Tiger is clearly not himself, the reference to GUR in the title for you none golfers, GUR means, ground under repair, that to me sums up Tiger. Over the weekend past I have witnessed a Tiger very much in need of repair.
The bookies had made Tiger joint favorite with Rory McIlroy to win the Masters after his win at Bay Hill, I am still not sure why. It must be his past reputation because a win at Bay Hill is not the same as the Masters in Springtime at Augusta.
His performance at Bay Hill was encouraging but on the final day nobody laid a hand on Tiger, it became a procession. His nearest opponent Graeme McDowell double bogeyed the opening hole and never could regain the ground lost. So Tiger entered the Masters untested, the white hot pressure that August imposes on players on every shot, on every hole proved to be his undoing.
Sky Sports were at their usual rubbish, trumpeting Tigers return. Colin Montgomery leading the charge, really these guys should know better. Golf is a game played between the ears as much as on the course. Monty suffered more than most, never winning a Major, but they were willing to look past the obvious and claim Tiger was back. Back to his best. Wrong, wrong wrong.
Tiger folded like a deck of cards early on in Fridays round. He got to 3 under on the 3rd hole, missed a par putt on the 4th, leaving a ten foot par putt well short and never looked like regaining his composure, he dropped 6 shots coming home. He finished the weekend with his reputation scarred by his on course antics, cursing, throwing clubs, digging up the immaculate Augusta golf course. This is a guy in crisis. Does Tiger see this, nope. He is in denial and has being since he set himself on fire by reversing into a fire hydrant.
Tiger in his better days.
Will Tiger win more majors, maybe. The difficulty is that now under-pressure he makes mistakes which he can’t fix. In the past he could always recover as he always held the par putts from the extraordinary locations, that no longer happens. Tiger is now normal, he has scar tissue, something he never suffered from before. I wish him well and hope that he can get back to his brilliant best, as golf will be the winner.
Munster on the other hand, it was not easy to stomach the last two weeks. They have not lost two consecutive matches in Thomond for a long time. Leinster then Ulster came and plundered two good wins. As a Munster fan this transition period is wrecking my head. We are blooding new players but still hate to lose to any team.
The minus’s are we are losing our coach, we got beaten in the quarter final of the H/Cup on our own ground, we have an in-experienced team, plus it is now unlikely we will win the Rabo Direct. The plus’s are we are losing our head coach, we blooded 10 new players during this seasons H/Cup, we won 6 out of 6 qualifying from our H/Cup group and qualified for a home quarter final in the same competition.
Munster on their way to a comfortable win over Northampton earlier this season:)
Other good news is that we have signed two very good centers in Downey from Northampton and Casey-Lala from the Cardiff Blues, the latter described last week by Brian O’Driscoll as one of the best outside centers in European rugby right now. For all our possession against Ulster we are not creative behind the scrum consistently enough. Ulster had to run up a tackle count of around 150 tackles. With that much ball we could only score one try.
Our scrum is now stable and in some cases a weapon, BJ Botha has to be given serious credit as does the Munster scrum coach. Munsters academy has produced a lot of good players, 10 of which made their debuts in the H/Cup. O’Mahony, O’Donnell, Sherry, Murray, Zebo and Archer all players that have played or will play for Ireland. Munsters B team won the B & I cup beating a packed Leinster team in the final last week. Add to that Axel Foley could become our new coach.
Hence my headline Munster on the up and up.