Let’s actually look at what Sabbatini had to say: “The funny thing is, after watching him play last Sunday, I think he’s more beatable than ever. I think there’s a few fortuitous occasions out there that really changed the round for him at Wachovia. And realizing that gives me even more confidence to go in and play with him on Sunday again.” Does anyone actually believe that if you DON’T think you can beat Tiger that you CAN beat Tiger? If you think you’ve got no shot to win, you have no shot to win. You have to believe you are capable of winning, and you’ve got to believe you’re going to win before you can win. It’s a competitive arrogance that you MUST have if you are going to compete on ANY level. Do you actually think that T-Mac thinks: I can’t drive past Manu, and even if I do, Duncan is back there… what do I do?? HELL NO!! In his mind, he’s already beaten Manu, and is just looking for what to do after he’s past him.. dunk on Timmy or drop it off to Yao for the dunk. Does Chad Johnson think he CAN’T beat Champ Bailey?? HELL NO!! He’s thinking up what his TD dance will be after he beats Champ for 6! If you don’t have it, get off of the field, court, pitch, or course, because you’re done.
Does anyone deny that Tiger has had more than his share of ‘fortuitous occasions’ on the golf course? From people batting an off line drive back into play to rules officials giving him an ‘immovable obstruction’ free drop after hitting it OVER the clubhouse at Firestone, to rules officials giving him an incorrect drop at Carnoustie off of TV Cables, he’s had plenty. The thing that makes him great is that he takes full advantage of those opportunities, taking a 5 or 6 and turning it into a 3 or 4. He’s also the best grinder anyone’s ever seen. A bad day for some people is 76, he takes a round that should be 76 and turns it into 72 or 71 just by sheer force of will and grinding on the putting.
The other strange thing is that media types always complain about how bland some golfers are and they wish they’d say something that creates controversy. Well, here’s a guy that said something that’s not even that bad, and they club him over the head with it all day on the broadcast. It’s exactly the same thing as when Phil said that Tiger was playing with inferior equipment. Everyone knows that Nike wasn’t up to speed with advanced golf club technology when they first started. It was a given. The fact that Tiger was winning with that stuff was a testament to his greatness as a golfer, not a diss. You know he has more skill that the equipment is allowing him to show. It’s like a tennis player beating you with a wood racquet, while you have the top of the line graphite model. You have the advantage. Your racquet allows you to hit the ball with more pace, and probably allows for better placement control. But if the other guy beats you with wood, imagine the spanking he’d give you if he had a racquet even close to yours.