Wednesday, February 17, 2010
For the Love of Golf, Tiger, Please Come Back
It happens a couple of times a day. Not because I'm anyone that is worthy of talking about golf, or knowledge of the shushed, or because people know this is what I do for work. No, it is because people of all walks are interested in the question that is making "Will Favre finally retire" look petty. "When will Tiger Woods come back?"
Tiger, listen ... your dirty laundry has been flying high for months. We've seen it, we've experienced it, and we even have ridiculous stories that are most likely untrue to go along with it. We know that it has sucked the last three months for yourself, your wife and your team. I'm glad you took some time away to manage what was manageable, even if it was entirely a PR ploy to get people back on your side.
Now, this needs to stop. Wednesday is the first day of the only important match play even of the year, a format you dominate more than any others, and you aren't there. And you should be. Why? Because all this shit is bigger than one person. What you've done to the sport is bigger than you, me or anyone else involved. You are the face of golf unlike anyone has ever been the face of any sport ever. I know things have hit you personally, but it is time to come back to what you do. For us, for kids, for smiles and for the game.
I hope you return soon enough. I think we all hope you return. I was chatting with my dad the other day on the phone, and he admitted something that I could almost agree with -- "it is getting harder and harder to watch these regular PGA Tour events." Not because it isn't fun to see guys like Dustin Johnson come into their own, or a Bill Haas victory in Palm Springs. It is harder because we know what the capability is on the bench. A good comparison is being a Lakers fan the last week or so. The team went 3-0 in that stretch, and that is exciting for Los Angeles fans, but it isn't the same feeling without Kobe Bryant in the game. Something is missing, even in good times.
The golf world is missing someone. The reactions will be mixed, but at the end of the day, it will still be the best player in the world playing the best sport in the world during the best time in the sport's existence. We might be disappointed in what Tiger has done, but we will never be disappointed in his golf game.
Come back, Tiger. We're all on the edge of our seats.
Donald Miralle, Getty Images