Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Call me biased, but I want Tiger Woods to
pick up his sixth career win at Muirfield Village this weekend. Then I want him
to secure his 15th major title at Merion Golf Club in June. Heck, I hope he
reaches Jack's record of 18 majors within 12 months.
The argument here isn't for Tiger Woods the individual, it's for the
historical greatness he represents.
People root against Tiger for a number of legitimate reasons, from his
questionable on-course etiquette to his numerous extramarital affairs. But
they also root against him because he is the best and most prominent golfer
It's human nature. If someone reaches heights of unusual dominance or success,
the average observer wants to tear them down. If a person doesn't have a
rooting interest between two teams, he or she will typically pull for the
underdog. Tiger is Duke Basketball. He is the American Empire. People want to
see him fall.
I get it. It's easy to hate the best. And it's fun. But in the case of Tiger
Woods, I want him to win. I want to witness greatness.
I grew up hearing lofty tales about the legend of Nicklaus, Walter Hagen, Sam
Snead and Bobby Jones, or about the heroics of Ben Hogan, who came back from a
near-fatal car crash and won the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion in an 18-hole
playoff. Jeez. How could anyone competing in my lifetime live up to that
Win. That's how. When you don't have the advantage of watching an athlete in
his prime, you are forced to judge him by statistics and hyperbolic first-
hand accounts. Tiger is just four majors away from tying Jack's record and
four PGA Tour wins away from Snead's all-time mark of 82. Already considered
one of the greats, which is rare for someone still competing regularly, he can
cement his legacy by surpassing those milestones.
I feel privileged to witness the career arc of a Tiger Woods or a LeBron James
while in my sports-viewing days, to have legends of my own, not only for the
sheer entertainment value but also because through them I can better
understand the greats of the past. I can see now that even the immortals have
off rounds, bad games, public scandals and humiliations.
But for my greats to legitimize their status, they have to keep winning. For
the sake of the past, present and future. For the sake of hyperbole and self-
important Tee to Green columns. For the sake of the record books. Just keep
TIGER PLAYS MERION
Woods played Merion in Ardmore, Pa., on Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming
The world No. 1 didn't play a full round, but he hit a few shots off the tees
and putted to areas he though the pins would be.
I'm told he thought the par-3s were brutal, although he did carry the quarry
and drop a 3-iron within 10 feet on the 246-yard 17th.
LET'S MOVE ON
Woods spoke to Golf Channel this week at the Memorial Tournament about Sergio
Garcia's racially insensitive fried chicken remark and did his best to put the
issue to bed, saying, "It's already done with. It's time to move on."
Tiger is right. I covered this issue at length in my previous column. Garcia's
remark was not only blatantly racist, it was also lazy and unfunny. But what
else would we expect from Sergio?
The Sports Network