“Tiger Woods, whose hopes for a calendar Grand Slam ended with a thud,” reported ESPN.com.
“And it ends the American’s hopes of a Grand Slam of all four majors this year,” concluded BBC SPORT.
Here they come. The doubters. The naysayers. Those who have lost the faith.
But things are not as they seem on April 13. Tiger Woods will still win the Grand Slam this year. Not the Tiger Slam, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, or the Denny’s Grand Slam. Rather, the never-been-done, professional, calendar-year Grand Slam.
What appears to be an ending is just a momentary setback. It will make Tiger stronger and more determined than ever as he sets his sights on the U.S. Open in June.
At Torrey Pines, where Tiger Woods started winning golf tournaments before he mastered his multiplication tables, everything will fall into place. Yes, Tiger will walk off with the U.S. Open trophy, his first national title since Bethpage in 2002.
In July at the British Open at Royal Birkdale, Tiger will fall behind early but eventually assume the 54-hole lead. After facing a stiff challenge in the final round, Woods will win his fourth Claret Jug in a playoff. The PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, on the other hand, will be a rout. Tiger will win by 10 shots.
The biggest surprise will come in September. Two weeks before the Ryder Cup the Masters Tournament will release a short statement. Tiger Woods, not Trevor Immelman, actually won the 2008 Masters Tournament.
Initially, the golf world and general public will be shocked by the statement. Didn’t millions see Trevor Immelman win and Tiger finish second? Wasn’t that Immelman who slipped on the Green Jacket in Butler Cabin?
The men of the Masters have extraordinary powers, though. They have helped elect a president, run a TV network and created a whole new golf vocabulary. In truth, the apparent reversal will be kid stuff for the men of the Masters.
As have been past club actions and rulings, the decision will be cloaked in mystery.
But speculation will abound. The 15th hole erred -- Immelman’s ball should have rolled into the water, a mistake that would have eventually cost him the tournament. The club finally recognized that Tiger-proofing the course was unfair and would hurt the tournament’s legacy. Or maybe it was a strange scoring flap like 40 years earlier in 1968. However, no explanation will be offered.
Some will protest, including Trevor Immelman’s fellow countryman and mentor Gary Player, but their voices will quickly fade away. Many will come to see the wisdom of retroactively awarding the Green Jacket to the world’s best player.
In the end, all who emphatically predicted Tiger Woods would win the Grand Slam in 2008 will be vindicated. And those who already know that Tiger is the greatest golfer ever will rejoice.
−The Armchair Golfer
(This is an ARMCHAIR GOLF spoof.)