Bad news from the Tour as Bubba has made it official and pulled out of next week’s PLAYERS Championship 😦 Sighting reasons that sound like burnout (need family time, need to take a month off from the game), it’s upsetting to hard core fans when the most popular players pull out of the best events. Dustin Johnson pulled out as well sighting ongoing problems with his back. But the trend of high profile post-major burnout continues, which makes you wonder, is anyone managing these guys? Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open last year and basked so long in his popularity that didn’t play until a month later at the British Open and was hopelessly out of form.
I suspect the pressure to respond to the media after a major win, and the self imposed social networking obligations are taking a heavy toll on these players, with mental downtime at a premium. Call me nuts, but if I won the Masters, spending the next few weeks tweeting my every thought and responding to all the media inquiries would run me ragged. Remember how many talk shows Bubba did? Just incredible.
In the everyday course of life, don’t you get burned out from too much connectivity? I do, and when I hit the golf course, I make sure to unplug, go dark, and enjoy some serious disconnect. Now you or I will never have the”problem” of winning The Masters, but what would you have done different if you were Bubba?
Great finish to a great tournament and a truly deserving champion this year. Way to go Bubba! Final impressions on the principals:
- Bubba Watson (Champ) : Awesome display of poise coming down the stretch. Incredible ability to shape the ball in either direction and play recovery shots on demand. I have wondered how he would perform when he had to hit it straight and he answered the bell with the tee shots on #18 in regulation and the first playoff hole. Great victory for a popular player. Still can’t believe the second shot on the second playoff hole.
- Louis Oosthuizen (runner up) : I thought he had the inside track on victory because of his clutch putting. Made everything that he needed to, until the final hole of regulation. Very poised under pressure, unlike final round meltdown last week at Houston. Beautiful, powerful, compact golf swing.
- Tiger Woods (5-over par and out of contention) : Tiger is battling so many demons, worst of which are the lofty standards he set for himself in his former life. All that’s gone and what’s left is a good PGA Tour professional who’s so mired in swing mechanics he’s forgotten to just play the game and have fun. Grumpy when playing well, boorish when playing poorly.
- Rory McIlroy (5-over par and out of contention after round 3) : Very disappointed in his performance. Apparently needs to get over some mental blockers about Augusta National (more than the final round 80 from last year.) Great attitude though and should still be a factor in every major.
- Lee Westwood (tie for 3rd) : Excellent ball striking performance but can’t close the deal on the greens – again. Nothing new.
- Phil Mickelson (tie for 3rd) : Two shots out of the playoff with two triple bogeys. Should name a ride for him at Six Flags.