiger Woods Is Just Incredible

I’ll admit it, I don’t know too much about golf. I don’t play it, I don’t watch it but for the highlights, and I have a limited knowledge of the history of the game. But there is one thing I do know: Tiger Woods is incredible. The domination by this guy is amazing. Every time he’s involved in a tournament lately, he’s winning. Five straight PGA Tour wins, seven straight wins worldwide? That’s not exactly easy when you’re going through the equivalent of an 128-team tournament every single time. There’s a lot left up to chance that Tiger will have off-days, or one of the other hundred-something golfers will be completely on. But Tiger’s able to find a way to win, and he’s even come back like he did at Bay Hill this weekend.

The best part about Tiger, and what makes me truly respect the man, is his comments after his wins recently. He constantly preaches hard work and talks about his time in the gym and on the course practicing. He’s talked about improving his game in the off-season despite already being the best player in the world. He always wants to get better, no matter how large the gap is between him and his competition. He understands the difference between good and great, and he strives to be the very best. I really don’t see how you can dislike a guy like Tiger. He represents some of the greatest qualities you could possibly want to impart on your children; respect for the game, humility, hard work, a killer-instinct, and a winner’s attitude. The dude is just awesome.

Tiger Woods Got Owned by John Smoltz

Maybe this can put a halt to all the talks about Tiger being the best athlete in the world. A few days after going golfing with a Braves threesome including Tom Glavine, Jeff Francoeur, and John Smoltz, Tiger decided to slip on a batting helmet and step into Smoltz’s office. From the description of the event in the AJC, Smoltz more than handled Tiger, striking him out twice, walking him once, and letting up a grounder to second. There weren’t any fielders out there so I guess you could call it a “hit,” but pitching coach Roger McDowell said a second baseman would have made the play.

It’s too bad Tiger didn’t take a round of plain old BP off some schmo like McDowell to see what he could do with the ball. I guess it is impressive that Tiger could even work a walk against Smoltz, but I would have liked to read about line drives spraying around the yard. Don’t get me wrong, Smoltz is one of the top pitchers in the game, but come on, can’t say you’re not disappointed by Tiger, right? Tell you one thing, he ain’t no Michael Jordan. At least MJ batted .202.

Morning Paper: Tiger, Family Man?

Did Tiger miss his daughter’s baptism? [You Been Blinded]

Joe Buck to compete with Letterman on late night TV? [Awful Announcing]

The all new NHL Network is coming to a TV near you [SPORTSbyBROOKS]

Sienna Miller fully nude pics emerge [Egotastic!]

You can now bury the Yankees, literally [100% Injury Rate]

Was this the worst weekend in Los Angeles sports? [Ballhype]

PostmanR ran the Chicago marathon and has an account [We are the Postmen]

Your top eight reasons why Jim Harbaugh sucks [The Ghosts of Wayne Fontes]

Schmuck gets wife tattooed on back, wife now having affair [Dlisted]

The Kimberly Bell Playboy photos are up [Sportaphile]

Great Tiger Woods and Roger Federer Nike Commercial

Wow, Nike certainly outdid themselves with this one. They sponsor the best tennis player in the world, and the best golfer in the world. They sponsor two of the most dominant athletes in the world. They sponsor Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. Their sponsorship of these two men allowed them to put together this outstanding commercial. I had the pleasure of viewing it just prior to the start of the Wimbledon men’s singles finals between Federer and Rafael Nadal. It is fantastic. Pay close attention to the man doing the voice over, and enjoy:

The commercial is fantastic for several reasons. For one, it’s always cool when you get to see a picture timeline of a future star growing up. Secondly, I knew the voice was familiar, but didn’t realize who it was until the end; how often do you expect Tiger Woods to do a voice over? Third, the commercial pairs two of the most dominant athletes on the planet. Fourth, the commercial also shows the mutual respect and hearty competition that exists between Federer and Woods. And lastly, Tiger gets in that great dig at the end, a playful jab which provides more incentive for Federer to win. What an outstanding commercial, great job by Nike.

Why Can’t Tiger Come From Behind?

Photo Courtesy Getty Images

Let me make this perfectly clear: I am as far from a golf expert as you can get. I don’t play it, I hardly watch it, and that’s probably why I don’t understand why Tiger Woods only wins tournaments when he’s leading going into the final round. It still makes me wonder. I understand that you’re not competing against yourself; you’re competing against other golfers who can shoot well and similarly lower their scores. So even if you’re shaving strokes off your total, there can be another golfer doing even better. That I understand. But if it’s a matter of a few strokes to make up in the final round, why can’t Tiger come back?

Why is Tiger so outstanding when holding a lead going into the final day (I believe Zach Johnson was the only golfer to come back and beat Tiger in a major on Sunday)? Why can’t he ever step up his play and shoot a few birdies to come back and win a tournament? If he’s not that far behind, shouldn’t he be able to win a major? I don’t know too much about competing in tournaments, but I certainly think that should be well-within the cards for the best golfer in the world.