Here’s what’s on my alleged mind this morning:
- I know we all love the Masters, but with the damned muzak, all overly dramatic tones, that lead in from every commercial break, I wonder if we’ve stepped back into the 1950s with every broadcast. Some might think that’s charming, but after years of watching the tournament I wonder how long we can pretend time stopped before the Vietnam War, though I’m sure the powers-that-be would be pleased had Nixon become President instead of Kennedy. Can you say anachronistic?
- At the start of the tournament Woods told us he was going to be different. He was going to interact with the fans. He was going to tone down his behaviour on the course. As far as I could tell, he was the same old Tiger. He cursed. He tossed clubs in disgust. He hit brilliant and wild shots with equal abandon. Who are we kidding? He isn’t about to change. The only reason he was even suggesting it as a possibility is that he got caught in the biggest scandal to hit the sport. Frankly, I doubt if he even wants to change.
- Does anyone think Woods is ever going back to the life he had before, the one with the perfect blond wife and two kids? That’s so last year.
- As much as Woods’ boorish behaviour is over-the-top, Mickelson’s pandering to the crowd always seemed disingenuous to me as well. The talk has always been that Mickelson has never seen a television camera he didn’t like. He’s also almost always crusty with print reporters who cover the sport. Golf writer Rex Hoggard once told me of the feud Mickelson started with him — though he could never figure out why it began in the first place. At the same time he said Amy Mickelson was delightful. I think Mickelson is distrustful of the print media because they are typically a bunch of cynics, many of whom simply believe he can’t be as he appears. They were right with Woods (though most drank that Kool-Aid), but I think Mickelson, all goofy grins and galloping strides, is as he seems. He’s also the second-best golfer since Nick Faldo.
- I think Ernie Els is a good guy and a fine interview, but his comments following the Masters are just wrong. Els said: “I think Phil is probably The Man now. I think Phil has gotten right to (Tiger Woods) level. I think there is a new guy weve all got to chase. Right. Mickelsonhad a fine fall last year, but was luke-warm at best this year. He wins the Masters by a few shots over another golfer who hasn’t played in five months and suddenly he’s the best in the world? Come on. As long as Woods is playing, the best Mickelson can do is No. 2. That said, I think Mickelson can go head-to-head with Woods and win, which is more than can be said for Els.
- What happened to Mike Weir? One has to worry about a short-hitting golfer who suddenly can’t find the fairway.
- What next for Tiger? I’m guessing the Players Championship.