Sports 56 WHBlog Q

August 17, 2009

The Definition of Choke

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg Gaston @ 4:00 pm

Title: What is a Choke?

In the World of Sports you often hear the term “Choke”. It’s as common as a win or a loss. A team choked away the title, this guy or that gal choked away a chance to win. So what is the definition of Choke?
Answers.com defines the word choke in the world of Sports as “To fail to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension”. For example, choked by missing an easy putt on the final hole.
Tiger Woods was beaten out over the weekend by unheralded Y.A. Yang for the PGA Championship. Woods had a four shot lead at the halfway mark and a two shot lead entering the final round of play on Sunday. There are many people who insist that Tiger Woods choked away the Tournament. I feel Tiger was beaten out by a guy who played better golf, and made some clutch shots.
Woods had never lost a “Major” entering the Final Round when owning at least a share of the lead. Now it’s 14 out of 15. Still, that doesn’t mean he choked it away. When I think of the term choke in the World of Sports, I tend to think of someone in total control who somehow blows it in the end with bad shots, plays, moves etc. that were brought on because of nerves. Someone who can’t handle the spotlight. This is not Tiger Woods. Another question that has come up is can Tiger choke? And the answer is, of course he can. If Tiger Woods was leading an event going into the final few holes and completely melted down and gave away the event, than he choked. He was leading going into the final round, but having a two shot lead with 18 to play and not getting it done, is not a choke. Is it a choke when a Baseball team scores 5 runs in the top of the 1st and eventually loses 6-5? No. Now if they gave up the six in the Bottom of the 9th I would say they choked. The Yankees choked away a 3-0 Playoff series lead to the Red Sox a number of year’s ago. If was a choke because they lost the series 4-3.
Let’s remember Y.A. Yang made an Eagle chip on 14 to grab the lead. It was Yang who seized the moment. Tiger became increasingly frustrated and lost focus. He made a some bad shots because of the frustration and not nerves. He didn’t succumb to Yang because he was afraid of him or afraid of losing. And it’s not as if Woods was shanking his shots or finding aqua with them. Tiger just plain and simply didn’t make putts and enough good shots, Mr. Yang did!
This was a triumph for South Korea. This was a triumph for Asia. This was a triumph for the little guy, the relative unknown, the improbable. This was not a choke by the greatest player ever to play the game. At least not this time.

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1 Comment »

  1. YE not YA

    Comment by brewer — August 17, 2009 @ 7:56 pm


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