My battle
with Tiger

I began this year with a plan to match myself against Tiger Woods. Don’t tell him about it because he has enough to worry about.

Of course, it is a colossal impudence that a golfing wretch like me could even consider himself worthy of occupying the same sentence as Tiger.

However, it is one of golf’s many strengths that it involves a wider and more diverse set of participants than any other sport and we all play the same game on roughly similar courses.

And, thanks to a handicapping system far superior to that of any other sport, Tiger and I could actually play each other. Indeed, if he gave me four shots a hole I’d happily play him for a couple of quid.

But he is No 1 in the world rankings and, if they went down that far, I would be many millions below him and the only reason I dared compare myself to him was that we both entered 2014 with burning ambitions.

He desperately wants to win another major championship — the last one he won was in 2008 — and I am desperate to break 100 in a medal, which I haven’t done for a dozen years or so.

At the time, I wrote that apart from the scale of it all the main difference between me and Tiger is that all I have to conquer are my own deficiencies while he has to beat off the strongest challenges to the major titles there has ever been.

Sadly, he is suffering a back problem that may cause him to miss the opening major of the year, the US Masters at Augusta.

Back spasms forced him to retire during the fourth round of the Honda Classic last month and this week he has pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Orlando.

This, of course, presents me with the opportunity to strike first. My first chance to break 100 comes in the March medal a week on Saturday. Unfortunately, I have a slight set-back of my own.

I wrote a month or so ago about losing my voice which, instead of a rich baritone, now sounds like a high-pitched squeak which my friends find most amusing.

Two weeks ago, scans revealed that I had a tumour in my neck which was affecting my vocal chords. I had cancer of the oesophagus two years ago which resulted in a major operation from which I made a full recovery and, unfortunately, this is a recurrence of the cancer.

But they are hopeful they can cope with it and on Monday I start a few months course of treatment. In the past, I’ve tried everything to improve my game but this is the first time chemotherapy has been brought into play.

They say I should try to carry on as normal so I shall be aiming for that below-ton score. There were few signs of my readiness for the challenge when we played in a Texas Scramble last Saturday.

We managed a nett 64 but were well short of the prizes and, in truth, you have no chance unless you have one of two big hitters in your team. Out of our team of me, Andy, Max and Mike only Andy is a capable of a mighty hit but he doesn’t connect often enough , although he did get a birdie on his own at the short four.

You’ve got to able to reach all the par fours in two and we struggled to reach the par threes in two. But it was enjoyable if a bit cold.

The boys are being very sympathetic with my problem. Most call me Tiny Tim and Mike said that if it happened to me 40 years ago I could have joined the Bee Gees. I’m sure Tiger doesn’t have to put up with all that.

4 thoughts on “My battle
with Tiger

  1. Since I took up this game 5 years ago (not an easy thing to do if you’re the wrong side of 50) I have drawn great inspiration from your column.I love to read your new column on a Friday night to set me up for my Saturday medal. I recently shot my lowest gross score an 81 net 60 and with this winning score came the princely sum of £3.40 for my efforts. It was a particularly windy morning so most of the usual crowd had decided to stay in bed.

    Just as you give inspiration to others I would like take this opportunity on behalf of all your followers to wish you all the best in your new fight.

    FJ

  2. Excellent blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find
    high quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

  3. I had agreed to play with Peter in the first Medal of the year; I was hoping to coax every ounce of golfing talent out of him in order to beat tiger to his next major. That was before his recent diagnosis with cancer, having recently supported my mother through her chemotherapy I knew that playing on the Saturday following his first treatment was a massive ask. Its true testament to the man that he arrived as normal to tee off for the first medal of the year. At that stage I didn’t really care if he shot 99 or 200 the important thing was he was playing the game he loves. Tiger may be a giant of the game but Peter Corrigan is a giant at the Glamorganshire.

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