Mother Nature Was the Best Player at Doral
~by Amy Lignor
It will always remain – or, at least for a while longer – that no matter who plays, leads, or wins in a golf tournament, it is the face and game of Tiger Woods that everyone wants to know about.
Last week back pain halted his attempt at success, and he walked from the green at the Cadillac Championship in excruciating pain. People were saying how difficult it was that the cash prize wouldn’t be his; not, apparently, understanding that Tiger Woods being low on cash is not a fact in 2014.
Woods did make sure to hit one of those unimaginable shots – a 91-foot putt on the par-3 No. 4 hole for birdie – before he walked away. This was the longest putt on the PGA Tour in the last three seasons, and also the longest one for Tiger, himself, since he hit a 120-footer back in 2001 and became a ‘Transformer’ in peoples’ minds.
Moving forward, Doral, Florida gave the players some pretty harsh weather conditions to deal with this weekend. High winds made it seem as if the players were about to be sent 120-feet because of putts made by Mother Nature’s own hand.
The 68-player field at Trump National Doral was beyond a nightmare. In fact, it looked like something Stephen King would write into a novel about how best to slice and dice a golfer on the green with a metal flagpole. (No ideas, Stephen, that’s copyrighted).
The par-72 Blue Monster, was a goal of Donald Trump’s who paid major cash to redesign the course, but the wind, the hard greens, and a setup that was almost ridiculous, brought him some seriously bad reviews for all his work.
No, no one is saying ‘oh, poor babies.’ After all, this is golf. No 800-pound defensive lineman is ready to take you down on the field. But the course and conditions (the conditions can not be changed seeing as that they are all natural), made the best players in the world look like amateurs, and kept the rounds going, and going, and going.
Tiger Woods was the defending champion, and the payout for this particular one was $1,530,000 for the winner out of a $9 million purse. Here’s a nugget to chew on, though: Perhaps Mother Nature giving it her all and thrusting the worst of the worst at Tiger actually makes his back feel better? That would be odd, but when it came to Saturday’s play, Tiger reappeared and raced up the leader board. Could be the conditions, could be the fact that on Friday after his play he received treatments for his back in order to keep him going and allow him not to leave the course this time around.
The biggest names in the world of golf looked annoyed and exhausted most of the way through. Some looked nothing like the champions they have always been; they looked more like people who wished the NFL would resume so they could be sitting at home in recliners, eating potato chips and yelling happily at the screen.
But…the game went on (and on). PGA champion, Jason Dufner, led and/or shared the lead with others during parts of the first round, along with Rory McIlroy. Jason Day never even bothered with a shot, withdrawing from competition with a bad thumb. Perhaps he knew something the others didn’t about just how bad this course would become. And Mickelson was most definitely the one who wore the mask best when it came to praying for the NFL to begin again.
Sunday begins…it’s almost over…Tiger is in the hunt and the winner is…Patrick Reed.
Tiger is still the love-child of golf fans everywhere, and his back pain still seems to outrank anything the actual winner of the game achieves. But when people look back on this one, the main thing that will be remembered is how absolutely horrific Donald Trump’s redesign worked out.
Trump? You’re Fired!