My latest MSN/Sympatico golf column is now online.
Here’s a taste:
Golf can’t survive without Tiger Woods. Or at least that’s the impression you received when watching the final round of the Masters two weeks ago.
On a final day when three golfers “ Kenny Perry, Chad Campbell and Angel Cabrera “ would duel for the green jacket, broadcasters CBS felt there was another storyline that needed to be told. That would be the so-called “battle” between Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Now let’s be clear “ the interest in Woods’ stemmed from expectations placed on his first major since reconstructive knee surgery last June. The game’s greatest golfer bested Rocco Mediate in a playoff for the ages before announcing he had played it all on a bad hinge, one that would need major medical attention. Then he went away and no one was certain what the next chapter in the Woods’ story would be.
He returned at the Accenture Match Play Championship and played like one would expect for a golfer who had been away from competition for a year “ Woods was rusty. A couple of weeks later at Doral, he lipped out an endless series of putts. Then he found the bottom of the cup at Bay Hill and recorded his first win since the injury.
Sports writers love hype and hyperbole and used Woods’ win at Bay Hill to announce that not only had he returned “ he was as good as ever and would win the Masters. It didn’t matter that his win in Florida had come despite some questionable ball striking and awfully erratic driving. He was Tiger Woods and he’d win. Enough said. Break out the green jacket.