June 18th, 2010
05:11 PM ET

It's no longer all about the Tiger

Woods pumps his first after picking up a rare birdie in his first round at Pebble Beach.
Woods pumps his first after picking up a rare birdie in his first round at Pebble Beach.

I always knew the golfing landscape had changed but this week at the season's second major the U.S. Open I experienced it first hand.

There was a time when the incessant buzz in the media center at these kind of events was all about not whether Tiger Woods was going to win but by how many.

How those times have changed! Of course, the American can instantly point to the fact he's still world number one (though Phil Mickelson's closing in on him fast) but there's no doubt the man who once dominated the majors and the build-up to them has been upstaged somewhat.

Here at Pebble Beach we're all more than aware of what Tiger in 2000 when he powered his way to a record 15-shot victory the last time the U.S Open was staged in this spectacular part of the world but it would be a brave and perhaps naive person who predicts a similar kind of outcome this time around.

Even though Phil disappointed with his first round 75 to leave him at four over par Thursday, for many media outlets he was still very much the story of the day.

That's not to say Tiger still can't go on and win. It personally wouldn't surprise me if he does, but the key point I'm trying to highlight here is that expectations are way down from when I covered my last major which was the Masters at Augusta as recently as April 2009.

Of course the fans out on the course are still clamoring for a piece of Woods but what I like is the fact that other players seem to be getting talked about more.

And that can only be good for the game.

Woods got a nasty dose of reality too during his opening round when a spectator confronted the 14-time major winner over his "none of your business" retort to a journalist who'd had the temerity to ask what the latest on his marriage situation was.

Tiger ignored the outburst and appeared to stay focused and calm but it's perhaps a taste of what he can – rightly or wrongly – expect at various times when he's out there trying to compete.

Perhaps the best way to silence all and sundry is to let his play do the talking and this week at Pebble you can be certain he'll be going all out to end his two-year major drought.

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Filed under:  Golf
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. C Roberts

    Patrick, why bother to write this piece of dribble? It's not about Tiger?but your short, less than informative, non-entertaining article is completely about him. You should cover the President, he's as ineffective as your writing.

    June 20, 2010 at 10:55 am | Reply
  2. wanker

    I agree with C Roberts

    June 26, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  3. Blonde_Girl

    OMG! I love Tiger! I wanna marry him! <3

    June 26, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  4. Clubwww1

    Times have indeed changed. Tiger Wood is human. He made a mistake by playing with emotions because when all said and done...it was emotions that separated him form the rest.

    Today he is stronger, smarter and wiser, perhaps he did what he had to....did it cost more than he could afford...yes of course it did. That being said...and I doubt if Tiger will be reading this...but its time to show the world who you really are....a man who's achievements will be unparalleled by the time he stops work.

    Everyone has a period in life that sucks but it is how you deal with adversity that sets you apart. Golf is an individual sport that needs and requires an active support structure You cannot replace your father or your wife...they will always be with you. Therefore you can only focus on the here and now, the moment and drive yourself as only you can!

    Reality...what reality...did Mr. Woods cry about losing his money, his image, his swing. No it was his family meant the most and rightly so. His foundation lives on and the wonderful opportunities he gives the less fortunate. It was never about Tiger Woods...in his mind it was about his family...and that is why it is taking so long to get going again.

    The media creates the impetus...it will be 2 years without a major...are you real...one major in a life time is more than mere mortals can hope for....superman...well he would need kryptonite....for Tiger Woods....love is and always was at the center of his world...love of life, love of family, love of self.

    When Tiger gets that back...then you will see who can really play golf!

    July 5, 2010 at 12:42 am | Reply
  5. Clubwww1

    Life is about cycles and the golf world should enjoy it whilst it last. Tiger Woods is not done. The man works hard at his craft and is a dedicated professional...therefore what has changed...simple the mental strength needed to stay a head of the best of the best. As the pain dulls because it never goes away Tiger Woods will be as he always was unbeatable on his day.

    I agree..when Tiger gets back...we will see who can really play golf.

    July 13, 2010 at 12:52 am | Reply

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