by Jeff Skinner
Golf Fans around the world take heart. The world is not coming to an end. The sky is not falling. Armageddon is not upon us. Tiger Woods lost a golf tournament. He lost a major. He lost a major that he normally wins. Big deal. It was a great golf tournament. Simply put, he was out played by another golfer. Tiger is usually the one that closes out his opponent with dramatic shots. For the first time in fifteen tries Woods lost a major while leading going into the final round. So he is now 14-1, instead of 14-0. Sure he is pissed off; all great champions get frustrated when then don’t perform up to their standards. In that respect Tiger Woods is a victim of his own excellence. No player has won so many majors so quickly. Tiger’s dominance in regular tour events and his ability to capture major hardware seemingly at will has caused all of us to expect victory each time he tees it up. Tiger played an average round of golf on Sunday. Y.E. Yang played a superb round of golf. For once Tiger Woods was “out Tigered”. Yang did to Tiger what Tiger had done to so many before. It was Yang that looked calm and confident. It was Yang that made a dramatic eagle to take the lead. It was Yang that pulled off one of the most memorable shots in PGA history at the eighteenth. It was Yang that sunk the birdie putt to win. It was Yang that erupted into a victory celebration on the final green. Yang had stolen Tiger’s identity for the final round. He should have been wearing the red shirt of victory. Yang played a Tiger-like round and he stopped his march to nineteen majors, only temporally I’m sure.
Woods will learn from this setback. He’ll take something away from this that makes him a better golfer. He always does. Yang’s life will never be the same. This is a life changing victory for Yang. He’ll be swamped with demands on his time as all major champions are. He’ll have a chance to do things he wouldn’t have been able to before. His win will probably reignite the golf revolution in South Korea. He knows this win is historic, he knew it on the eighteenth green. Tiger knew it too. I think a saw a hint of a brief smile on Tiger’s face when Yang was celebrating. Tiger knows what it means to win that first major. He knows what it means for a man like Yang. Do not worry golf fans. It’s not the end of the world. All things must pass. This will pass for Tiger and he’ll be back soon enough.