n Jan 31 10:54pm EST
Follow Shane Bacon on Twitter at @shanebacon
Tiger Woods has been known for a lot of things over his career, but giving up at a golf event has never been one of them ... until now.
PGA Tour rookie Brendan Steele, who earned status this season with the big boys after finishing sixth on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2010, was paired with Tiger on Sunday at Torrey Pines, where Woods closed with a 75 to Steele's 70.
After the round, Steele told Sports Illustrated that he didn't think Tiger gave it 100 percent during the final round, a gutsy point to make about a guy that is known for holding grudges on certain players that go to the press about him.
"I don't think he gave it everything today," Steele told SI. "Once it started going in the wrong direction, I don’t think it had his full attention."
Of course Tiger would never admit to such an accusation. Most of his quotes after the round were about how his swing changes are still a process and that it will take some time to get comfortable.
It does seem like a strange thing to say about a guy that is infamous for grinding out bad rounds, even when they don't really matter. When Tiger has been near the cut line in the past, it seemed he'd focus even more so he'd be around for the weekend, even if that meant he was going to finish 30th or 40th.
Also, what a way to start your rookie season. Steele, who missed the cut at both the Sony Open and Bob Hope Classic, played well at Torrey Pines, and would be heading into the Waste Management with some confidence, but now all the questions directed at him will be about Tiger, and if he really was tossing in the towel. It does show, however, that Steele has Pro-V1s of, well, steel to be saying such a thing about Tiger.
I will say this about the accusation; 18 months ago, nobody would have ever said this about Woods; just ask Vijay Singh's caddie and Stephen Ames. That seemed like a line you never wanted to cross, but now being on his bad side might not be nearly as detrimental.