Umm, I watch golf. This isn’t easy for me to admit. Sometimes I have to lie to people (i.e., my girlfriend) just so I can watch golf on Sunday. I wasn’t always like this; I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s weird because I don’t even play golf. In fact, I hate people who play golf. I respect the sport and would love to learn it someday. But for the most part, the stereotype about golfers is true almost 60% of the time: they are usually pretentious asses and elitist pricks. I have no time for them. But somewhere along the way I have become a nut for competitive PGA golf. Shit, I even bet on it.
[NOTE: This is about the time in the article when I should mention the 2006 U.S. Open. I picked Geoff Ogilvy to win (70-1). I only put a dollar on him. Imagine if I had put $100. This summer would have been so much cooler.]
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not watching golf because of the betting aspect. I’ve only placed about three bets, so that’s not why I’m tuning in. So why am I tuning in?
I hate to admit it, because it’s such an obvious answer, but the reason I am tuning in, along with almost everybody else, is Tiger Woods. Tiger is on a historic roll right now; it couldn’t be exaggerated if you try. He did this once before, sort of, about five years ago, but I don’t remember him being this dominant. In the course of about three months, Phil Mickelson has fallen off the radar and all the other second tier players have taken about twenty steps backwards. It’s as if they’re all scared of Tiger Woods.
Take the most reason win on his six tournament winning streak, the Deutsch Bank Tournament. Vijay Singh breaks the course record on Saturday and shoots two under par on Sunday and he still loses but a couple of strokes. Tiger Woods is playing golf on another planet. At this point, the biggest story in golf is not who will beat Tiger, it’s When, Why and How; because frankly, at this point, there is no reason for him to lose.
Think about it: He’s playing this good without his driver. Imagine if he could hit a fairway once in a while, then the field would really be screwed. And there might be better putters out there, but not when it’s Sunday and you absolutely need to make it.
The only thing I can think to compare this feat to is Orel Hershiser’s scoreless inning streak. Orel tossed 59 consecutive scoreless innings; a feat that might never be equaled*. Those 59 innings are equivalent to a little more than six games- so it’s comparable to Tiger’s current run. Only, when I think about it, I’m not so sure that is. It’s not like Hershiser was perfect. Perhaps, a pitcher would have to throw six consecutive no-hitters to match Woods’ run. That is, without a doubt, impossible.
Whatever your personal feelings are on Tiger Woods you can’t deny this: he is great for golf; no wait, let me change that: he is golf. And as long as this streak continues, the people will be tuning in. I guess it’s just par for the golfshow freakcourse that isÃ¢Â?Â¦ Tiger Woods.
*By the way, to put this baseball record in prospective, think of it this way: the second longest streak of all time was accomplished by Walter Johnson in 1913 (55.2). I never realized how incredible this record was.