Missing LinksDecember 28, 2015

Tiger Woods at 40 evokes memory of Willie Mays at end of his career

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Examinations of Tiger Woods at 40 (his birthday is Wednesday) don’t reflect kindly on the best player of this generation and even evoke the memory of Willie Mays, “stumbling around center field at the end of his career,” instructor Bill Harmon (Butch’s brother) said in this extensive appraisal of Woods by Christian Red in the New York Daily News. “It’s gotten to where Tiger is shanking the ball around the greens. How long can he stand to be this bad?”

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What might have happened with Woods’ career had he not obsessively pursued fitness, had he avoided the off-course transgressions that helped derail his career? “It’s still a stretch to say that even with those changes he would have overtaken the most daunting record in all of sport — Jack Nicklaus’s total of 18 majors,” Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail writes. “But does anyone who witnessed him at the peak of his powers seriously doubt he would have made it by the time he reached today’s milestone? Certainly not this observer.”

Is Maverick McNealy, a Stanford junior and the No. 2-ranked amateur player in the world, destined for a long career in professional golf? The answer is not necessarily easy, according to his father Scott, founder of Sun Microsystems. “He’s obviously excited to see Maverick play in marquee tournaments, but he also envisions him having a big impact in the business world if he follows that path,” Ron Kroichick writes in the San Francisco Chronicle. “‘The good news is, he’s got lots of choices and he’s earned them,’ Scott McNealy said. ‘Working makes you want to go hit golf balls, and hitting golf balls makes you want to go work.’”

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