Posts Tagged ‘jack nicklaus’

The Case for Tiger Woods; Or, We’re Disagreeing with Joe Posnanski?!?!

“The greatest struggle an athlete undergoes is the battle for our memories. It’s gradual. It begins before you’re aware that it’s begun, and it ends with a terrible fall from grace. It really is a battle to the death.”

–William Goldman

It hasn’t been a very good year for Tiger Woods.

Perhaps you’ve heard, but within the last 12 calendar months, Woods lost a major he led after 54 holes for the first time in 15 tries, crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant outside his Orlando home, had a deep history of infidelity and sexual philandering thrust into the public eye, issued multiple forced and awkward apologies, and attended sex rehab. And in the time since sex rehab, Woods has not won a single golf tournament.

This has led NPI-favorite Joe Posnanski to openly wonder why everyone still believes in Tiger Woods, why he was still the favorite to win the PGA Championship even though he’s coming off the worst performance of his career, why when he put a poll on his website, only 3% of respondents said Woods would “definitely not” break Jack Nicklaus’ career record of 18 grand slams (Woods has 14) when these days he looks “like everybody else.”

It has also led me, for pretty much the first time ever, to disagree with Joe Posnanski.

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The Sports Revolution: Golf’s Major Playoffs

Let me set the scene for you: It’s the final week of the golf season, except nobody notices because the most important tournaments have already been played.

Let me reset the scene for you: It’s the final week of the golf season, and everybody’s* attention is riveted as the most important tournament wraps up six weeks of must-see golf.

*“Everybody” here does not, of course, mean “everybody,” but rather, you know, anyone somewhat enthused by the adventurous journey of that petite dimpled ball.

This is the third year of the FedEx Cup—golf’s subpar attempt at concocting end-of-season excitement with some absurd form of “playoffs.” There are four tournaments, a point system, and a reduced number of players in the field each week. But in 2007, Tiger Woods won easily because he dominated the whole year, and in 2008, Vijay Singh won easily because he won the first two of the “playoff” tournaments.

Golf’s problem is this: It wants the playoffs to be approached both by the players and its fans with the same level of seriousness and significance as the sport’s major championships, played intermittently throughout the season. But therein lies the rub: The playoffs won’t be taken this seriously while they’re competing with the major titles.

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