A half-game? The NCAA needs new lawyers if this is the best advice it can buy.
And raise your hand if you thought there was the remotest chance Johnny Football wouldn’t be taking snaps against Alabama two weeks hence. I have a few financial opportunities you and I could discuss.
It’s clear by now there are two people named Tiger Woods.
There is the regular-season Tiger Woods and there is the playoff Tiger Woods. Once upon a time they were one and the same, but since the 2009 PGA that has not been the case.
The separation took place months before the infamous Thanksgiving backing out of the driveway. The separation began when the man who never blew a 54-hole lead (well, almost never) blew a big one in the 2009 PGA, losing to Y.E. Yang. It was a major that got away, and he is still looking for No. 15, more than five years after winning No. 14.
Tiger can still kick some serious butt in the non-majors (i.e. the golf regular season). He has won five times this year. I would call that the equivalent of an NBA team winning 68 games. But when the playoffs roll around (i.e. the majors) he has become an entirely different Tiger Woods. That Tiger Woods is a toothless feline, apparently incapable of breaking 70 on the weekend. He always has an explanation, but the simple fact is the playoff Tiger is not the same guy as the regular-season Tiger. He is a 68-win regular-season team who gets knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.
I’ve read and heard various explanations for all this, and that includes the premise that he now only wins on familiar courses, but to me it is very simple. Technical, schmechnical, it’s all in his head. It’s not simply about the need to keep the ball in the fairway or make the requisite putts. The clock is ticking on his pursuit of Nicklaus and the magic No. 18, and he knows it. Five precious years have passed and he is still stuck at 14, when we all thought he’d probably have it done by now.
Regular-season Tiger will pass Sam Snead. Playoff Tiger has very little chance of passing Jack. For Playoff Tiger to win even one more major he must find a way to transfer Regular-season Tiger’s game to the right four days on the golf calendar.
Maybe Regular-season Tiger and Playoff Tiger should, oh, you know, do lunch or take a meeting.
NFL concussion settlement
It ain’t over till it’s over. And it ain’t over. Two-hand touch may eventually be the only solution.
Bob Ryan's column appears regularly in the Globe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.