TigerSpeak 101
By Brian Murphy
Page 2 columnist

We all love Tiger Woods, right? Established. He's bequeathing to us a living piece of history.

Tiger Woods
"You want to talk about slumps? Hey, Phil! These guys want to talk to you."
It's just that sometimes we have trouble fully understanding what the Great Tiger is saying to us. He chooses to communicate in TigerSpeak -- that is to say, he sacrifices full honesty for a certain code of verbiage that camouflages his true feelings.

That's why Page 2 is here to help. We offer the first Tiger-to-English dictionary, which will help dissect 10 of his signature statements from the U.S. Open, so that you can better understand the inner workings of the world's greatest golfer.

1. What Tiger said: "I've won three times in seven starts, and you're going to tell me I'm in a slump?"

What Tiger meant: "Hey, Mr. 15 Handicap. Not only do you have a mustard stain on your press pass, but your fly's undone. I beat Phil at Torrey Pines, David Toms at La Costa and dusted the field at Bay Hill, even while I was doing the Technicolor Yawn behind tee boxes. And just because my caddie misclubs me at Augusta and we have to play the U.S. Open in a bandbox, you're telling me I'm in a slump? Oh, and after I win either the British Open or the PGA later this summer? I'll be sure and read your fawning tribute to my historic career."

2. What Tiger said: "I had a tough time getting the speed of the putts."

What Tiger meant: "I will do everything in Nike's power to make sure the course superintendent at Olympia Fields cannot find work in the continental United States, until further notice."

3. What Tiger said: "I'm hitting good shots, I'm just not making any putts."

What Tiger meant: "Has the course superintendent cleaned out his locker yet?"

Tiger Woods
"I got your whistle right here!"
4. What Tiger said: "I was this close to putting it together."

What Tiger meant: "I averaged 31 putts per day, and I only hit 60 percent of fairways. I never came close to putting it together. Sometimes, I like to come to these post-round interviews and say things just to see if you lemmings just write them down in your notebooks, and I see nothing but the tops of heads right now, scribbling away, so I guess I fooled you again."

5. What Tiger said: "(The whistle) came on my downswing, so I couldn't stop it."

What Tiger meant: "I will contract a Ninja to stalk outside the ropes at all future majors, and if such an abhorrence occurs again, the unfortunate whistler will have his larynx manually removed by a black-clad warrior before Stevie has even replace my divot."

6. What Tiger said: "I'm a little bummed I wasn't able to stay in contention this week."

What Tiger meant: "Memo to the house manager at the Tinley Park (Ill.) Holiday Inn Select: Apologies for the Keith Moon Job I did on Suite 323 on Saturday night. You see, I didn't plan on shooting 75, and that TV looked so ready for my 3-iron when I got back to my room. Send me the bill for the damage to the two lamps, the desk, the nightstand, the shower curtain and the mini-bar, and I will repay you, post-haste."

7. What Tiger said: "I've always said: If you can win one major, you've had a great year."

What Tiger meant: "And I lied. One major? Who do you think I am, Rich Beem? I hate to go all Hans and Franz on you here, but one major is for lit-ttle girly man golfers. I've got two majors left this summer, and if I don't win both, that Keith Moon Job I pulled at the Tinley Park (Ill.) Holiday Inn Select is going to look like Menudo just left a few Taco Bell wrappers on the floor. I pity the fool who rents me a house in Rochester for the PGA Championship, if I don't hold the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday night, baby."

8. What Tiger said: (On how his knee affected his practice) "I don't pound balls for four or five hours a day, like I used to.''

Elin Nordegren
If they do get married, they can save money on nanny fees, but they might want to hire a chef.
What Tiger meant: "They told me this doc I went to was among the world's best. Now, two majors have come and gone, and I've got bupkes. If this continues, we're firing that quack and seeing if IMG can't hook me up with those guys who styled and dialed Lee Majors as Steve Austin in 'The Six Million Dollar Man.' He didn't to do any bogus rehab, man. I want that crack medical team, and I want it, pronto."

9. What Tiger said: (On when he'll have a wife and kids) "I'm gonna let you know, allright?"

What Tiger meant: "Start holding your breath right now, sports fans. I'll time you guys. Ready? And ... go!"

10. What Tiger said: "Ever since I've come out of the womb and started playing golf, I've had a pretty good career."

What Tiger meant: "Three Junior Amateurs, Three U.S. Amateurs -- in a six-year span, I might add -- eight majors by age 27, holder of all four majors at once, had a Grand Slam -- the Tiger Slam -- named after me, richer than Charles Foster Kane, Swedish girlfriend ... what exactly was the question again?"

Brian Murphy of the San Francisco Chronicle writes the "Weekend Water Cooler" every Monday for Page 2.



Brian Murphy Archive

Murphy: On a hot streak

Murphy: Anti-rocket fuel

Murphy: Going, going ... boring

Murphy: Raising a Tiger

Murphy: Fandemonium

Murphy: Life imitating art

Murphy: Masters of our domain

Murphy: Somebody has to lose

Murphy: Welcome to Cooler Day!

Murphy: Spring is in the air

Murphy: Here's to Ew

Murphy: A barren wasteland

Murphy: Tiger gets his Phil

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