Tuesday, March 16

Definition Update: ‘Indefinite’ Means Until the Masters

TIGER WOODS HASN’T MISSED a Masters in 16 years. There are no DNPs beside his name dating back to 1995 when he first qualified to play at Augusta National as a 19-year-old amateur and freshman golfer for the Stanford Cardinal. In other words, Tiger has never missed the Masters. And he won’t miss the 2010 edition either, as he announced today.

“The Masters is where I won my first major,” Tiger said at his Web site, “and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta.”

Long time away from the game? Really? You sure made it sound like it could be a lot longer.

December 11: “I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf.”

February 19: “I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that day will be.”

In a saga with more twists than Chubby Checker, this may be the first unsurprising thing to happen. If you were rooting hard for Tiger’s Masters return, then you probably should thank CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz. Nantz said in a Golf Magazine interview the Masters would be fine without Tiger. That sealed it. Put his name down. Get his locker ready.

Tiger and the Masters, the Masters and Tiger. They just go together, you know? OK, I’m going to say it. Tiger will never miss a Masters. NEVER. I know I’m sticking my neck way out, but what could possibly stop him now? Whatever you can possibly think up, I’m going to say Tiger could overcome it and appear at Augusta National in mid April. And the April after that and that and that and that.

One final thought. Watch Tiger win it. Wouldn’t that just be the end-all of end-alls? The world would swoon at the sight of Woods slipping into his fifth Green Jacket. Who knows? He might even take Ari Fleisher off retainer.

–The Armchair Golfer

(Image: Keith Allison/Flickr)


Miranda said...

Tiger may never miss a Masters, but I do. I don't watch golf when he plays (this was a long-standing practice before Thanksgiving) and I definitely won't watch the Masters this year. The media will spend the whole time talking about Tiger and none of the other players who deserve recognition and attention will get any.

So, for me, this frees up that particular week in April and I'll be able to make some other plans.

I love how he said he'd been away for a long time. Not that long. How many weeks of golf has he actually missed? Two WGC events. Maybe one other? He's playing the media and only those really stupid people who don't follow golf will buy it. The media people who do follow golf will let him get by with it because they want an interview with him and because he brings in money.

Back to the European Tour for me...

Patricia Hannigan said...

I see where Miranda is coming from... I'm a huge fan of the European Tour because I like the unique-ness of the players and the fact that there's really not one who dominates... I was never one who particularly pulled for Tiger because I found him... boring (as implausible as that may sound right now)... but the weird thing is ... once he was gone I started longing for him to come back ... it just didn't feel right not to have him there. And it got worse and worse and finally... well I'm really glad he's coming back for the Masters... and it's not a moment too soon either.

stuart said...

I'm quite looking forward to him playing in this one, yes its only been a short break but has it been enough for him to lose his edge

Heather Kerrigan said...

I've never been caught up in Tigermania, but I'm excited to see him play again.

Neil, kudos for the best headline on Mr. Woods' return!

Alan Hammond said...

I didn't realize it until Patricia said it, but I like watching the Euro Tour, or any other tour, because no one is too dominant and there's a unique nature to it. Likewise, although I've often been in awe of his success, I never cared to watch Tiger. I'd rather watch Els or Couples swing a club. I'd rather watch the intensity in Harrington's face. I'd rather watch the carefree, down home nature of Boo Weekley. Aside from amazing execution, the only other thing I've seen from Tiger is the occassional outburst. That isn't a terribly bad thing, but given a choice between watching Tiger Woods in a live golf telecast or a taped footage of Sam Snead's swing, give me Snead. That swing was sweetness defined.

He'll neither make nor break the game, but if it's best for Tiger and his family, come on back.

A Fraser said...

The Euro Tour has far more golf coverage and far more knowledgealbe commentators.
Simple as that.

courtgolf said...

Indefinite means "I don't know exactly when I'll be back" - he didn't know until recently. Since when does "Indefinite" exclude The Masters ?

Hack said...

His return was as meticulously planned as his affairs.

- Enter 'rehab': Check

- Release properly staged photos in prelude to apology: Check

- Sorrowful public apology: Check

- Let's go break Jack's record!: Pending

He knew when he was coming back all along, any belief to the contrary is folly.