The Legend of Tiger Grows

Tiger Woods is not of this world. I have been watching golf since 1974 and have studied its history closely, and conclude that this man is beyond description. Not only is he blessed with unspeakable physical talent, but also possesses the combined hearts of all the best champions of the game. He hates to lose, always. He never gives up, ever. Yesterday he gouged a third shot from the rough to within 15 feet and made the putt to tie Rocco Mediate and have a chance to win in a playoff today. He was dead, but is never dead. 

Other players don’t have a chance from that lie.  Tiger always has a chance. Always. Even more than Nicklaus – who I thought was superhuman – and Tiger did this on a knee that was gimpy. I mean he was limping around like Ben Hogan after hge was hit by a bis in 1949. Has Tiger ever missed a putt? Remember when he made all those putts to win the 1996 U.S. Amateur when he was dead in that match. The putt to beat Bob May in the 2000 PGA? All the other “regular” events that have become a blur of perfection. And yesterday, 15 feet that he had to make. It may not have had the break of the 12-footer Bobby Jones made on the 72nd hole at Winged Foot in the 1927 U.S. Open, but it was at least as improbable.

It gave him life, at the expense of another victim. For today was a fait accompli. I’ m just so proud of Rocco for playing him like a man today and not lying down. Rocco is a throwback, a guy with a swing out of the 1940s, and he’s played through back problems that would have shelved 90% of the timid souls on Tour. So kudos to you Rocco! But you were up against the Tiger, the man with the gift.

Bob Ferguson, who won the British Open three time in the 19th century, once said: “Nerve, enthusiasm, and practice are the three essentials to golf. But to be great requires the gift.” The gift, indeed! That gift has been passed down from Allan Robertson to Young Tom Morris to Harry Vardon to Bobby Jones to Sam Snead to Jack Nicklaus and now to Tiger Woods. He’s the best of them all, and that’s saying something coming from me, the man who said when Tiger turned pro that he would win maybe 15-20 tournaments. I ate my words long ago and now just appreciate his gift and his greatness. We golf fans are lucky to live to witness his feats, believe me.

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2 Responses to “The Legend of Tiger Grows”

  1. Shane Bertou Says:

  2. Shane Bertou Says:

    Sorry for the link. That was by mistake. What I meant to say was …

    I keep forgetting that prior to this event Tiger hadn’t played golf in two months!

    I’m not sure what the golf world is going to do when this guy hangs them up. I enjoy golf, play it from time to time, watch the majors, etc. But unless Tiger’s in the lead or in the hunt, I tend not to care very much.

    Anyway, this was golf at its absolute best! Poor Rocco.

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