On the condition
of anonymity, a PGA Tour pro offers his take on Tiger, Phil and the year in
The most important thing I learned this year is that Tiger Woods (right) is
as phenomenal as ever. His swing is more of a hybrid--a little Hank Haney mixed
with a little Butch Harmon--and was more efficient at the end of the year than
at the beginning. This is scary to say after Tiger's 11th year on Tour, but
he's getting stronger and better. He won one major in 2007, but it easily
could've been three out of four. He hasn't hit his peak yet, in my opinion, and
that doesn't exactly fill me with enthusiasm.
The PGA Tour's new
drug-testing policy is overkill. If every other sport has a policy, golf should
too, but I'll be surprised if they find anybody using performance-enhancing
drugs, if there is such a thing for golf. You'd have to be an absolute fool to
fail the test--the Tour has given six months warning. Still, if there was a
drug that helped you hole putts, everyone would use it.
I don't think the
FedEx Cup resonated with the public. The Tour totally overhyped it. The FedEx
format for '08 has been tweaked to appease the marquee players. There's an
extra week off for the Ryder Cup, and the top finishers get 90% of their money
in cash instead of retirement payments. Does that make the FedEx Cup any more
interesting? I don't think so. I stand by what I've said before: We already
have a playoff system. They're called majors.
Now we know why
Phil Mickelson wanted the Tour season to end sooner. For the last couple of
years he said he couldn't bear to leave his family to play in the Tour
Championship. What happens when he gets an earlier finish? He spends those same
weeks raking in big appearance fees in Shanghai and Singapore--and he wasn't
the only one. Guys like Phil are hypocrites for doing that.
The Fall Series
became a total afterthought. The stops in Scottsdale and Las Vegas had so few
spectators that they looked like member-guest outings. My pro-am partners in
the fall events kept asking me how many FedEx Cup points I would earn that
week. If nothing else, let the fall events count as the start of the following
season so they have some significance.
I wasn't surprised
that Lorena Ochoa took over women's golf. Friends have been telling me for
years how good she is. Lorena finally won that first major, and the floodgates
opened. The same with Suzann Pettersen--she just knows she's going to play
well. I think Lorena and Suzann could develop a rivalry.
How about the
emergence of the belly putter? Sergio Garc�a, Retief Goosen and many others
used one. I'm not sure if there's anyone on Tour who hasn't tried the belly.
Honestly, there were more belly than conventional putters on some practice