Posted January 27, 2014

No Tournament For Old Men: Phil And Tiger Cope With the Ravages of Time

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Phil Mickelson, 2014 Farmers Insurance Open

Phil Mickelson during the first round of the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open. (Credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Officially, Thursday marked the start of the Farmers Insurance Open, but it could have been mistaken for the Champions Tour as the event’s two biggest names became the focus of discussions that centered on the ravages of Old Man Time.

First there was Phil Mickelson, showing signs of discomfort from a tweaked back muscle as he went about his round on the North Course at Torrey Pines. Mickelson managed a three-under 69 but confessed to feeling twinges of sharp pain that kept him from “swinging from the top.”

After the round, he was asked on Golf Channel what caused the injury.

“I’m just getting old,” said Lefty, who, at 43, doesn’t even qualify as middle-aged.

Next up, Tiger Woods, who battled his ball flight on the more difficult South Course en route to an even-par 72.

His play, not surprisingly, came under careful scrutiny from none other than Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee. Love him or hate him (and many of Tiger’s most feverish supporters have made it clear where they stand on that one), Chamblee ranks among the smartest of talking-heads, and his insights into Tiger’s swing make good TV.

In this case, with help from side-by-side images, Chamblee pointed out how much shorter Woods’ backswing was on Thursday than it was during his 2013 Farmers win.

Chamblee has described Woods as an “old 37,” a man who has lived several golfing lifetimes in the course of his career.

On Thursday he went further. As images of Tiger flashed on the screen, Chamblee noted that the swing looked like the action of a “55-year-old.”

Well, at least Tiger didn’t commit Phil’s faux pas. He wasn’t being cavalier about his age.

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9 comments
driller
driller

I haven't seen it mentioned, but in watching Tiger at the Farmer's, it seemed like his back was stiff.

emncaity
emncaity

I usually think Chamblee's pretty on target, but Woods' swing didn't look like a 55-year-old's, unless you're talking about a Watson or an Irwin, somebody who was great at 55.  He was out of synch.  We're only a few months removed from his five victories last year.  I'm pretty sure he didn't get old between then and now.  Same for Mickelson.  It's not like he got ten years older since his Open victory.


Swear to God, people read way, way too much into one week.   Have some of the writers and commentators ever heard of this game?  It's called golf.  Some weeks are good, some aren't.

benseattle
benseattle

<<  “I’m just getting old,” said Lefty, who, at 43, doesn’t even qualify as middle-aged.>>

Check the calendar.  In a country where the average male lives to about age 85,  a guy like Mickelson who is 43 years old is EXACTLY a "middle age."    What... 50 is now "middle aged?"    Okay then, if 50 is the number to "halfway home," then how many 100-year-olds do YOU know?

jradam77
jradam77

It's funny that everyone is looking at TW and Phil. But a good portion of the golfers at Torrey Pines are spraying golf balls just as much and they are rusty. The majority of the players that are playing well are those who kept playing through the wrap-around season. Moreover, these players are also rusty and they are taking a lot of things for granted. Phil looked fair last week. Tiger said that he took two major golf breaks. Tiger needs to get together with Mr.Driver VRS 2.0. Notah B. was and is absolutely correct about that…Let's see what Tiger does at the Emirates next  week and we'll see if Phil can show and  defend Arizona next weekend...

TigerWoodsBallz
TigerWoodsBallz

I love Chamblee!
Very smart, and not afraid to speak the truth and give his honest educated opinion on Tiger EVEN IF IT IS NOT COMPLIMENTARY!
We're used to everyone else always kissing Woods' butt. Making excuses for him, etc.

Not Chamblee and I respect that.


It's hard these days for people in the media to be critical of guys that look like Woods, or our current president.
You might get called racist if you are critical of folks like them.


Chamblee doesn't back down. I respect that.

MorphySmith
MorphySmith

It's hell to get old. especially when they see all those younger stronger players out there.

Mike48
Mike48

You writers need to calm down it's Tigers first event and Phil's second of the year look at the record book Tiger and Phil are the best of the best you writers SUCK, I'm sure you shoot in the 100's

emncaity
emncaity

@benseattle 

I'll have you know even 53 isn't middle-aged.  I'll let you and everybody else know when I've left the ranks of the young and can't beat the living sh$% out of everybody.

BubbaJoBubba1
BubbaJoBubba1

@TigerWoodsBallz Chamblee is a washed up golfer with a big mouth............period.  The sooner the Golf Channel turns him loose the better. 

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