Wednesday, July 27, 2011
A Note to Tiger Woods: Hang 'Em Up For 2011
Dear Tiger Woods,
I've never met you. Not even once. I've been at events you've played in, and seen crowds swarm around you, but not once have I raised my hand to ask you a question during those lengthy press conferences, and never once have we grown accustomed to each other like you have with some other writers like "Fergy" as you call him.
But I've always appreciated what you did for golf. As Phil Mickelson pointed out earlier this week, you've done more for the game of golf, and the players playing, than anyone ever. You globalized golf. You made people that hated the game care about it. You brought the inner-city youth out to pick up the sticks and learn touch and feel. You showed us that dominance is possible in this game, and you did it in such a short time that we never thought it would stop.
But even for you, life can turn. Things haven't been so easy the last two years. You haven't won a PGA Tour event since September of 2009. Your last major was a year before that. You have struggled with your personal life, swing, game, relationships and decision making. The biggest news we golfing type have had in months was when you randomly abolished Steve Williams from your bag, bringing up even more questions about where you are mentally.
And after all that, you're still the most talked about man in the game. So I beg you, Mr. Woods, don't come back the rest of the year. Take it off. Skip the PGA Championship. Tell Fred Couples you won't be at the Presidents Cup. Forget about Australia and China and all those tournaments you play near the winter. Just get away from it for a while, get better, work on your game harder than ever and be back for 2012. Make this next season YOUR year like you made 2000 after all the swing changes finally came together.
You're better than all this, I know it. You can come out with determination and grit unlike anything we've seen in this game, but you have another thing going for you in the upcoming years that you never had before; you've got a chip on your shoulder now. You can come out playing like Michael Jordan after baseball, when people didn't know what to expect. You can prove to everyone that you aren't washed up, and you still have wins ahead of you. You can trash people like myself that have doubted your chance of taking over Jack Nicklaus' major record.
But more importantly, you can become you again. Right now, this isn't you. You were born to be great. You were born to entertain and wow us. You were born to be more than a man or a golfer; you were born to be a role model for millions and millions of golf fans that have looked up to you ever since you wore that goofy straw hat at TPC Sawgrass and fist-pumped all the way across the 17th green.
Some people have talent, and some don't, but yours goes miles and miles beyond the regular. We want to see it again, we just want you to do it the right way. Don't rust back. Get totally better, and then wait even longer. Make us want you again. It'll sure be more fun than this right now.
A True Golf Fan