SI convened a panel of experts—senior writers Michael Bamberger, Damon Hack, Alan Shipnuck and Gary Van Sickle as well as special contributor John Garrity—and a PGA Tour pro (who participated on the condition of anonymity) to take up these and other questions.
THE BOOK ON TIGER
Van Sickle: Sean Foley asked everyone to quit talking about Tiger Woods. So let's talk about Tiger.
Anonymous Pro: I'm sure Tiger watches everything, and Brandel Chamblee is very outspoken and brutally honest. Maybe Tiger is thinking, What we're doing isn't getting me where I want to go. Maybe he's not blaming Foley yet, but....
Shipnuck: Tiger is closing in on two years with Foley. It's deep into the process for a guy with as much talent as Tiger to have his swing fall apart the way it did at Augusta. If you can't figure it out after this long, there has to be some doubt creeping in for both of those guys.
Bamberger: My sense is that Tiger won Bay Hill playing beautifully, but afterward, as Damon reported, he got in his car with his turkey sandwiches and drove home. I think Tiger is finding out there's more to life than golf. What I got out of Hank Haney's book, The Big Miss, is that Tiger isn't as hell-bent to get to 18 majors as he once was. Maybe the Bay Hill victory confirmed that for him in some way.
Van Sickle: The book gave me the feeling that he's fed up with being famous and his attitude is, You vultures don't deserve me. I'm not going to give you the satisfaction of watching me make history so you can profit from it.
Hack: Tiger's chase of Nicklaus is starting to remind me of Barry Bonds's chase of Aaron and Ruth. There's an underlying unhappiness to the whole scene. Part of Tiger must think, I've done so much great stuff in this game, but it's never enough. I know Barry felt that way.
Garrity: After reading the book, I think what bothers Tiger is the world knowing how little confidence he had in his own game, how desperate he was to find answers for his swing problems and how dependent he was on his coach.
Anonymous Pro: One thing I've heard a few times from guys who used to hang with Tiger at Isleworth is that Tiger doesn't really know a whole lot about the golf swing or what's causing bad shots or how to fix it himself.