Sunday, August 8, 2010
Should We Be Mad at Tiger Woods?
It was one of the strangest weeks ever for Tiger Woods, a golfer we've known since 1996 as a top-10 machine. Sure, he'd win a ton of golf tournaments, but the most impressive thing about his game has always been his consistency near the top of leaderboards. If he wasn't winning, he was third or fourth, and if he played really bad, he'd find himself somewhere around 13th or 14th.
Not this week at the Bridgestone Invitational, or at any of his recent golf tournaments. After his round on Friday, when Tiger added a 2-over 72 to his first round 74 and we all realized he wouldn't be winning (or even competing) at Firestone, things turned mentally for Tiger. For the first time in the history of this man, he was giving up. That, of course, raises a question we should be addressing; as fans of this game, should we be mad at Tiger for not caring?
While I'd almost always sit on the side of "Yes, how could this man finally toss in the white flag when he always, always grinding out event after event," I'm not going to this week. I feel for Tiger. I understand the level of frustration he must be feeling with a game he used to play pretty well. I've been there before. Standing on the 11th or 12th hole just hoping you can make contact with the tee ball in a tournament you were hoping you'd have a chance at isn't much fun, and that is where Woods is. Tiger isn't giving up on us, or disrespecting golf, he just seems so put out with his own play that there isn't a way in the world he can figure it out.
Some people will yell at Tiger for some of the quick shots he played over the weekend, but I'm not blaming him. I'm not mad at him. If anything, I feel for the guy. All year we've been worried about his personal life and disappointed in the man he had become, but now it's just kinda pitiful.
The greatest athlete of our generation can't play the game that got him there. I don't know about you, but it isn't that exciting to see Tiger Woods, the 14-time major champion winner and chaser of all records possible, finishing a spot away from dead last. I liked it a lot better when we got to see that Sunday red for the entire telecast.