Tags: tiger | woods | injury

Golf Talk: Creamer's Mental Game, Tiger's Injury

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2008 11:35 AM

By Anthony Pioppi

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  • Paula Creamer in the Zone

  • Expert says Tiger's Injury Not Golf Related

  • Lee Westwood Feels Major Intensity

  • Harrington: Fear Is a Motivator

  • Davis Love Is Tired of Whiners

  • Michelle Wie Drops the Ball


    Paula Creamer in the Zone

    If there was any question if Paula Creamer was over her poor performance in the last round of the U.S. Women's Open, she answered it in the form of an 11-under-par 60 in the first round of the Corning Classic.

    She had 11 birdies and no bogies, shooting 27 on the front.

    "I was always in the zone," said Creamer, "I never realized where I was until the last couple of holes, when I started to think about it a little bit."

    She was so focused on the task at hand she did not realize the Highland Meadows course is a par-71.

    Creamer said she lambasted herself in jest after the round.

    "Seventy-one? You should have shot a 59! What were you doing out there?" Creamer said. "It was funny."

    Expert Says Tiger's Injury Not Golf Related

    Larry Holt, a retired professor of kinesiology, writes that Tiger Woods could have easily prevented both recent surgeries that have sidelined him for an undetermined amount of time.

    "His type of injuries were self-inflicted and are not related to practicing or playing golf, but through his non-specific training that has virtually no positive influence on how he plays the game," Holt said.

    Holt is the lead author of "Scientific Stretching for Sport-3S" and a new book called "Flexibility: A Concise Guide to Conditioning, Performance Enhancement, Injury Prevention, and Rehabilitation." He taught at the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    Woods said shortly after winning the U.S. Open that he had suffered a double stress fracture in his left leg before the championship, and that he had torn an ACL while running the week after the 2007 British Open.

    Holt contends Woods put too much stress on his lower body over the years by lifting weights, adding muscle and therefore weight to his upper body.

    "Look how many golfers get stress fractures. Not many. It makes no sense. It's the running with the added weight on his upper body [that led to Woods' stress fractures]. He's a basically lean guy who has put on upper-body mass. His body and legs are designed for a guy 20, 25 pounds lighter."

    Holt referred to golf as a "sedate" game, and said "the idea that you have to be in great shape to play great golf is ridiculous. Tiger just dueled it out with an overweight, mid-40s guy [Rocco Mediate] who couldn't pass a fitness test. People just won't see what is plainly in front of their eyes."

    Lee Westwood Feels Major Intensity

    Lee Westwood says his third-place finish at the U.S. Open, a shot out of the playoff with Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate, has invigorated his game.

    "The whole experience left me more convinced than I ever was that I can win one of these things," he said. "I didn't realize how important majors were until I came close to winning one."

    Although he expected to be intimidated playing with Woods, he reveled in the moment. "I could feel the intensity that goes with playing with Tiger, and I thought to myself, 'It can never get worse than this.'" He shot even par over the final 18 holes.

    Harrington: Fear Is a Motivator

    Now that Padraig Harrington has vaulted himself into the rarified air of back-to-back winners of major championships with his recent Open Championship defense at Royal Birkdale, golf fans might be surprised to find what drives the affable Irishman with the wide smile and bouncy gait.

    "Fear is, and will be always, the motivator with my golf," said Harrington, who won no tournaments between the two Opens. "Every time I took my winter break, I was very anxious that my game would still be there when I came out. You can see from my results that I was always good from the start of the year because I'm anxious to come out and prove myself again."

    Harrington said inwardly he does not have the calm demeanor displayed on the course. "So, fear is a big part of me, and I'd like to say that I have all the trust and patience and like to relax, but that's not my makeup," he said. "[Fear] pushes me on and keeps me practicing, keeps me getting into the gym, so I have to work with it and use it."

    Davis Love Is Tired of Whiners

    Davis Love, who finished 19th at the Open Championship, had enough of the whining by the American pros over the brutal windy weather at Royal Birkdale.

    "If you don't like it, don't come," he said. "This is the oldest and biggest tournament in the world, and I'm happy to be here. It may be frustrating but you always learn something, and I'll go back energized and excited by how I played here."

    Two-time major championship winner Alexander Walter Barr Lyle raised the ire of players, fans, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club by walking off after 10 holes in the first round of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

    Lyle, better known as Sandy, who won the title in 1985 at Royal St. George's Golf Club, was 11-over par at the time.

    "I hit a few 'skanky' shots at the start and it wasn't much fun. I was a complete head case out there, and there was no point in carrying on," said Lyle.

    Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, questioned his professionalism. "It was a rough, tough day," he said, "but he is a professional golfer. I wonder how he would feel if the man or woman doing the recording were to walk in at the halfway point? Professional golfers should complete their rounds."

    American Rich Beem also quit during the first round saying he wouldn't have broken 90 if he played all 18.

    New Zealander Mark Brown was an alternate and would have been in the field had either Beem or Lyle backed out before teeing off.

    "To have played in the Open would have meant a great deal to me — and to hear that someone has walked in when he wasn't ill or injured is very disappointing when I've come all this way and am waiting to get out there," he said.

    Michelle Wie Drops the Ball

    Michelle Wie's scorecard debacle at the State Farm Classic shows, if nothing else, she is still an 18-year-old and can, at times, be a bit discombobulated just like others her age.

    Inexplicably, after her second round, in which she shot 67 to move into a tie for first, Wie walked out of the scorer's tent for a brief time without signing her scorecard, meaning disqualification.

    LPGA officials did not discover the transgression until Wie was already into her round the next day.

    "I don't know why or how it happened," said a tearful Wie. "It's just really unfortunate. Usually I sign it first but I forgot to sign the scorecard."

    Sue Witters, the LPGA director of tournament competitions, disqualified Wie in a small office in an LPGA trailer at the Panther Creek Country Club course after hearing Wie's version of the events the previous day.

    "She was like a little kid after you tell them there's no Santa Claus," said Witters. Wie said that after the round she had left the tent where players sign their scorecards and was immediately chased by some tournament volunteers who pointed out she had not signed.

    Unfortunately, she had left the roped-off area around the tent.

    "Once it was brought to her attention, and we asked her to tell us what she recalled from yesterday once she got in the scoring tent, she about verbatim told us what we were told by a few of the volunteers," Witters said.

    "Never at any point did she try to deceive us. She couldn't have been more honest."

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