A Master storyBy ANDY RUSSELL
It is one of the greatest feelings in golf isn’t it? Those of you that play golf know what I’m talking about and even those that do not appreciate golf can marvel at the beauty of the shot: 207 yards of the pine straw with a six iron to within four feet of the cup. This shot defined the Masters for Phil Mickelson as he went on to win his third green jacket since 2004.
Mickelson has been one of the most consistent players at Augusta in recent memory and has built up his lore over the last several years. However, as great as Mickelson played, outplaying the likes of Lee Westwood, K.J. Choi and the “quickly aging yet still playing” Fred Couples, the real story at the Masters was the comeback of golf’s elite player: Tiger Woods. On the first day of play, Woods came out to roars on the first tee that he hasn’t heard in over five months and was ready to hear once more. He stepped up to the first tee with the weight of the world on his shoulders and stripped one right down the fairway: a great start for the greatest golfer of our time.
Wood’s playing partners, Matt Kuchar and K.J. Choi, weren’t shaken at all by having to play with him. In fact, Woods and Choi ended up playing together throughout the entire tournament, and shot identical scores every day. This was the story of a single man against the world because of what has transpired in the past few months. Everyone thought that Woods was going to come out and play like a wounded tiger; however he lived up to expectations: he shot an 11-under par and tied for fourth in the tournament but most important of all he showed the world that he isn’t afraid.
Woods is not scared of the media, fans or golfers that do not respect him. Woods will be Woods and it is not our place to judge him just because he is a celebrity and we hold him to a higher standard. Woods is human: he is simply a man and man was made to screw up, ask forgiveness and move on. Why are people treating Woods differently? What people need to do is take a deep look inside and see if they have not screwed up at one point or another. Let the person that has not “cast the first stone” as they say.
Here is my message to the world: Woods screwed up, he apologized and was genuine in that apology, it is time to move on from it. No one, not even Woods knows, when we will see Woods again. At this point, it doesn’t matter because he still has a lot to do with his family and personal life off the course that he needs to take care of. One thing is for sure however: Woods hit duck hooks, carpet burners, sky high cans, fat shots, sliced slices and u-turns and still finished tied for fourth at 11-under par on one of the toughest courses on tour. Watch out America: Tiger is back on the prowl.
Big MessBy ANDY RUSSELL
What in the world is going on today? Why are people still screwing up? Isn’t there enough money to go around these days? I mean come on Big Ben, what are you doing? You have all the money in the world, all the women, and are the star quarterback of a football team that is winning Super Bowls. I thought that money was supposed to buy you happiness? At least that is what I was taught. Money is everything in this world, isn’t it?
They offer you a $50 million contract, but you laugh it off and counter with $80 million. Who do they think they are? I mean, why shouldn’t you get paid more than the president and all of his advisors combined times twelve to play a game? You should get paid to do what you love, even if it cost a family of four a years wage to go watch you play and then you sit out that game because you had an argument with your coach. Man, you sure showed them! You don’t owe them anything! And why should you respect the fans? All they do is grovel over your towels and your autographs and your clothes. You would think they adore you or something. Why should you give them respect when all they want is to talk to you, spend 20 minutes with you? If they don’t have anything to offer you, then they shouldn’t be able to speak with you, right?
The worst part of all is the kids. Man, they come up to you and play the “innocent, I’m a kid, so sign my forehead” bit and that doesn’t work with you right? The only kid good for you is a kid that is going to tell you how great you are, not how much they love you. That’s the last straw, isn’t it? Kids are not supposed to look up to athletes because they are good role models. They are supposed to look up to your talent and charm, right? They look up to you and look at you like you are some kind of hero and really you are just a humble, sincere, innocent man playing the game that he loves, not because he has to, but because of his passion. Am I right?