Tag Archives: Tiger Woods

Stand tall, Tiger

Whether he slips on The Masters’s green jacket that goes to the winner of the golf tournament is irrelevant to what I want to say about Eldrick “Tiger” Woods.

The man has “won” a major battle already by returning to play competitive golf after suffering a grievous leg injury in a horrific motor vehicle crash. It occurred a little more than a year ago.

Tiger Woods could have lost his right leg. It was shattered in many places. Surgeons fitted Woods with metal pins and rods to keep his leg. A year later, Woods has completed two rounds of The Masters; he made the cut and will play for the green jacket over the weekend.

I am not going to predict he will win. Indeed, Tiger Woods likely won’t walk away wearing that coveted jacket … although I am not going to bet my retirement account on it.

My point is that even a fierce competitor such as Tiger Woods must feel a good bit of satisfaction that he is able to compete at a high level, given what he has endured for the past year.

I have noted already that Tiger Woods does not consider himself to be “bigger than the game” of golf. I can challenge that just a bit. His mere presence in The Masters field has generated fan interest that has been lacking because of his absence from the game he has dominated for the past quarter century.

Yep. Tiger is at least as big as the game. He has proven himself — once again this week — to be a winner.


Tiger to tee it up!

The wait for a lot of golf fans — such as me — is about to end when Tiger Woods tees it up at the 2022 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga.

I am glad to see the 15-time major championship winner back in the game. His presence brings a level of excitement that, frankly, has been missing from golf since that horrifying accident more than a year ago that reportedly could have cost him one of his legs.

Woods tells us constantly that “no one is bigger than the game.” Actually, though, this fellow is the closest thing we have at the moment to someone who actually is bigger than golf. They don’t come around very often.

He has had his personal difficulties, his injuries. He has been forced to cope with unimaginable pressure.

Tiger Woods is a competitor through and through. I am glad he will be part of the Masters.

I just hope his legs hold up. Tee it up, Tiger.


More on the Presidential Medal of Freedom

I feel the need to flesh out a little more about the Presidential Medal of Freedom and why I believe it should be awarded to a leading American actor and activist.

The medal, bestowed by the president of the United States, goes to those individuals have delivered “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

I already have made a pitch for Gary Sinise, an actor of considerable note, as well as a fervent activist for military veterans and active-duty personnel. Sinise hasn’t yet been awarded with the nation’s highest civilian honor. He deserves it … in spades!

Sinise has become veterans’ most outspoken and visible champion. He embodies the sea change that has swept over the country in the past quarter-century or so, or about the time that our troops swept Iraqi forces out of Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War.

Do you remember how veterans were treated after the Vietnam War? I do. I was one of them. I didn’t get spit on. Or cursed. I did receive an indifferent response from those who learned I had served for a time in Vietnam.

That all changed about the time of the Gulf War.

Gary Sinise has become a visible and outspoken advocate for veterans over the course of many years. He has raised money for families of veterans, helped raise awareness of PTSD and other combat-related disorders. He has lent his good name to fundraisers. He has hosted public TV broadcasts of patriotic salutes.

My goodness, this man has contributed greatly to the cultural development of this great country, as explained in the Medal of Freedom criteria listed at the top of this blog post.

My message now goes directly to Donald Trump: Mr. President, if you can see fit to honor a professional golfer who won the Masters tournament — which you did when you hung the Medal of Freedom around Tiger Woods’ neck — surely you can do the same for an artist who has made veterans awareness part of his life.

Trump presents Medal of Freedom to Tiger, but … wait!

This is what happens when a president of the United States refuses to divest himself of his vast business interests prior to taking the nation’s most exalted public office.

Donald Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods, honoring the greatest golfer of his generation — and perhaps of all time — for winning his fifth Masters Tournament and his 15th major professional golf championship.

Woods becomes the fourth pro golfer to be awarded in this fashion. President George W. Bush presented Presidential Medals of Freedom to a pair of golf legends, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus; President Obama awarded one to Charlie Sifford.

No one questioned those presidents’ motives. Trump brings another element to this ceremony.

