April 19, 2013
Each April the Masters Tournament signals the dawn of spring, endearing audiences worldwide with its blooming azaleas and towering Georgia pines. St. Andrews may be the Home of Golf, but Augusta National is its Holy Grail. But despite the event’s traditional splendor, the 2013 Masters was blackened by blatant disregard for golf’s honor. When Tiger Woods’ improper drop on the 15th hole of Friday’s second round was called in to Masters officials by a viewer, Tour protocol implored Woods to withdraw. Once again in his career Woods had the opportunity to stand up and do what was right, but just couldn’t pull the trigger.
While the moral tradition of the game suggested Woods drop out, the rules didn’t explicitly mandate it, so the man found a loophole to jump through.
Consider Woods’ history: after winning only once in 1998 while overhauling his swing, Woods fired caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan rather than patiently accept the consequences of a swing change. When Woods’ legendary swing coach Butch Harmon confronted him about his reckless off-course behavior in August 2002, Woods immediately canned his long-time swing coach instead of considering a different point of view. Swing guru Hank Haney swooped in to ‘fix’ Woods’ game in 2004, but left in 2010 after Tiger had “frozen him out” when Haney spoke negatively to Woods regarding his sex addiction. But there’s more. After 12 years and 73 PGA Tour wins together, Woods didn’t just fire caddie Steve Williams, he flat stopped talking to him during his rehab process in 2011. Even after such personal embarrassment, Woods could’ve actually gained some respect by standing up and owning his extramarital misconduct…he instead delivered the least believable “apology” heard in decades.
Nothing in Tiger’s world is his fault…EVER. So it came as no shock when he decided to play the weekend at Augusta. Ironically Adam Scott’s thrilling playoff victory means the 2013 Masters will instead be remembered for the deserved triumph of a man who symbolizes class and humility.