Topgolfgears Morning 9: 80: Tiger’s win in context | Equipment changes key | Brandel’s take
1. Tiger triumphant
Perhaps you’ve heard: Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship yesterday to end a five-year victory drought.
As you’d expect (especially with the victory nearly a foregone conclusion after the third round), the scribes filled plenty of pages on the subject. Here are a few dishes from a packed buffet.
ESPN’s “How Tiger Woods overcame pain, scandal and age to triumph again”…”We never thought we would see the artist return to the peak of his powers, and for good reason: Tiger never thought he would see the artist return to the peak of his powers, either,” he writes.
USA Today’s …”But this day belonged to Woods and his legion of fans who have been hoping it would come for some time. Even Woods was among those who didn’t know if this day would come, his body punished enough to require four surgeries to his left knee and four surgeries to his back.”
On the more granular level, .
2. Among the greatest comebacks in sports
Our Andrew Tursky offers his take on the significance of Tiger Woods’ return to the winner’s circle.
3. Equipment decisions key for Tiger
Golf Digest’s E. Michael Johnson filed an interesting reflection on Woods dialing in his equipment in the course of his comeback.
“This continued into the season as Woods used the M3, originally putting the two movable weights in the center and back heel position (neutral flight with slide draw bias) before moving them both to the center track with one weight forward and the other somewhat back. The weights forward sacrifice some forgiveness, but add speed and make the club much more workable-a desirable trait for a player who shapes his shots like Woods. He also changed shafts at the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, putting in a Mitsubishi Diamana D + white 70-gram shaft-an updated version of the Mitsubishi shaft he used with much success.”
“Woods also added new irons to his bag, TaylorMade’s TW Phase 1. The irons are almost an exact replica of the muscleback blade irons Woods has used virtually throughout his career. Woods tried prototypes of the irons at the test session, but felt the ball flight was too high-a non-starter for one of the game’s best iron players. “If I look up and don’t see the ball right there-I mean, right where I expect it to be-then we have a serious, serious problem,” Woods told Golf Digest several years ago about his ball flight with irons. Eventually TaylorMade matched up the center of gravity location to what Woods had been using and also brought in former Nike employee Mike Taylor, who worked on Woods’ irons and wedges when he used equipment with a swoosh, to make sure the irons were just so.”
4. What Brandel said
Frequently a Woods critic, more recently a True Believer, here’s what Brandel Chamblee had to say on air.
5. Feinstein’s take
John Feinstein offered his take on where Woods’ comeback sits in the pantheon of sports…”The greatest comeback in golf history was Ben Hogan’s return from a near-fatal car accident in February 1949 to win the U.S. Open 16 months later and five more major championships after that. Woods’ comeback is more complex because a good deal of it was self-inflicted. But to come back from seven surgeries, including back-fusion surgery that was a last ditch attempt to get him back on the golf course, to play this well, is extraordinary.”
6. Bigger than Tiger
USA Today’s Dan Wolken on the scope of Woods’ comeback.
7. Remembering the abyss
Q. If you go back to the first surgery that caused you to miss the Masters back in ’14, what would you consider to be the low point, and what would you consider to be the high point up until today?
In a similar vein, (yes, he was quoted earlier) ESPN’s Ian O’Connor wrote this
8. Other golf stuff!
Denny McCarthy won the Web.com Tour Championship…Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup…Dustin Johnson is the world No. 1 again…Tom Lewis birdied 24 of his final 54 holes to win the Portugal Masters.
9. What a scene
It remains to be determined whether it was the product of some coordinated official effort to create an old-school scene or if it was the golf equivalent of fans storming the court, but the image of Tiger Woods being swallowed by the massive gallery as he walked the fairway of the final hole was surreal.
One of the many images, below.