He and Woods have a business relationship. Woods has been a highly visible promoter of golf at Trump Organization properties. Some have wondered about the president’s motive in honoring Woods. Is he doing so in an altruistic fashion or is he seeking to promote his own business in association with Tiger Woods? That’s the question of the moment.

Donald Trump declined to divest himself of his business interests upon becoming president. He remains associated with the Trump Organization, although he reportedly turned over day-to-day operations to his sons, Don Jr. and Eric.

I don’t know what motivates Donald Trump, although I have my suspicions and my beliefs. I merely am left to wonder and to echo the questions that have come from many quarters about whether the president occupies his high office for the right reasons.

Now he might be sullying the reputation of a pro golfer, Tiger Woods, who deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his immense contribution to our national culture.

If only the president who awarded it wasn’t so, um, compromised.

Yep, he is bigger than the game

Tiger Woods would never say such a thing out loud, within earshot of others.

However, I am going to say what would remain unspoken by the greatest golfer of this generation: Tiger Woods is bigger than the game.

Woods won his 15th major pro golf title over the weekend, winning the Masters Tournament by a stroke the all-world field of the greatest golfers on the planet. Sports pundits can’t stop talking about it. They won’t stop talking and writing about what they have described as the “greatest sports comeback in human history.”

Woods had gone 11 years without winning a major tournament, and 15 years since winning the Masters.

Hmm. I’ll offer this note, and then move on to the topic at hand: Muhammad Ali’s return as heavyweight boxing champion in 1974 after being stripped of his title and exiled from the sport for more than three years ranks as the No. 1 sports comeback — in my mind.

But yes, Tiger’s comeback was one for the ages.

He is bigger than the game. I admit to watching the Masters with exponentially greater interest when he entered the weekend rounds in hunt for his fifth Masters green jacket. I love watching the Masters anyway, but with Tiger lurking near the top of the leader board, my interest turned into an obsession.

I wasn’t alone. Others around the world who aren’t even necessarily golf fans took time to watch Tiger Woods pounce when Francesco Molinari doused his 12th-hole tee shot, paving the way for a double-bogey on the hole.

Woods’ endorsement income from Nike is going to fly into the stratosphere. There might be other corporate sponsors that will sign the 43-year-old up as well.

Think of it. Woods’ career started tanking when his wife, Elin, caught him messing around with other women. Then he got caught driving while impaired. Injuries later would damn near take him out for keeps. He couldn’t play the game he dominated since his arrival on the pro tour in 1996.

He fought back. Now he’s back on the top of his game. On top of the world. On top of the heap.

Tiger Woods wouldn’t dare say what many of us believe, that he is bigger than the game.

He is. There. I’ve said it.

The King would be proud of Tiger

Golf isn’t supposed to evoke these kinds of emotions.

Today, though, it did. Tiger Woods — considered by many to the “greatest of all time” — won his fifth Masters tournament. I don’t usually get wrapped up emotionally in golf tournaments. Except when Tiger Woods is involved.

I’ll stipulate that Tiger is not the first pro golfer to get me this juiced up. The first one was the late Arnold Palmer, aka “The King.” Arnie was the swashbuckler, a man’s man. He exuded charisma and machismo. He also could hit the hell out of a golf ball.

Palmer four won four of those green jackets. The all-timer, of course, is Jack Nicklaus, with six of them. Nicklaus also has those 18 major championships in his ledger, which for my money makes him the GOAT.

Today, though, was Tiger’s day.

I’ve been pulling for him to make this kind of comeback. He teetered on the edge of golf oblivion. There was that nasty philandering scandal that ruined his marriage to the former Miss Sweden beauty queen. Then came the injuries. The surgeries. The comebacks from the surgeries. The relapses.

Tiger Woods might be a dirt bag of a husband. He is a devoted father and a loving son to his mother Kultida.

He’s also one hell of a great golfer.

Tiger Woods was able to bring a tear to my eye as I watched him win today’s Masters. I happen to believe that The King is looking down from on high and is pulling for him to keep winning.

Let’s admit it: Tiger is bigger than the game

He likely never would admit it publicly, so I’ll say it for him.

Tiger Woods is bigger than the game of golf. Just look at the worldwide reaction to Woods winning his 80th career golf tournament over the weekend. He won the Tour Championship for his first PGA tour victory in five years.

