Tiger Woods is getting very, very close — to what remains uncertain

 Tiger Woods is starting to sound like a man who has been alone in the wild for too long. It’s unclear exactly whom he is talking to, himself or his mule, when he starts to ramble about a “baseline shift” and goes into obsessive details about how he regripped his putter because of the precise depth of the finger indentations. Maybe Woods can be a factor in the British Open at St. Andrews, but judging by his conversation, he more likely will be a factor strictly in his own mind.
Woods is always this close to winning a major championship again, even though he hasn’t actually raised a trophy in one since 2008. “I know some of you guys think I’m buried and done, but I’m still right here in front of you,” he said Tuesday.
Actually, what’s right here in front of you is a man whohas fallen to 241st in the world this season with a lot of terrible golf, including three rounds in the 80s, and who seems increasingly to fashion his own delusional narrative about that.
It’s perfectly understandable for a competitor to try to convince himself he can win. All athletes practice a form of self-hypnotism and seek the positives in their performance in the name of building confidence. But Woods has crossed over into a more desperate territory of exaggerations and self-deception.
The funny thing is, until Woods opened his mouth Tuesday, there was every reason to feel he might be dangerous here. He has deep know-how on this golf course where he won the 2000 and 2005 titles. At Greenbrier a couple of weeks ago, he shot three rounds in the 60s, including a 67 in the final round — for once, a disaster-free tournament. Woods certainly deserves to be optimistic about the performance and to feel he is fully recovered from microdisc surgery last season. “I’m hitting the ball much, much more solid,” he said.
But Woods was so starved for something great to say about his game that he wasn’t happy to settle for that. Just when you started to believe him, he said something so utterly absurd about his 2015 season you wondered if he was hallucinating. It was this: “I was able to turn things around and I had a chance to win the Masters this year.”
Tiger Woods had a chance to win the Masters this year?
Did I miss something? Am I having an amnesiac spell? Is it possible I was sent to Kiribati or some other remote locale inside a locked shipping container when he had a chance to win the Masters?
Woods never had a chance to win the Masters; not even close. He trailedJordan Spieth by fully 10 strokes entering Sunday’s final round and then missed all nine fairways on the front nine and hit just two for the day to shoot his second 73 of the week and finish tied for 17th. Oh, and he also had that weird episode where he seemed to hurt his hand and said, “My bone popped out . . . but I put it back in.” Right.
Increasingly Woods has his own version of events. He has missed the cut in two of the past three majors. He shot an 80 in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay that was his highest score ever in that tournament. But here is his account of himself from Tiger World: “Obviously the previous major championships were a little bit more difficult,” he said. “I was still learning a new golf swing.”
Woods has a new golf swing? Not just a tweak in technique — a whole new swing? Apparently so. And he was still learning that new swing as recently as June 6, when he shot a career-worst 85 at the Memorial. But since then, miraculously, Woods has mastered this new swing. And now “it has all worked out perfectly,” he says.
“Last year coming off surgery on my back and trying to get my feels back, meanwhile trying to make a swing change all at the same time was very difficult,” he said. “It would have been one thing if I would have gone through the procedure and then had the same golf swing, but I’ve changed the golf swing too on top of that, and so I had to fight both at the same time.”
It’s certainly reasonable that the lingering effects of the surgery and a swing change would lead to some bad scores. But listening to Woods expand on the topic, it’s hard not to lapse into incredulity. It turns out that the reason he played so poorly at the Memorial was because he made “a pretty big baseline shift,” and that is “actually one of the tougher things to do.”
That “baseline shift” is why he “hit the ball great” at Greenbrier. Woods says Greenbrier was some of the best ball-striking he has done in two years, which just might be true. But then he added, “And as bad as I putted that week, I was only four shots out of a playoff.”
Never mind that he was actually six shots out of the playoff. In major championships, four shots out of a playoff (or six) might as well be 40 (or 60). This isn’t basketball.
All of this is why it’s not exactly easy to believe Woods when he says he is in full command of his “trajectories” again and, “It’s nice to be out there on the course and see it and feel it again, to be able to hit all the shots.”
St. Andrews is rain-softened and wide open enough to land a jet on the fairways, but even in that state it requires real command of the ball and of the mind. What’s more, Woods is up against a deeply talented field full of free-swinging young chargers — not just Spieth, but 2010 Open champion at St. Andrews Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, and the list goes on.
They are his biggest obstacles to winning a major again — unless it might be his increasing talent for self-deception. You would feel better about Woods’s chances if he had said, “I used to win tournaments on Fridays. I can’t run away from the field anymore, especially not in this crowd, because these young guys aren’t going to surrender on the weekend. I will have to be much better than I have been, as well as a little lucky, to win another major.”

El Tigre, camino del 300 con el Open a la vuelta de la esquina

Parece que Tiger ha parado la sangría de juego e inestabilidad en el campo mostrada en los últimos meses. Lo que no ha logrado parar es su bajada en picado en un Ranking Mundial en el que ocupa tras esta semana el puesto 226 descendiendo seis más respecto a la semana pasada.
Tras el Greenbrier Classic y el Open de Francia la clasificación mundial en sus quince primeras posiciones no ha tenido ningún cambio. Todo sigue igual ahí arriba con Rory McIlroy y Jordan Spieth calentrando motores de cara al tercer Major de la temporada. Un Open británico donde da la sensación que el norteamericano llega con los deberes hecho y en donde el norirlandes sabe que una nueva victoria del número dos del mundo le colocaria en lo más alto del Ranking Mundial y a un sólo paso de algo histórico: lograr el Grand Slam.

