Tim Rosaforte is one of top mainstream golf analysts. He writes for the magazine Golf World and appears frequently on the Golf Channel as an "insider"—a guy whose specialty is getting off-the-record information from PGA Tour players.
I caught some of his analysis after the third round of the Chevron tournament Saturday evening. Apparently, Rosaforte is a leading proponent of the theory that Tiger Woods is mentally broken because of the sex scandal.
With some variations, this theory holds that because Tiger no longer has self-confidence, he can no longer make putts under pressure. Also, his competitors are no longer intimidated by him.
The main evidence of this is Graeme McDowell's victory over Woods in the playoff at last year's Chevron and the missed putts on the back nine at Augusta in April.
"I just came back from the clubhouse," smirked Rosaforte Saturday night on Golf Central. "I spoke with the guys. Nobody's afraid of Woods tomorrow."
What kind of journalism is this? No player on the planet—in any sport, in any era—is going to admit they are afraid of their opponent. They would have all said the exact same thing at the height of Tiger's glory.
It turns out that Sunday at the Chevron had the look and feel of a typical Tiger performance from one of his dominant streaks of the past.
Tiger avoided mistakes, while most of the closest competitors were forced to press and went backwards. One guy, Zach Johnson, managed to make it interesting, but on 17 and 18, Tiger made the big putts and Johnson didn't.
I had to hang around on Sunday to see what Rosaforte had to say after the tournament. Smartly, he backed off his usual aggressive "Tiger's finished" stance. (Expect Greg Norman and Nick Faldo to follow suit shortly.)
Surprisingly, though, he rallied to the defense of his comments the night before.
"It wasn't an easy win. Zach Johnson fought him all the way to the finish. It remains to be seen if Tiger's going to have it so easy next season. The guys are going to fight him now," Rosaforte said
What tournaments has Rosaforte been watching for the last 14 years?
True, Tiger has won more than a few tournaments by five strokes or more, but the vast majority of his victories have been very close, intense competitions—just like this Sunday at Chevron.
Why else would he be known for making pressure putts and remarkable shots at the end of tournaments? That's his whole thing. Someone like Zach Johnson has almost always been breathing down his neck at the end of a tournament.
Rosaforte, either start reporting straight, or find something else to do.
A few other notes on the Chevron
1) If Zach Johnson hadn't holed out twice from the fairway for eagle earlier in the tournament, Tiger's margin of victory would have been five strokes over the field.
2) At this point, the "Keegan Bradley for President's Cup" bandwagon is completely empty. Tiger not only made the winning point in the President's Cup by blasting hometown favorite Aaron Baddeley out of the water, but Bradley then turns around and finishes next-to-last at the Chevron, 20 strokes behind Woods.
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