You’d have thought Woods had just won the Grand Slam of Golf, winning all four major tournaments in a single calendar year.

He didn’t. He merely won the season’s final big event, a championship event that drew the biggest names in the game today.

After all he’d been through — the multiple back surgeries, the terrible personal scandal and the nagging self-doubt that he’d ever get his game back — Woods found a way to win. He did so virtually wire to wire at the Tour Championship.

I’ve said it before, but it might bear repeating, so that’s what I’ll do: Tiger Woods might be a dirt bag of a husband, but he’s one hell of a golfer. I enjoy watching this guy play golf almost as I enjoyed watching another of the all-time greats, the late Arnold “The King” Palmer. Indeed, there are similarities here. Both men drew casual viewers to the game. Both men played with panache and flair. Both did so with tremendous success.

I always have pulled for Tiger Woods to make it all the way back from the physical and emotional ailments that bedeviled him.

Tiger Woods is back. And the game is better for his return.

Tiger appears to be back … all the way

I know this sounds snobbish of me, but I want Tiger Woods to win the tournament he is playing in this week.

It’s something called the Valspar Championship. He is a shot behind a young man from Canada named Corey Conners.

Snobbishness? Well, my desire to see Tiger win is to see some excitement generated in professional golf. Conners hasn’t won yet on the pro golf tour. His day will come. I just don’t want it to come this weekend.

You know how I feel about Tiger Woods. He turned out to be a dirt bag of a husband. He cheated repeatedly on his wife, a former Miss Sweden for criminy sakes! She caught him cheating, kicked him out of their mansion and Woods’s career nosedived not long after that.

He’s had some injury, multiple surgeries, a couple of aborted comebacks.

Woods does play with a certain panache. He is so damn fun to watch on TV. I noted in an earlier blog post that he might be “bigger than the game,” although he surely wouldn’t ever say as much out loud.

Woods will be paired with young Corey Conners on Sunday. They’ll get to go head to head. If Corey holds up under the pressure and fends off the greatest golfer of his age, then he well could launch himself into a potentially great career in professional golf.

If Woods’s latest comeback produces his first win in five years, that will make the Earth shake under golf’s feet.

Maybe he really is bigger than the game … maybe

He wouldn’t actually admit it out loud, but I’m beginning to think Tiger Woods just might be bigger than the game he plays for a living.

He is playing well in a PGA golf tournament this week. The CBS Sports broadcasting crew can’t stop talking enough about Woods. He isn’t in the lead as I write this brief blog post but he’s lurking not too far behind the tournament leaders.

What’s more, I’ll admit to liking to watch pro golf on TV more when Tiger is playing, let alone when he’s in contention to win.

Woods has been on the shelf for most of the past three seasons. He’s had those injuries. He’s had several back surgeries. Woods tried to come back a time or three, but then went back to the physical therapist for more PT and rehab.

Then, of course, Woods had that rather remarkable scandal involving his serial philandering.

That was then. Woods is back in the game. I’ve said before I am seriously pulling for Woods to come all the way back. I want him to return to something resembling the all-world form he displayed from 1997 until about 2009.

Golf is a great game to watch. Really! I like watching it on TV.

I like it a bit more when Tiger Woods is in the hunt.

Does that mean Tiger is “bigger than the game”? Maybe it does.

Is Tiger back? Well, let’s hold our breath and hope it’s so

One round of golf on a relatively tame layout does not constitute a comeback for the greatest golfer of his generation.

But I am glad to see that Tiger Woods shot a 69 today at the Hero World Challenge tournament in The Bahamas.

It’s been more than 300 days since Woods played competitive golf. The game has flourished nicely without him. However, for many golf fans — such as yours truly — professional golf has been lacking a bit of the star power that Woods brings to any tournament he enters.

He has gone through four back surgeries. He sought to come back once, perhaps prematurely. He couldn’t swing a golf club without experiencing great pain.

But here we are. Woods played a solid round of golf today.

I hope he can string three more good rounds in the sport he dominated during the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

I get that no one is bigger than the sport at which he or she excels.

My hope, though, is that Tiger Woods can come back and give the game some of the pizzazz he brings to it every time he tees it up.