By John Strege
The notion that Tiger Woods’ obsession with fitness might have contributed to his multitude of injuries through the years, that he might have been working out too hard, was summarily dismissed by fitness fanatic Gary Player Wednesday.
“People that are saying things like that have no conception of what they're talking about,” Player said in an interview on Golf Channel’s Live from the Masters show on Wednesday. “The night before I won the grand slam [the U.S. Open in 1965] , I was exercising profusely. I was squatting with 325 pounds on a Saturday night. And everybody said, ‘you can’t do that and play golf. You’re finished. You’ll never have a long career.’
"So anybody who says that Tiger’s working out too hard talks absolute nonsense. You cannot work out too hard. They talk nonsense.”
Woods recently underwent back surgery and is not playing in the Masters.
‘Phil can be a little obtuse’
Phil Mickelson revealed on Tuesday that he hadn’t had a shot between 90 and 130 yards at Augusta in several years and therefore had no need for a gap wedge or sand wedge, though he did elect to put the gap wedge back in his bag.
“That was one of the most fascinating sound bites I’ve ever heard, for Phil Mickelson to say, I don’t have any shots between 90 and 130 yards,” Golf Channel’s Charlie Rymer said. “He’s struggling to find a 14th club. Just put one in there as your designated throwing club.”
Notah Begay III weighed in with a more serious analysis.
“We all know that Phil can be a little obtuse in his thought processes at times, but one thing that you’ve got to give him credit for, he’s always trying to get better,” Begay said. “He’s probably taken some pretty meticulous notes over the last few years to know that he hasn’t had a shot between 90 and 130 yards and be able to make an adjustment so they can come to the golf course with the best set of clubs in the bag.”
Augusta National and rules officials
ESPN on Sports Center revisited the Tiger Woods’ rules controversy from the 2013 Masters, when Woods inadvertently took an illegal drop, eventually resulting in a two-stroke penalty being assessed the following day.
Augusta National chairman Billy Payne defended how it employs rules officials, “which is not to say that we would never consider a change,” he said.
ESPN’s Dottie Pepper suggested that there is indeed a better way. “I would definitely have a referee with each group,” she said. “If you have someone right with that group at all times, with eyes wide open, responsible for those two or three players, you’re going to get a better feel of what the faces are around the situation. I think that’s something that could be improved upon.”
Spieth, Tiger and etiquette
Can you spot the difference?
Jordan Spieth, 20, from his news conference on Tuesday: “We had planned on playing a practice round obviously something not many people have been able to ever do, which is to play with Mr. Watson and Mr. Crenshaw at Augusta.”
Tiger Woods, then 20, in a news conference at the U.S. Open in 1996: “I know Greg has shared a lot with me, so has Arnold as well as Jack.”
One of the 20-year-olds used the honorific, “Mr,” in speaking of his esteemed elders.
Dan Jenkins: "BULLETIN: The Masters has no plan to plant a Martha Burk tree near the IHop on Washington Road."