Today’s blog is going to discuss careers gone south. Golfers that had more than just modest success on the PGA tour, and then went into career ending slumps. None of this is meant to be critical of these players because they accomplished more with their golf games than 99.9% of the golfing poputlation. I think this just shows how goofy this game can really be. One of the things I find interesting with this, is many of us complain about how no matter what we do, our over all games do not improve. Most of us do not go into slumps of this magnitude. If I wrote about all the players that this has happened to this blog would be a book. I will make a list of players, which is not complete by the way, at the end of the blog which can be looked up at various sites which one can read about. One of the things that would trigger a slump would either be a very disappointing loss but more intriquing would be a career defining win. The most talked about slump of recent memory is David Duval but he is not alone. Here are what I find to be the most interesting.
Ian Baker Finch 1991 British Open Champion. Hits the ball great at the range but simply can not play after 1994. His career came to end when he shot a 92 in the 1997 British Open.
Bill Rodgers 1981 British Open Champion. Miss the cut in 11 of the last 15 majors he played. Left tour at 37 burned out.
Chip Beck Long time tour player, Shot 59, Top 10 Money winner, contended in majors, great attitude according to Bob Rotella. Missed 46 straight cuts sold insurance had some minor success on senior tour
Todd Hamilton 2004 British Open Champion 2004 PGA rookie of the year. Never won again. He had only one really good year but here is what I find interesting about the Hamilton slump. When the Momentus swing trainer first came out the poster boy for the product was David Duval. When Duval started slumping who became the new poster boy. None other than Todd Hamilton who credited the Momentus for helping him win the British Open. Obviously this device (which I love by the way) does not prevent you from going into a prolonged slump.
Shaun Micheal 2003 PGA Champion Shaun made a brief comeback in 2006 where he blamed disfunctional testicles as the reason for his poor play. A new meaning to, he didn’t have enough balls to hit that putt. Testosterone supplemnetation gave his career a very brief lift.
Curtis Strange This one pains me more than most. I really like Curtis Strange. When he was at the top of his game you always looked at him as just one of the boys. He swore, he was a great competitor, and you just felt like you could go and have a few beers with him after a round. He won the U. S. Open back to back in 1988 and 1989. Then he had to go write a book with the unfortunate title of Win and Win Again. Why was this unfortunate. Because he never won again. Nothing, not even the Senior Tour. I have never read the book and I guess I never will.
As I said these golfers are not alone. Here are just a few more examples.
David Frost, Sandy Lyle, Steve Jones, Jodie Mudd Billy Mayfair, Tom Purtzer, Jim Gallagher Jr. John Huston, Steve Pate, Steve Flesch, Chad Campbell, Jeff Maggert Roger Maltbie, Dan Pohl,
The list really just goes on and on. Some golfers went into prolonged slumps and made brief comebacks. The one that comes to mind in this catagory is Cory Pavin. After winning the US Open his game went south for a long time. I think this is what makes this game goofy for just about everybody no matter what level of golf you achieve. One thing is for sure, it is definitely mystifying.