Tiger Woods is in the woods on this one.
I don’t know about you but I’m now just tired of Tiger Woods. I really am. Yes he’s a great golfer, has done wonders for the popularity of the game and will be considered one of the greatest if not the greatest “golfer” when all is said and done. But still I’m just tired of Tiger Woods. And I feel I’m not alone. Regardless, the trumpets are sounding off now because Tiger is back! The golf world is abuzz again and back at the top of the sports world food chain because one Mr. Tiger Eldrick Woods is winning golf tournaments and striking fear into every other member of the PGA tour. Yaaaaawn. The powers that be who control that money grubbing empire known as the PGA Tour, CBS, NBC, ABC and the Golf Channel could not be happier. They’re kissing ass and not taking names. Nothing makes the game more exciting to watch then when Tiger is winning right? Yaaaaaaaaawn. Please, enough already.
Yup Tigers Back. Sure is. But this time it’s just a little different. He’s not the untarnished golden child of years past. He’s got some pretty visible battle scars and even tougher armor than before. This time he’s back and seemingly connected to on course controversy with every scorecard he signs each week. Yes sir , it’s been a very tumultuous road to the winners circle these past few weeks for Tiger Woods. Even when he doesn’t win he’s crowned the tournament winner by some. Imagine that. Case in point the Masters this past April.
Ah yes, The Masters. Augusta in April, beautiful azaleas in bloom and the memory of the great Bobby Jones all around the hallowed ground of Augusta National. Such a great tournament and such a great win for Adam Scott. However Tiger Woods, according to some people, would have won this year’s Masters had it not been for an unfortunate break he got by hitting a flag stick with an approach shot. Boo hoo. “I hit the flag stick and my ball went in the water.” Wow. Tough break Tiger. But you know what consider yourself very fortunate for getting away with what amounts to highway robbery for being able to even compete in the tournament the rest of the weekend. You should have been disqualified. Simple as that. If not disqualified then you should have withdrawn.
I don’t care about the armchair referees calling in. I don’t care about the Masters committee saying they saw no issue and decided to not approach you with any possible rules infraction prior to signing your card. I just don’t care about that. It all sounds a little fishy to me and I don’t care. What I do care about is the fact that you can go on national television and blab to the world that you decided to give yourself an advantage (your words not mine) and not drop your ball where it was last played, which is the rule. You in fact broke a rule and told us so. End of story. Thanks for playing. See you next week. Anyone else this happens to is out the door before the last putt drops on Friday afternoon. But not you. Instead you got a reprieve – or a stay of execution. With the luck of some stupid rule and explanation that when you read it doesn’t really apply to this issue, you got to play on. Wow. Thank you very much Masters Committee. Thank you very much CBS sports.
To make matters even more fishy a circulating excuse wants us to believe you may have been confused about the rule that applies to a ball going into a hazard, that why when you said you were taking a few more yards you thought you were entitled to do so. Wrong. Even I know that rule Tiger and I’m ranked the #21,583,322 golfer in the world. You’re the #1 golfer in the world. You don’t know that rule? Its the easiest rule of all the rules to understand. Sorry Tiger it smells a little fishy to me. The Masters Committee didn’t have the stones to do exactly what they should have done and disqualified you from their tournament as soon as it became clear a rule was broken. I hope they all are getting a really nice Christmas present from you this year along with a very nice thank you note. Bobby Jones was surely rolling over in his grave in disgust watching that circus on Saturday morning. Everyone bowing down to the great Tiger Woods and letting him get away with highway robbery. Imagine had he gone on to actually win the tournament? Talk about a stain on the game. Asterisk!
Then there’s last week’s Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass. Some more controversy – and this time he wins the tournament.
Issue #1 – The Sergio shot.
Regardless of the bad blood between them this was just ridiculous. It doesn’t matter who said what, who said nothing or who is calling out who as a liar. That’s not the issue folks. All this conjecture, finger pointing, he said, you said is irrelevant. Hole marshals, spectators, announcers, TV personalities and of course the world of social media needs to just shut up!
The simple fact is that one player, Sergio Garcia, was in the process of making his swing and got distracted by something that happened in the area of the other player, Tiger Woods, who happened to be in the woods. The distraction caused a wayward shot by Garcia and a look that said “what the hell” in the direction of where Woods and his fans were. Sergio was upset and rightfully so. You would be too if it happened to you. I understand this stuff can sometimes happen on the course. No problem. However this is where the story ends folks because this is what should have happened.
When a player accidentally, or not, causes something to distract another player during their shot the solution and protocol is for that player to apologize to the other player as they walk up to their next shots. That’s it. If Woods gave Sergio a simple “hey Sergio sorry about that dude, my bad” the story ends there. But of course he didn’t and it doesn’t. Nope Tiger ignores the incident and lets Garcia fume about it causing him to let it out during his post round presser. Of course Tiger then fires back with a smug smile and the” I didn’t do anything wrong” line. How about some courtesy there Tiger? You except it out there, why not show it as well? Sergio had a right to be upset. Get off your high horse Tiger and show the game the same courtesy and respect you undoubtedly expect from it.
Issue #2 – the Drop.
So the next time I hit my 3 wood fat and sky it off the tee, duck hooking hard left into the water I’m going to walk up the fairway about 220 yards and drop it there. If it’s good enough for Tiger then it’s good enough for me. Really Tiger? Really Casey Wittenberg? Really NBC? Again nobody has the stones to tell Woods he had no business taking the drop he did? Amazing. Everyone saw it, everyone on NBC was amazed at how far he was walking up the fairway and yet nobody wants to call him out. Johnny Miller was ready to explode. That shot was a duck hook into the water that never crosses any land anywhere near where he took that drop. The Pro-Tiger social media nerds tell us the camera angle on the TV is bad so the ball appears to not be where it is. They say you can’t tell from a video where it crossed. Whatever. I then see a video of the same shot from directly down the line and above Woods and you clearly see the ball turning hard left into the water almost immediately after impact. No question about it. Doesn’t matter though. Tiger get to do what Tiger wants to do. It would have been great if Sergio was in that group on the tee box instead of Casey. I bet he would have told Tiger where to drop it. “Ah yes, you need to re-tee it Tiger, it never crossed.” That would have been good television. Enough already.
So yeah, I’m tired of Tiger Woods. He is smug, arrogant, disrespectful and feels entitled to special treatment where the rules that apply to everyone else do not apply to him. It just doesn’t work that way Tiger. Except of course for Tiger. That’s just wrong.
For me there are far more interesting players to watch, listen to and respect on the PGA tour than he. The game is not him and he is not the game but sadly he’s still treated as if he is. Wonder what Tiger controversy we will be entertained by next week at the Memorial? Stay tuned.