The world'sgreatest golfer managed to keep the G in the PGA, but even Tiger Woods has anoff day or two. There were a few times when Tiger's summer turned to simmer,and when the fur starts to fly, so does the profanity.
When Woods can'tdrop a putt, he drops an f bomb. When he can't drill a tee shot, he drills hisbag with his driver. He exploded when his British turned brutish, and he missedthe cut for only the sixth time in his pro career.
The coarselanguage and club acrobatics aren't anything we don't hear and see on coursesevery day. But this was Tiger Woods, who is supposed to set an example,especially for children. And this is golf, the "gentleman's game," inwhich virtue is supposed to trump vitriol.
Well, I've got twowords for you, and they're not "you're away." Get real! If Tiger wantsto go ballistic and wax scatological, let him.
There is nothinggolf needs more now than emotion, and Woods is one of the only players who evershows any. (Lucas Glover, anyone?) The man is a pro with millions in the bank,and the fire in his belly—plus the steam coming out of his ears and thevulgarities from his mouth—show that he cares about more than cashing checks,which can't be said of everyone carrying a PGA Tour card.
He's right: Secondsuc ... uh, isn't good.
The namby-pambysin the blogosphere have been whining that golf—horrors!—could turn into the NFLor, worse, tennis. Maybe it's time the game entered the big leagues of visibleemotion. It survived when Tommy (Thunder) Bolt was hurling eight-irons andinvective, when Steve (the Volcano) Pate erupted and when Tom Weiskopfunleashed tirades. But they were labeled "characters," not badinfluences. And their acts of madness displayed a humanity that today's prosseem to lack.
As for ourchildren, c'mon. It's O.K. to hear Dad curse a blue streak when he hammers histhumb but not when Tiger hammers one six feet past the hole? (Anyway, why arekids watching golf on a Saturday afternoon? Shouldn't they be outdoors?) Thisis emotion, this is the heat of battle, this is life. Maybe youngsters need tolearn that some things matter.
One more upside toa blue Tiger. It shows that golf is hard, even for him. That's a good thing,because he usually makes it look too easy. Then Joe and Josephine Public giveit a try, can't smoke a six-iron 200 yards from a fairway bunker to four feet,and give up.
No one said golfwas supposed to be easy. Or easy listening.
GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL
WHICH OF THE 2009 MAJORS WAS YOUR FAVORITE?
U.S. Open 2%
British Open 60%
PGA Championship 18%
"By a fetlock it's the British, which offered thegreatest second-place finish of all time."
—T.J. Tomasi, PGA Learning Center
FRED VUICH (WOODS)
WILD FLING Woods kept it clean at Hazeltine, but still tossed the odd club.
ROBERT BECK (WATSON)