Tiger makes otherwise meaningless tourney entertaining

Mar 13 • Kyle Joseph, Opinion • 183

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Tiger Woods is back, for the umpteenth time, at least according to many major sports news outlets and Monday-morning quarterba-, er, golfers. I’m not entirely convinced, but OK. In terms of importance, the Valspar Championship ranks slightly above a Browns preseason game, but Tiger playing golf competitively last weekend at least had me tuning in.
People love the guy. One of my buddy’s best golf stories is about Tiger’s divot — a flying clump of grass — hitting him in the face at a tournament he was spectating at. He may even call it one of his best stories, period.
Even when I attended the final practice round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club back in 2013, it was pandemonium at whatever tee box Tiger was at.
I’m not a huge fan myself, but I’ll admit that I was rooting for him to make a comeback on Sunday and force a playoff hole with Paul Casey. Tiger was knocking golf balls into cups better than anyone else on the planet for most of my childhood, and I wanted to be entertained. Watching him drain a 44-foot putt to put himself within a stroke of the lead on the 17th hole was about as exciting as the game of golf gets. I know, I know, cue the snickers from anyone who isn’t interested in golf — that’s totally fair.
Even though I was rooting for him, I can never get over the sheer amount of people that want to kiss his feet every time he returns to tournament play. It’s almost as if Tiger isn’t even a real person, but rather some celestial club-toting golf god. And of course, based on his past achievements, confusion of that sort is also totally fair.
It’s no secret Tiger has not exactly lived a model personal life off the course, and it goes beyond infamously cheating on his wife a few dozen times, the most recent addition to “it” being a DUI. Is it strange that so many people can so easily forget all that once he’s on the course?
I mean, I’d be willing to bet most of these old dudes in the gallery following him around in their orthopedic shoes and their cabana hats wouldn’t be thrilled to find out Tiger was dating their daughter, but they’ll yell “Baba Booey!” until they’re blue in the face watching him play golf.
And honestly, I don’t know what people’s opinions are about this. He doesn’t get paid to preach on Sunday, he gets paid to golf, so I guess if you look at it that way, there’s nothing to discuss.
I’m not trying to be the morality police here — if I was, I could pretty much toss out most of my music library as well. That’s certainly a valid parallel.
From the outside looking in, it’s seemed like there’s not been a lot of love in Tiger’s life since his fall from grace. That’s at least what I would guess. Tiger loves golf, but golf hasn’t exactly loved him back for the past eight years or so. And I don’t feel bad for him.
But I guess since I don’t really like the guy, I feel like somewhat of a hypocrite rooting for him as an athlete as often as I do. I just want to see something exciting — that’s why anyone watches sports, right?
I’ll keep rooting for Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to win, but also for Tiger to give them a run for their money and finish a close second as often as possible.


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