Monday, August 17, 2009

Y.E. (S) - Yang Hold Off Tiger In An Upset

When the weekend started it looked like it was just going to shape up like any other August weekend a bit of baseball, some NASCAR, a smattering of tennis with a sprinkle of golf. What it turned out to be was all that and the traditional bag-of-chips.

I don’t think that anyone would have thought that Tiger Woods who was the leader in the 4th and final Major on the PGA tour from nearly wire to wire would succumb to an unknown South Korean named Y.E. Yang on the final day...while entering with a 2 shot lead. 2 Shots on a Sunday to Tiger is like money in the bank. Up until yesterday that has never happened when he was either leading or had a share of the lead. That is just part of what makes this such a huge deal. In the US it is a Tiger gave it away which is somewhat true but then there is also the other side where in South Korea Yang is now a hero in the country and instantly became a household name. In probably one of the most unlikely situations Tiger couldn’t rise to the occasion and get his putter working to fight off Yang. He shot well enough to win but just couldn’t close out the way that he needed. The amount of puts that he missed by 1/4s of an inch...he should have breezed to another major. But hey that is golf and it is a game of fractions of an inch.

To Yangs' credit he hung in like a champ and didn’t get rattled by Tigers imposing shadow. Maybe not knowing the language, not knowing what he was doing was so monumental was the key. Yang was playful down the stretch throwing a ball into the crowd, waving to the CBS cameraman, it was almost like he was too relaxed, maybe that was his strategy to keep his mind off the impending pressure. At the end he grabbed his golf bag and lifted it over his head like it was a championship belt or the Stanley Cup. Either way he got it done. It was one of the largest upsets ever in golf and will probably go down as one of the bigger ones in sports. Being the stage it was on and the fact it was the first time that someone was able to stand up to Tiger and live to tell about it...through an interpreter.

What I hate was hearing form some people that Tiger choked and has not had a good year because he has no Majors and lost yesterday. The only way the you can come to this conclusion is if you put Tiger vs Vintage Tiger. 5 wins in a year coming off a "MAJOR" (pun intended) injury to his knee and going out with 2 wins and a 2nd place finish. All in all that isn’t bad. Is being the Player of the Year the sign of having a bad year, since he is probably going to win that again? I am going to say only maybe to Tiger.

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