Sean Foley on Charlie Rose - Page 3
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Here's what I don't get. Tiger was like top-3 in total driving (IIRC) up until the US Open, and then was just horrendous the second half of the season. I think he finished (or is currently, not sure how they do the "year" stats now) worse than 50th in both driving distance and accuracy. What changed? Is it just the California/Florida effect? Cumulative pressure of missed major opportunities building on him as the season progressed?
I'm looking at Tiger's season trying to find patterns, but it's hard to figure out what it was--other than repeated disappointment in the majors. He bookended two majors with great tournaments (wins before and after the Masters; win prior to the PGA and finished one shot back in his next tournament after). You can't help but wonder what would have happened if he won the Masters and got that monkey off of his back early in the season. And he really should have won it--it was just bad luck that he didn't.
I think Tiger's season fizzled due to fatigue and nursing injuries. In the FedEx playoffs, he played well in the Barclays (T2), then faded when he had to play back-to-back weeks... Fatigue? When he had rest, or played courses he's familiar with, he was in the hunt... Or won.
On total driving - 17th is good. In terms of whether that supports "major winning" golf, it sure looks like it. Of this season's major winners, 2 placed higher and 2 placed lower. Significantly lower, and a LOT lower respectively.
Is that enough? The accuracy stat seems sound. What about driving distance? That is still based on only 2 measured drives. In part, the criticism of Tiger's golf this year seems to have been that he was too conservative off the tee - and had too much to do hitting into greens. These stats could mask the problem - if the measured holes for driving distance are legitimate "green light" driver holes, and if the average major championship course set up is a bit more threatening, to the point where he feels forced to hit 3 wood or iron more often than the field.
I don't know. A guy could finish last in everything except the one week he wins.
It's less likely… but then again, Phil Mickelson is pretty streaky…
Agreed - with a caveat.
Take an example, who is streaky off the tee but likes to play aggressively. When he gets hot, he is in with a good chance to win.
Take another example, who knows he is streaky off the tee and plays conservatively to minimise his exposure. He might well be doing the right thing over the long term (like a season) whether the goal is POTY or keeping his card - but disproportionately hurting his chances of maximising his return on his "hot weeks".
Of course, just to undermine everything I've just said, Phil just won the Open hitting 3 wood off the tee - albeit in what's been a spanking hot and hard-running summer.