by Jeff Skinner
So the next chapter in the Tiger Woods Saga is about to be written: The Comeback. With his announcement that he’ll play in The Masters the “Tiger Watch” has shifted into overdrive. It’s understandable why Woods chose Augusta for his comeback tournament. The boys with the green jackets run a tight ship down there. They won’t tolerate any heckling, screaming or hollering at Augusta. So the press better watch out or they’ll be hustled out of there quicker than that guy who was caught running to get on line for a pimento and cheese sandwich last year.
Tiger’s decision to tee it up at the Masters can be described with one word: selfish. Sure Tiger doesn’t want to miss a major but playing here just turns one of the most distinguished events in all of sport into a cheap circus. If Woods had opted to make his return at another venue before The Masters the focus could be on the golf and not on Tiger’s return, but for his own self serving reasons Woods picked the biggest tournament of the season.
Somewhere there are a few Augusta members that must be grumbling about the spectacle that their beloved tournament will become when Woods and his travelling troupe come to town. Publicly they’ll say they are glad Tiger’s back but they have to be wishing that he played before their tournament and gave someone else the pleasure of Tiger’s Circus. Jay Busbee of Devil ball echoes these sentiments and calls his decision short sighted.
The players can’t be too happy either as the first major is relegated to second tier status after everything Tiger. “Whenever he comes back it’s going to draw a lot of attention to that tournament and the focus is going to be on him coming back,” Steve Stricker said last week. “I don’t know if Augusta would like that to happen, you know? To turn it into Tiger’s comeback instead of the Masters tournament itself.”
I can’t wait for The Masters, heck I can’t wait for any tournament, especially a major, but I’m not thrilled that The Tiger Show will get more coverage than the golf. Maybe we’ll see a different Tiger: one with a lot less ego and little more humility…a guy can dream can’t he?