February 26, 2011
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In the world of Johnny Miller, it seems there is never a bad time to bash Tiger Woods, not even when the man hasn't been playing in the event he's covering for three days.
Miller, the color analyst for NBC and former U.S. Open winner, was watching as Bubba Watson was stalking an important birdie putt on the 17th hole when Dan Hicks mentioned Bubba's decision to up his practice putting in the last year. Miller, always controversial and down to speak his mind, felt it was a good time to let Woods know what he thought of the way Tiger practices.
"This is what Tiger needs, right? Forget all those reps on the practice tee. Do it out on the tournament courses, you know. Do it under pressure. That's what really gives you confidence. You can't get confidence just hitting balls all the time," Miller said.
It's an interesting dig from Miller, mainly because it doesn't seem to make a ton of sense. Sure, we'd probably all agree that Tiger could add more golf tournaments to his schedule to allow his new golf swing a chance to be under serious pressure, but it isn't like Woods is shying away from events.
He has played in his usual events this season already, and will be at the same ones he always attends in the coming months. Also, what in the world does Miller mean by "do it out on the tournament courses"? Go out to tournament golf courses and practice your putting? Try to putt more each week?
It seems that mentioning Tiger when he's not around in golf events is the new Brett Favre mentions during Packers games. Like I've said, we should leave Tiger be until he makes some waves, like we do with everybody else on tour. Sure, Tiger isn't the same golfer he used to be, but it isn't like he's trying to play poorly. I'm sure he's grinding on the putting green just as much as he is on the practice tee.
Miller speaks his mind, and for the most part golf fans appreciate that, but it seems at this point in a match between two guys that aren't Tiger, the context was off the mark and inappropriate.