It’s only fair that my first true post on this site is about the Tiger Wood’s fiasco. To be fair I must first admit that:
1) I am an avid golfer
2) That being said, I’ve always had a bit of a man-crush on Mr. Woods
Tiger announced today that he will be returning to competitive golf at this year’s Master’s tournament. This in no way surprised me, however, I personally thought that the Tavis Stock Cup would be a more logical choice. The Tavis Stock Cup is an annual event held between Tiger’s home course of Isleworth and the nearby Lake Nona community. The event would allow Tiger to get some serious competition under his belt without leaving the gated community in which he lives. That means little press, golf among friends, and the easiest possible assimilation back into competition. Not that I think he needs to test his nerves — he is perhaps the mentally toughest athlete on the planet playing the most mentally tough game there is.
As for how Tiger will fare at the Master’s, I’m betting on a top 10 but not a win. I don’t care who you are, the Master’s is too demanding of a test to simply stroll onto the course and win without playing competitively for as long as Tiger has. Sure, Tiger is practicing away at Isleworth which is impossibly long and has greens cut with a Mach 3 like Augusta. But Augusta is Augusta — you’ve got to be perfect, especially with your short game. And your short game is always the last part of a golfers game to come back after a layoff. It just takes time and competition to get your feel under the gun as sharp as possible.
As I said before, I have long been a huge Tiger fan. His predicament and admission of guilt was a disappointment to me, a realization I didn’t come to until I watched a replay of one of his major wins on the Golf Channel. I suddenly found myself not rooting for him as hard as I usually would. I wasn’t willing the ball into the hole with him as I had before. His brilliance still managed to give me the chills but I’ve come to terms with what has happened. Tiger Wood’s is no longer the All-American role model everybody thought that he was. He should now simply be admired for what he does best — play arguably the best golf ever played. He is both one of the most dominant (See US Open, Pebble Beach, 2000) and one of the most clutch (to many instances to count) athletes ever. He is not the first golfer alienate both his fellow professionals and the people involved in his personal life in his quest to be the best. (See Nick Faldo) Of course Tiger had his temptations, as anyone in his position would. I’m just disappointed that a man with so much mental toughness on the course couldn’t similarly apply that toughness to his personal life.
I know that if Tiger is faced with a short banana-peel putt on the 18th green to win the Master’s, if I were Elin I’d be rooting for him to yip it.
But he won’t.