Woods’ comeback falls short of Hogan’s
The golf world rightly is all abuzz about Tiger Woods’ comeback from physical and personal issues to win the Masters on Sunday (“Woods pads legend with ‘greatest victory’,” April 15). But, is it the greatest comeback ever? Although there is no objective way to compare performances over several generations, time does fade memories.
How about Ben Hogan’s comeback? In 1949, he suffered serious injuries in an accident when his car was hit by a bus. Like Woods, Hogan recovered, and he also won again. There are some differences between Hogan’s comeback and Woods’. Hogan almost died. His injuries were not self-inflicted. He won six majors after his accident. The first was the U.S. Open in 1950, the year after his accident. The next year, he won two more majors. Then in 1953, he entered three majors and won them all.
Congratulations, Woods, but let’s not forget Hogan.
Brent D. Rector
East Grand Rapids, Mich.
‘GOAT’ still belongs to Nicklaus, but not for long
Who is the greatest of all time, or GOAT, now? (“Woods pads legend with ‘greatest victory’,” April 15).
For me, at this moment, it's still Jack Nicklaus. But for how long? Nicklaus had a group of golfers to beat who knew he was the best but weren't afraid of him. That's why he had so many second places as well as the record number of victories in major championships. The generation of golfers who were contenders 10-20 years ago rolled over for Tiger Woods, even though, in those days, he never won a major unless he was in front after three rounds.
Now, Alex Miceli writes that "Woods ... will find a new generation of competitors who will not fear him" in future majors (“Woods ratchets up hype for rest of majors,” April 15). Is he certain? When four out of the five leading players clunk nervy fat shots into water at the 12th, and Molinari, still in with a good chance, does the same at the 15th to seal the deal? Then strongman Brooks Koepka hits my sort of 18th-hole putt, dragging it way left and wide under pressure, when forcing Woods to par the last hole to win would have made a true grandstand finish. Looks like fear to me.
They know that Woods can win a major championship from behind now, so I think he will do what Nicklaus used to do: find himself in the mix with a round to play and just muscle the others out of the way. My guess is three wins out of the next 10 starts, roughly his ratio from 1997 to 2008. So, he will equal Nicklaus’ tally when he is 46 years old.
I made a prediction in 2008 that Woods wouldn't win another major. For 11 years, I thought I was safe.
I'm not making that call again.
Tiger 2.0 rates as ‘biggest sports story of 2019’
I still can’t believe the naysayers regarding Tiger Woods (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 15).
Tiger 2.0 is so much different and entertaining. He doesn’t have to win by 10 strokes. He let others go for difficult pin placements at Augusta National’s 12th hole. He hit 3-wood off the 18th tee. He doesn’t have to have the lead after 54 holes. Winning by one stroke counts just as much as a beatdown.
I agree with those who say this is the biggest sports story of 2019, and we are only in April.
Taking another look at ‘yesterday’s news’
To reader Blaine Walker (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 15): Dude, were you being tongue-in-cheek? Or, didn’t you notice the guy you’re calling “yesterday’s news” just won the Masters?
Viewing Masters through Rose-colored glasses
Golf is like politics now, I suppose. It doesn’t matter what happens, because there will be people who completely disagree on the facts (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 15).
Sorry, reader Jim Kavanagh, but I think Tony Finau needed to make something happen at 12, although it never seems like a good decision for anyone to shoot at that flag on the right side of the green, and Francesco Molinari quoted freely that his shot at 12 was terrible and his “worst swing of the day.” I agree that Brooks Koepka could have played safer, but it was his choice.
Regarding the comments from reader Blaine Walker: As for Tiger Woods, whom did you expect to see on the TV coverage on Sunday at the Masters when he was in the last group and in no worse than second place the entire day? We saw all of Molinari’s shots, as well.
I love Justin Rose, and I did see him a time or two on Thursday and Friday, even if he was 3 or 4 over par and struggling. If you were looking for him on the weekend coverage, I am sorry to say that CBS did not have a camera on the practice tee at Lake Nona.
(Nixon is the director of golf operations for the Tennessee Golf Trail.)
Perhaps it was a dramatic trunk slamming
Wow, a writer in Minnesota describes the 2019 Masters champion as “yesterday’s news.” Must be a pretty hard man to impress (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 15).
Tiger Woods’ win certainly will take its place in golf history as one of the most remarkable achievements in the game.
On another note, responding to the same writer’s angst in not seeing more of Justin Rose, maybe it’s the fact that Rose was 4 over and missed the cut. I’m not sure that watching Rose pack his car Friday would be as interesting to TV viewers as Woods’ impressive comeback on Sunday.
Masters produces great drama, so don’t change a thing
Augusta National is fine just the way it is. There is room to move, and there are places to just survive. Sometimes the champion will be 13 under, such as Tiger Woods this year; sometimes he will be 5 under (Danny Willett, in 2016); and sometimes he will be 1 over (Zach Johnson, in 2007).
Don’t change a thing. It’s part of the reason that the Masters the most exciting tournament annually.
I found this year’s Masters to be right up there with ’86, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’05 … all memorable but for different reasons. Now, you can add 2019 to that list.
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