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Tiger needs to cut losses

Forget the Ryder Cup, too; Woods should tell all, move on

August 8, 2010
By B.J. LISKO, Salem News Sports Editor

Almost every fan of golf is going to want it to happen. Even if it is just to see the car keep crashing.

Tiger Woods wrapped up his worst 72-hole performance as a PGA professional at the Bridgestone in Akron Sunday. He looked completely out of sorts since the opening round, flailing at shots, chunking the ball into ponds, hitting trees and spectators -Tiger looked like John Daly on a bender. Actually scratch that. I've seen Daly on benders, and even he mixes in a good one every now and again, no matter how out of sorts his brain might get off the course.

Tiger hit them all terrible, and it's become alarmingly clear that the wheels have fallen off, not just in his game, but the personal life that he refuses to speak about.

What everyone is going to want to see is Tiger on the U.S. Ryder Cup team come October when the Americans try to hang onto the cup in Wales. It seems unthinkable that the No. 1 golfer in the world wouldn't be on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. But he's not playing like No. 1. He's not even playing like No. 1,000.

A simple message to U.S. captain Corey Pavin: Don't do it. Unless by some miracle Tiger goes to Whistling Straights and plays night and day differently than he did in Akron should Pavin consider taking Tiger with one of his captain's picks.

Pavin has said he wanted him on the team, and he had hoped Tiger would earn an automatic spot. That seems highly unlikely now, and Pavin is going to have a decision to make unless Tiger pulls himself out of the running and tells the U.S. captain that he can't do it.

He hasn't ruled it out yet, but just listening to how defeated he is right now, one would have to think he would save Pavin the trouble if he plays poorly again in the PGA Championship.

"''I wouldn't help the team if I'm playing like this,'' he said, in an Associated Press story Sunday. ''No one would help the team if they're shooting 18-over par.''

This was supposed to be Tiger's year. He screwed it up royally. He screwed it up last Thanksgiving, and pretty much all of the few years before that by completely botching his personal life.

And now a simple message to Tiger: Cut your losses. Get out. Get divorced, pay the insane amount of money to the wife you cheated on and open a new chapter. Quit hiding behind your celebrity and just spit out all the answers everyone in the press wants to know. Talk to Oprah, talk to Dr. Phil, hell, talk to Maury Povich -he'll gladly spot you a paternity test.

Woods seems like he's trying to hang onto something that just isn't there, like he's trying to atone. But if he were in fact atoning his golf game would be at least respectable. It's obvious he's in unfamiliar territory and has no clue what to do. He fired his swing coach, been belligerent with the media. About the only thing he's done right is keep it together on the course. But really, how big of a deal is that? Once you're in second to last place, it's not even worth throwing the club anymore.

His life has been one way forever. Now that it's chaos, he doesn't know how to deal with it, doesn't want help, and unless he gets it you can forget about hitting 18 majors. Try making 18 cuts. Try committing yourself to 18 events.

Infidelity. Divorce. Gossip. Rumors. Scandal. Welcome to your new life, Tiger. You can move past it all if you choose. Take it from guys like Daly. Hell, take it from a guy like me who is one of millions of people who have gone through divorce, been through therapy, been bloated on anti-depressants - there is no quick fix. Sometimes if you make a mess of things, it's better to let it all out in the open, go back to the drawing board and start over. Golf is a mental grind, and you're mentally grinding it straight into the ground. When you're past all of this, and I and so many other people sincerely hope that you do get past all of this, you'll be happier, wiser and far more at peace with yourself.

Once you've been to hell and back, golf will be the easiest, most enjoyable thing in the world.

E-mail B.J. Lisko at



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