I've been rooting against Tiger Woods for years, though I have the highest regard for the man and his abilities. No one in all of sports has the nerves of steel, the focus and determination he has. But I'm a Phil Mickelson fan, always have been; and I'd rather not have to see Phil face off against Tiger when it really matters.
But this is hard to watch; I'm getting no joy out of his struggles today. This is the kind of day we non-Tiger fans have been hoping for for years, but not under these circumstances...the man is still grieving for his father, his best friend. I'm sure he'll say it had nothing to do with it; and given his past examples of focus, it will be hard to question him. But when this round is over, you know he'll have to answer question after question regarding how his father's recent death or the fact he hasn't played since effected his play today. (Currently 7 over par)
I fully expected Tiger would come out and play like the tiger he is; but after the first several holes, you could see he was struggling. Was he struggling just to prove he can handle this, and thus it's gotten in his head. Alas, he'll probably earn more fans after this, as people will see he's as human as everyone else.
Tiger pulled things together to an extent and finished 6 over par, 7 strokes behind Colin Montgomerie and 6 strokes behind the rest of the leaders. He says it's been done before and who can argue with him. Don't count him out yet. I hope he does better than today but I'm still pulling for Phil, who I think has everything together enough to take it. I wouldn't mind seeing Monty get it if Phil doesn't; and we haven't heard the last from David Howell either, though he double bogeyed the final hole to fall back to par.
Mickelson Tiger Woods golf US Open Montgomerie Winged Foot