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Woody Austin Could Beat Tiger Woods, He Just, Well, Didn’t

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It’s fairly evident what Woody Austin tried to do yesterday.

Since the game of golf is about as mental as a panicked Ed Grimley, Austin — who finished second in this past weekend’s PGA Championship to Tiger Woods — is just trying to break free from the shackles that nobody can beat Woods down the stretch, I must say. Just hear out Austin’s logic: “It just happens that he scored better. You can’t throw away that many opportunities when you are trying to win a big golf tournament. He took advantage; I didn’t. Does that mean he played better than me or he’s better than me? I don’t agree with that.”

Reminds me of Bart Simpson: “I could do that, I just don’t want to.”

woodyaustinWe’ll give Austin this: compared to each golfer’s typical finish, Austin wiped the floor with Woods, because this is Woods’ 13th major championship and Austin’s first top ten finish in a major. So in his own mind, Austin played better than Woods. I can see his argument, it’s just ridiculously off-base. Because PGA tournaments, especially major championships, just don’t use handicap.

But you have to admire what Austin is trying to do. He knows he could have beaten Woods if one of his rounds had turned out a wee bit better. If we negate Austin’s and Woods’ Friday scores (where Woods had a 63 and Austin scored a 70), Austin actually beat Woods head-to-head. And Austin’s final round on Sunday — the day where champions are sculpted and broken — was two strokes better than Woods’. Some kind of statistical base does help shake off the psyche that the guy next to you will always win. Because golfers are like little kids; tell them something enough times and they start to believe it. “Tiger Woods never loses on Sunday.” “Sergio Garcia always finds a way to lose.” “John Daly wants to put a sawbuck on red 23.”

Austin is not in the same stratosphere as Woods, and I don’t think he’s looking to become his rival. As a 43-year-old professional with three career wins, Austin hasn’t even played in a Masters or British Open championship in 10 years. (He’s no slouch either — his second place finish yesterday vaulted him to 34th in the Official World Golf Ranking.) But Austin’s one-man mind game is a valuable lesson for the whoever competes against Woods in next year’s Masters. During any given round, Woods is beatable — even on Sundays. Don’t let anyone behind the “QUIET PLEASE” sign say otherwise.

Austin’s next challenge is competing in the Presidents Cup (his runner-up finish also sent him high enough in the rankings to qualify for the team) and will be golfing alongside Woods in an effort to bring the trophy — whatever it’s called — back to the United States. So, all that stuff Austin said about how Woods is beatable? I hope the international team wasn’t listening to that.

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  • jim

    Woody, woody, woody. Does Barry Manilow know you raided his clothes closet? Yikes!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    The polo equivalent of the Huxtable sweater.

  • http://battlewang.net Storm

    I like the way Woody said: “All I hear is how unbeatable he is. I beat him today but it doesn’t matter because he had 4 shots on me.

    How did he get that 4 shot lead Woody? I think most people have learned to admit Tiger is the best ever and there’s nothing they can do about it. There are still a lot of pros that are flat out jealous like Woody. If he’s beatable, then why didn’t you just do it Woody? :)

  • ;,11374

    Woody, you wouldn’t hear Tiger talking like you do, he would be congratulating you had you won. And would have admitted that he just did his best and it wasn’t good enough. See the difference between a good sportsman and a amature? Tiger is young and yet such a nice gentleman. His mom and dad really did a tremendous job in raising him and showing him real values.

  • harlan

    Woody didn’t beat Tiger. Woody was attacking while Tiger was on cruise control. Had Tiger been attacking and firing for the pin he easily could have been at -12.

  • CJ Moffett

    When I read what Woody said, I am both confounded and irritated. He actually said that he, tee to green, outplayed Tiger on Friday!! Woods shot a record tying 63!! That observation by Austin is beyond stupid–it is saturated with jealousy and bitterness. Before this episode, I admired Woody Austin–I saw him as a tenacious jounneyman underdog that you can’t help but be pulling for (even though I am a huge Tiger supporter and hoped he’w win #13). Now I see him as an extremely petty also-ran who has no clue to what sportsmanship and tact are.

  • bob

    Woody was crying about woods slamming his driver on the ground. Woody says, “I do it and everyone says its a bad thing”. Well woody, You dont just slam your club on the ground, You beat yourself with them. Woody beat himself in the head with a putter until it was bent. Yes woody, if Tiger did that people would talk. What a nutjob.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/tuffy Tuffy

    I must say, Woody’s effort was totally decent.

  • Pete C

    i respect woody a lot, he is like the “rocky” of golf to me. usually the underdog in ppls eyes in the battle, but will surprise u with a good fight. People also like to critisize his attitude and saying hes on of the best, but if u are any professional athlete, u have to think ur the best and aim to be the best to succeed. good job woody, keep it up, and good luck in the presidents cup.
    -Pete C.

  • Ed Robles

    Woody you are just a 43 year old amateur…you definitely do not know the meaning of sportmanship…maybe you should take a few pointers from the TIGER…hehehehe

  • woody austin

    were you a tampa building inspector

  • Jeff Heller

    It seems to me that Woody Austin was making a point that people missed. Woody was speaking out about the media. The media for years has made fun of Woody and everything he does. Tiger does the same thing and it is not mentioned. During the last tournament a British announcer remarked about Woody “The lights are on but nobody’s home”
    Wow! This is a personal attack that has nothing to do with golf. The media simply hates Woody. As evidence I submit this.Woody is in 2nd place in a tourny and they rarely show him. Sombody like Scott Verplank who is not even on the leader board get all the video. Let’s be fair to Woody!

  • Frank Htlelbuler

    No it’s not just the media. We ALL hate that theif!

  • John The Duffer

    Geez he’s at it again!
    Woody you got ambushed by Rich Lerner from the golf chanel ; and you big dummy you fell for it with your Friday comments, about Tiger’s mental toughness,— Why didn’t you just admit he’s teriffic and then remind Lerner that you are there to compete with your best stuff! and are not intimidated! — Woody man you know better! The harder you work the luckier you get!!! — Its not the other way around , niether so with focus concentration, and mental toughness, the tougher, more focused and concentrated and prepared you are, the higher the likelyhood more good things happen!
    Its nothing to do with luck or circimstances or the planets aligning to make it easier to be mentally tough! Nothing you dont already know—! Play your game AND LET THAT SPEAK FOR YOU!– You know Tiger will always play his!–On a given day its skill focus concentrtion,control, toughness, and all the hard work and preperation, that -makes luck!

  • Brian

    Woody,

    Please take a little advise from Rock. He was able to step aside, smile, laugh, and simply state I can only play my game as I am playing against a monster. Tiger has one more tournaments in 6 months than you have in a lifetime. Thats ok, your still a sick player you just can’t hang with the real pro’s. I was pleased to not see you on any highlight real with a bruised head and bent putter. Gotta start somewhere.

  • johnny c

    how come woody austin was fistpumping when he missed his putt on the 18th green to lose the buick last week… is he mental or somthing?

  • billy H,

    Sat and Sunday …..Woody Austin got 5 seconds of coverage from Golf and CBS !!??? Why ? He was 2 behind the leaders Sat. and Sunday was 4 under early…..I’m sick of commercials and TIGER TIGER TIGER…….

    How about a little balance….There is a lot at stake for 2nd >10th place

    Most of Tigers shots were live but not as many of harringtons !?

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