Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wait...Who's Tiger Woods Again?

So this is what it has come to.  As I'm watching the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago, G sits next to me.  Presuming that he wants to change the station to Jesse or to Victorious, I brace for the inevitable questions about changing the station.  But he surprised me today.  He wants to watch golf with me!  Come on over.

We're watching the afternoon Best Ball format on Saturday afternoon, paying particular attention to the match between Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker for the USA and Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia for the Europeans.  Although the US is ahead 10-4 as we start to watch, I'm most interested in this Woods' match.  Down by 4 shots at the turn, the Americans are storming back just as G sits next to me. 

"Who are we rooting for Dad?"  G asks me as he jumps on the couch.

"The Americans."  I answer as I pick up my drink right before he spills it on me.

"Are they the ones with the ugly pick shirts?" G asks me.

"No those are the Europeans.  They always wear terrible clothing.  I think they are either color blind, or fashion in Milan and Paris is all out of whack."  I explain to him.  I'm a true definition of a homer, I guess.   And on top of that, he doesn't really get my poor excuse for a joke.

"Well I'm rooting for who ever you are rooting for."  Sounds good.  Go USA!

So we start watching together.  Just as Tiger Woods does his patented point and walk toward a putt that he knows is going in, G asks me a startling question.

"Who's that guy?"

"You mean Tiger Woods?" I look at him with a weird look on my face (I'm sure).  He's playing really well and the Americans might pull this game out."

"Wait...who's Tiger Woods again?  I mean, is he making a come back?  Didn't you say his career was over and that he was never going to golf again?"  Jeez, it's been a long three years since that fateful Thanksgiving night back in 2009 when Tiger Woods life changed forever.

Yeah, it's been a long time and I've forgiven him.  I think we all have.  That's just the nature of our society.  And now as he's growing a little older, he is not as dominant as he once was.  In fact some of us might consider his an underdog.  Flashes of brilliance from Woods are few and far between.  He's won some tournaments in the last three years, but in the Majors, except for one amazing front Nine performance at the 2011 Masters, Woods is no longer the most dominant golfer on the PGA.  And that's OK with me.  It's more fun this way.

I keep this in mind as we watch that point and walk this afternoon from Woods.  He's sticking his approaches, his drives are long and mostly straight and he has that look in his eye that we haven't seen in 4 years.  Although they came up short (as did Johnson and Dufner in the last match of the afternoon against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter), I'm optimistic about the Singles matches tomorrow morning.  And with a 10-6 lead, I don't even think NBC can jinx the US team into images of the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline Country Club.

Maybe G won't know Tiger Woods as well as we do.  And maybe Woods will never win another Major again.  But watching this match makes me remember why watching Woods is so fascinating.  The Ryder Cup brings this out in everyone.

Oh yeah.  I can't stand Ian Poulter either.

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