Tiger’s last hurrah?
I'll concede that I was rooting for Tiger Woods and hoping he'd win the Masters (“Woods pads legend with ‘greatest victory’,” April 15). And I agree with all the readers’ comments about his win being good for the PGA Tour and good for golf in general. Where I disagree is with those who are saying that Woods is "back" and that Nicklaus' 18 majors and a Grand Slam in 2019 are in play.
* Woods has two wins over the past seven months. His Tour Championship win was over a field of 30. His Masters win came against a field of the fewest players of any regular-season, full-field Tour event.
* He probably has played more Masters rounds than all those within four shots of the lead combined. For him, Augusta National is a home-field advantage.
* He didn't exactly blow away the field. He started the last day two shots back, shot 70 and won. A couple of Morning Read contributors mentioned this win in comparison to Nicklaus' win in 1986. Nicklaus shot 65 in that last round, which tied for the low round of the day. Twenty players (out of 65) shot better than Woods’ 70 on Sunday. Woods shot 35 on the back nine. Nicklaus shot 30 at a time when Nos. 13 and 15 played like par 5s and not driver and mid-to-short iron, as it played for this year’s final round.
* Just as Nicklaus did in 1986, Woods benefitted from mistakes from other contenders. But that's what disciplined and mentally tough champions do. They hang around and play mistake-free golf and let others beat themselves.
Others have commented that these young guys on Tour should get really nervous now that Woods is back. This wasn't the Tiger of almost 20 years ago, destroying fields by 15 shots. I don't think Brooks Koepka has any fear of Woods. He knows that if not for one bad swing and at least two missed putts on that back nine, Koepka would have beaten Woods. Others in the field probably feel the same way. In fact, they're probably champing at the bit and can't wait to get to Bethpage, Pebble Beach and Royal Portrush.
The golf world should feel very good for this improbable win, just as it did for Nicklaus for his improbable win in 1986. But Nicklaus didn't win another regular Tour event after that. Woods is three years younger than Nicklaus was in 1986 and will play more events. But who knows? Maybe this, too, was Woods’ last hurrah.
Pay attention to players other than you-know-who
I agree with several readers who took the time to express disappointment in the fact that there now appears to be only one golfer worthy of coverage when, in fact, there are many (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 19).
Sure, Tiger Woods has made a remarkable recovery from debilitating injuries. That is worth a story or two in Morning Read. Ditto for winning the Masters. How I wish that were the end of it.
Alas, I suspect the fawning, genuflection and spotlight on Woods will continue ad nauseam from writers and commentators. What a shame, as there are so many other young men who deserve their turn in the limelight. If they win a major, I can see it now: "Woods tenacious and takes fourth place, nearly beats (insert name here) for the win.”
I shudder to think how much TV coverage will be given to Woods’ every move. I don't care that he's having a snack and a drink of water. I want to see the other guy putt.
There are many other deserving guys on the PGA Tour. Give them their due.
Coverage that’s difficult to swallow
I just finished my daily Morning Read, and I'm gagging. I'm with reader Joe Hughes (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 19).
If I see Tiger Woods mentioned, I'll forward to my son who adores the dude, and then delete it. I'll pull for one of the newbies to the sport who doesn't waste my time while deciding what to do or how to do it. I noticed during the Masters Par 3 Contest that Jack Nicklaus wasted a lot of time analyzing and marking putts.
I don't understand golf rankings, either. Dustin Johnson is rated No. 1 in the world, and he hasn't won a tournament lately. He's been following in Tiger's footsteps for off-course shenanigans and misbehavior.
It's getting hard to find someone to really root for nowadays.
Maybe Woods wasn’t ready to retire, after all
The current frenzy of praise for Tiger Woods for his tenacity and courage in working so hard to recover from painful back surgeries, abandoning his remoteness, and learning to respond to the world with warmth and charm ignores all the criticism and contempt that was leveled at him not all that long ago.
Among others, Mike Purkey was particularly harsh with his criticism in Morning Read (“Woods needs help, and his life might depend on it, May 31, 2017), when he recommended “retirement” for Woods and that he should "spend the rest of his life in service and philanthropy." That actually seems hysterically funny now, but even at the time it seemed like a pompous, nasty thing to say.
Perhaps all the critics should get together and do some public service and philanthropy of their own, along with offering their heartfelt apologies to Woods.
Peace, harmony and Woods
Dan O’Neill nailed it (“It’s a world full of hope, thanks to Tiger,” April 19).
Soon, Nicolas Maduro will go back to being a bus driver. Kim Jong Un will build condos and a Trump hotel on the coast of North Korea. Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow will have dinner together and appear on each other’s shows. Idiocy will vanish from the national debate.
And many other miracles.
All because Tiger Woods has re-assumed his rightful place in the universe.
We owe him everything.
Park Ridge, Ill.
Expectations without expectorate
I thoroughly enjoy the coverage on TV of the best players in the world, but will someone please have a word with players spitting on the golf course? It is a disgusting habit and one that is completely unnecessary.
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