Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tiger gets Trounced

The opening of the 2006 European Tour season wasn't the kind of beginning that Tiger Woods expected.

Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai was supposed to be Tiger Woods' first win in China. Instead the number-one golfer on the PGA Tour suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of relative unknown David Howell. Although during the HSBC Champions Tournament Tiger Woods remained in contention he could not polish off Howell nor intimidate him.

Of a very large total purse of $5 million dollars, Howell received in excess of $800,000 while Tiger took a second place check of around $550,000...still not bad for a weekend's worth of golf.

Usually, when the Tiger is breathing down the backs of his competitors they often fold. Instead, David Howell turned the tables on Woods, marching out in front of Tiger after each of them hit their respective shots. And birdies were flying, although not from Woods but from Howell. Howell managed to birdie four of the first seven holes but had his blips on the eighth and ninth.

Tiger on the other hand had more trouble than expected and could only achieve two birdies on the front nine but wound up giving one back. In my opinion, Tiger's putting was letting him down this weekend. The greens were undulating and Tiger was also missing those easy putts, the ones from within five feet. Missing putts is the surest way not to score. Just look at Vijay Singh. He wasn't reading the line well and had trouble sinking the short ones too.

Howell took advantage of Tiger's troubles by pushing forward in spite of the fact that Tiger still could rally and decisively claimed two additional birdies on the back nine which would eventually lead to his exciting victory.

Even though it was a late round of golf I managed to stay awake because of the thrilling victory claimed by Howell.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images.

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