Thursday, February 23, 2012

What The Hell, Tiger Woods?

Dude! Dude. Seriously, I'm sick of this. I'm sick of having to write a lengthy piece about how "you're back" only to follow it up two weeks later with a story about how you're "still finding your game." I'm sick of hearing how close you are, or how you're starting to feel it click.

I'm sick of seeing you nearly lose to a guy in match play that has a name longer than the Great Wall of China that we will never hear from again. I'm done.

Just be good again, okay? For all of us? Golf is better when you're really, really good. Golf is better when I'm not questioning if you can roll in an uphill par putt on smooth greens to win a first round match at the Accenture, a tournament you used to treat like Stephen Ames. I'm sick of hearing guys that I'll never write about again say "you're beatable," with the worst part of it all knowing that the guy is right. You're beatable. I want you to go back to not being.

I grew up loving your golf swing. I kept Sports Illustrated covers in my filling cabinet when I was in junior high. I have the 1997 Masters one. The PGA Championship cover. The one where you are wearing your hat sideways and looking Ken Griffey Jr.-ish. We all enjoyed you because, like your local coffee shop where the barista knows your name, the result is satisfying in that it's consistent. You know what's coming. It's what keeps us Type A people going.

And I'm so tired of seeing you struggle. I really, really am. You are too talented to struggle. You're too talented to hit three-woods in the desert when all you need is to find something that resembles green to win holes. You're too competitive to post a 75 when arch-rival Phil Mickelson is shooting zero.

Golf fans just want Tiger back, even though we all know the same guy that used to run through tournaments isn't going to come through that door. We just want something that looks like a former champion. A solid final round when you need it. Putts to drop that used to be gimmies. A runaway win.

But most of all, can you just beat the hell out of some of these guys that you're supposed to beat? That's really all I'm asking for. I loved when you would drive the stake into the heart of your victim just for looking at you the wrong way. It was mesmerizing. It was unbelievable. But most of all, it was you.


DaveAndrews said...

Patience, Grasshopper. What will be, will be. Tiger's domination days are long gone... pretty apparent now.

Will o'the Glen said...

Can't agree. Though TW brought the Great Unwashed to the TV screens and golf courses, much to the delight of Tour and TV network folks, the truth is that golf is not as exciting when it's "Who will TW beat up on this time?", week after week after week.

I think golf is more exciting when there's a half-dozen or so guys who are up there contending consistently, and a bunch of other guys following behind who occasionally get their planets in alignment and jump up and surprise everyone with a "W".

It's time for the Gen-Xers who grew up in the era of "Black Jesus and the Dwarfs" to get over their TW-obsession. Face it – your icon has fallen off the pedestal and revealed himself to be a hollow plaster-and-chicken wire statuette. White glue and touchup paint may restore him to some semblance of his former "glory", but he'll never be the same – and believe it or not, that's a good thing for the professional game.

Patricia Hannigan said...

I feel the same way about Tiger. Even though I'm a huge fan of the international players and the game's global direction, I desperately want Tiger to just "go back to not being"... beatable, that is.

And it's a sentiment that transcends the golf course. Let's face it, it's not just golf, it's everything. The world was better before Nov. 09, wasn't it?

The state of the world seems to eerily parallel the state of Tiger Woods: The crash... then the downward trajectory... then the "one-step-forward-two-steps-back" road to recovery... and continuing uncertainty about the future.

In both cases, realistically, I sort of know it's never going to be what it was, and in that sense it's definitely heartbreaking.

The Armchair Golfer said...

It's sad, but it happens to all the greats. From unbeatable to beatable. From making everything to struggling over five-footers. Tiger might not be done, but he's definitely not the same and will probably never be that guy again. Bobby Jones retired at 28. Arnold Palmer won four Masters from 1958 to 1964, plus a few Opens (U.S. and British) and then pretty much disappeared. Byron Nelson retired to become a gentleman rancher after dominating golf for a stretch and winning five majors. His nerves, especially on the greens, were getting to him. Ben Hogan was a late bloomer and was only able to dominate for about a decade. Sam Snead won a lot of tournaments over a super long career but had trouble with the putter and underachieved in majors. It's so so hard to sustain that high level over a long career.

Tyler said...

Couldn't agree more. You hit the ball square with this line: "You are too talented to struggle." Every time I watch Tiger play (or not play, as it's been), I feel like the little-league dad watching his star-shortstop son who made 4 errors to lose the game. It's just disappointing! said...

Amen brother. Huge Tiger fan just like I am a huge Mike Tyson fan. Sorry, but I love a guy who puts a beat down on the field week in and week out.

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