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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is it 2011 yet?

Sunday evening, following my weekly nap during the dreadful Carolina Panthers game, I found myself on the edge of my seat once again. It was neither a football game nor an update from the MLB Winter Meetings, but golf.

One year after Tiger Woods’ life and career came crashing down, I was once again captivated by the man in red. Following the infamous Thanksgiving car crash and alleged 9-iron to the face that would set off a domino effect in Tiger’s life, I questioned if we would ever witness such greatness on the golf course and if so, appreciate his gift.

Tiger’s inappropriate behavior off the course has been well-documented and talked to ad nauseum. In the future, he will have to explain to his children about why mommy and daddy don’t live in the same house and what he did. No matter how many major championships he wins, he will forever be remembered for his actions off the course.

Following the final round and playoff hole of the Chevron World Golf Championship, I considered my resurgent interest in PGA Golf. I took a few days to think, if it was okay to be so enthralled by this individual and a game? I came to a conclusion…

I don’t care about what he did. I do NOT condone what Tiger did, but as an amateur public course player and fan of the game, I thoroughly enjoy watching him play golf. When Tiger is on top of his game, there is nobody better. His ability to perform with a golf club at such an extraordinary level can only be compared to Michael Jordan with a basketball. I want to watch and be entertained by the best of the best, and Tiger is still the best and most exciting golfer in the world.

Tiger would eventually lose on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to the surprise golfer of the year, Graeme McDowell. The putts McDowell sank in the playoff and preceding 18th hole to win the tournament were extremely difficult; he most definitely earned his eighth career PGA Tour victory.

By Tiger-standards, the 2010 golf year was horrible, on and off the course. But his swing and play has improved, and it will continue to improve going into the 2011. The finalization of his divorce will pay dividends, as he will not longer have that cloud of distraction over his head. This will enable him to focus on golf while also allowing him to live his life however he chooses going forward. I hope the rest of the PGA Tour players enjoyed 2010 because starting in 2011, it’s on and Tiger is on the prowl.

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