Tuesday, March 16, 2010
What Can We Expect From Tiger Woods at the Masters?
He's returning, but he isn't really returning. Tiger Woods hasn't played tournament golf since November 15, so to think that he believes he has a chance at winning would do one of two things.
1.) It would show that no matter how much therapy/changing Tiger has done, his ego still overrides reality.
2.) It would mean that he has been practicing way more than he led the public to believe.
Still, no practice can prepare someone for an event like this, and Tiger is probably going to finish somewhere around 15th* or something, a mediocre week for Tiger (And a great week for most anyone else in the field).
Woods picked Augusta because it is simple, and it has nothing to do with what he told the Associated Press. He isn't doing it because he won his first major there. He isn't doing it because he feels that it has some bigger meaning. He is doing it because Augusta has basically set themselves up for decades to host an event of this caliber. A star unlike any other in sports returning to mixed reviews because of things that happened outside the golf world. The only way a golf tournament would have been bigger is if Payne Stewart somehow came back from the dead to play Pinehurst, and I'm not meaning that to be funny, I'm being honest ... I couldn't imagine golf hosting a bigger event that this, unless it involved supernatural circumstances.
If he wins, it will be one of the craziest accomplishments in the history of sports, if not the most impressive. Tiger has the ability to block out a ton of things on the golf course, but heckling has never been one of them.
Maybe dealing with racism early in his golf career might come in handy. Back in his Stanford days certain courses wouldn't let him compete because he wasn't white. That was an uncomfortable situation that had nothing to do with actual golf, and motivated him on a level that none of us can understand. Maybe all this bad press is something Tiger will use against the rest of the field, and the rest of the media, and the rest of the world? At one point the guy wasn't even returning phone calls to his best friends (Charles Barkley and Mark O'Meara to name a few), so this could be Tiger's "me against the world" moment.
No matter, it'll be great to watch, and for once, maybe Tiger won't come out on Thursday in his typical "no shots to the foot" mentality. What if he comes out on Thursday and posts a 69 (no pun intended)? Will we all immediately forget about everything that happened the last few months and remember that we love him because he's so goddamn good at golf?
Who knows. Augusta can't come soon enough.
* - obviously this is me making some absurd prediction in the most unpredictable sport, so call me out at will.