Spieth llega más fuerte que McIlroy al torneo de la Jarra de Clarete pero el Open, además en St. Andrews, será un espectáculo digno de verse con dos de los mejores jugadores del mundo en la lucha por conseguir el torneo pero también la supremacía en el golf mundial.

Con ellos muchos candidatos al triunfo, entre ellos un Sergio García que se mantiene décimo en el Ranking Mundial y que con Miguel Ángel Jiménez, que baja de la quincuagésimo tercera a la quincoagésimo sexta plaza, Pablo Larrazábal que esta semana, tras su triunfo en Alemania desciende dos puestos y se sitúa septuagésimo primero, y Rafa Cabrera Belloque, poco a poco sigue mejorando posiciones y ya ocupa la octagésima sexta plaza, conforman los cuatro puestos entre los cien primeros del Ranking Mundial.

Una clasificación con dos claros protagonistas esta semana, el neocelandés de origen coreano, Danny Lee, que tras su victoria en el Greenbrier Classic asciende hasta el puesto 78º desde el 158º que ocupaba antes de esta semana y el austriaco Bernd Wiesberger que se coloca vigésimo tercero ascendiendo desde la trigésimo novena plaza que ocupaba antes del Open de Francia.

Tiger Woods sigue bajando a pesar de su mejoría en el juego y ya ocupa el puesto 226 con el Open Championship a la vuelta de la esquina y una dosis de presión extra para el que fuera número uno del mundo.

McIlroy, seria duda para el Open británico

Rory McIlroy podría perderse el Open Británico por culpa del fútbol. El número uno del mundo del golf se ha lesionado jugando al fútbol con sus amigos, y salvo que las pruebas digan lo contrario, se ha podido romper los ligamentos del tobillo izquierdo. La lesión del tobillo, salvo milagro, no le permitirá disputar el mítico torneo en St. Andrews.
McIlroy ha colgado en las redes sociales una fotografía donde se le ve con muletas y una férula en el tobillo izquierdo. Si al final se confirma la rotura de ligamentos con afección a la cápsula, el jugador deberá pasar por el quirófano y su regreso a los campos de golf se alargará mucho más.
Los médicos le han aconsejado de momento reposo para que baje la inflación y poder realizarle más pruebas que concreten si al final solo es un fortísimo esguince o la rotura de ligamentos. El jugador no obstante no ha descartado aún su baja del British Open y ha mandado un mensaje a todos sus seguidores: “Estoy trabajando para intentar estar en St. Andrews”. Esta inoportuna lesión le impedirá defender los títulos conquistados por el norirlandés en el verano del 2014: el Open Championship, el WGC Bridgestone y dentro de un mes el PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods is 'having an affair' with ex-wife of friend and fellow professional golfer

Report claims cheater began dating woman while he was still with Lindsey Vonn


Woods, 39, is said to be dating Amanda Boyd, 27, Jason Dufner's ex-wife
Pair began seeing each other after they 'flirted' on the tour circuit  
They are said to have developed a 'serious relationship' since  
Flew her from Alabama to Seattle as he prepared for last month's US Open
Woods' agent Mark Steinberg says the allegations are a 'complete lie'
Boyd and Dufner divorced in April after a 'breakdown' of the marriage
Daily Mail Online revealed Vonn dumped Woods because he cheated on her 

In an e-mail to FOX411 he said the accusations were fabricated and false.
They have allegedly been together for several months, and a source told the magazine it is now 'serious'. 
Daily Mail Online revealed in May that Olympic skier Vonn broke up with the former World Number One because she had caught him cheating. 
She posted on Facebook the explanation that 'both lead incredibly hectic lives that force us to spend a majority of our time apart.'

But friends said Woods had a 'relapse in the sex department' and Vonn found out he had been with other women.
Dufner, 38, and Boyd married in May 2012. He won the major in 2013 but has since struggled with back problems.
According to divorce papers filed on March 16, Amanda and Jason suffered an 'irretrievable breakdown of the marriage'.
They separated on February 17 due to a 'complete incompatibility of temperament'. 
A source told the Enquirer that Boyd is considered a 'flirt' among Dufner's colleagues on the PGA tour and, even though her ex-husband didn't seen Woods as a close pal, he considered him a 'trusted colleague'. 
They have both played on the same U.S. Ryder Cup team.  

'When Tiger realized he was seen, he became concerned and eventually he decided to confess to Lindsey. Something he didn't do with Elin. He came clean and I give him credit for that.
'Yes, Tiger cheated again. But it wasn't with anyone special. He really wanted Lindsey to be the one. But he blew it again. He can't help himself. He's got an addiction. He relapsed,' says the friend.
'Knowing Tiger, he doesn't even see it as cheating because there's no romance or feeling there. It's just a stress reliever, like a high-ball or two after a bad day.'
The friend told the Daily Mail Online that despite pleas from peers and relatives to keep going to his self-mandated therapy sessions, Tiger stopped going completely -- leading to the alleged 'one-time slip'.