A Sense of Huber: Asking a bit more from Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods often wears his emotions on his sleeve - for better and for worse.
By
Jim Huber
PGA.com

Series: A Sense of Huber

Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | 11:27 p.m.

We should judge solely on performance, for that is what we have asked of the man. Give me a 66 on Friday and a 67 on Sunday. Get in the hunt. Generate some excitement. Chase down the leaders and make himself relevant again. That's all we ask, right? It's what he is paid to do, after all, perform.

But when you are Tiger Woods, we ask a bit more. Not much, just civility. Just the hint of good humor. Just the idea that you might be actually enjoying yourself.

A Sense of Huber

PGA.com's Jim Huber provides his thoughts and love of golf and invites you to enjoy and share your passion for the game.

You are, or have been and could be again, our hero.

And yet in the midst of performance, we get angst. In the run toward the lead, we get anger.

It is understandable that missing a four-footer for eagle might dump acid in your competitive juices. But when the subsequent birdie gets you into a tie for the lead, when you finally reached the top after trailing by seven shots going into the final round, you could at least show some love.

You promised, a year ago, to connect more with those who hang on your every move.

The connection is lost.

Try calling again.

When you come to the obligatory interview at the end of your day, well, I have been there. Dozens of times over the years I have been on the other end of that microphone and it is the most uncomfortable, irritating place to work. What you handed CBS's Bill MacAtee was a worn, gnawed bone. If you didn't want to be there, you could have turned it down. Believe me, you've done that before. I know.

For two wondrous days, on Friday and again Sunday, we all felt a certain balance returning to the game. You lifted us, gave us a sense that all might be well again. We pull for the wounded, after all, but not for those who wound.

Sunday was as good a day of golf, from beginning to end, as there might ever have been. To have actually been a huge part of pushing that envelope must generate some kind of excitement, some wondrous emotion.

Let us know you care.

In a good way.

 

Thanks again for all the e-mails, the Facebook responses and the Tweets. Our first couple weeks of A Sense of Huber has generated great reaction and I'm humbled. Keep the comments and questions coming. You have several avenues: askJimHuber@turner.com, the PGA.com Facebook page or @jamesrhuber on Twitter.

And for those of you still calling me "Mr.", that was my father. I'm just Jim.

David Polich facebooked: "What's your reaction to the female writer being barred from the Augusta National locker room?"
It happened supposedly Sunday evening as Tara Sullivan of the Bergen (N.J.) Record tried to get in to interview Rory McIlroy. The guard at the door refused her entry. Augusta National apologized, said that was not their policy and "we'll make sure it doesn't happen again".
The many, many guards hired to work Masters week are, for the most part, wonderful men and women, always with a smile, always with directions or help. But they are a protective lot and this particular one acted on her own in barring Tara. The only method which they employ for proper entrance is certain colors on media badges. If you have one of those, male or female, you are due entry. This was just a mistake. Not apologizing for Augusta National but they have grown very forward in their approach to the media over the last decade or so. And Tara and all other female reporters can probably rest assured they will be free to enter next April.

An e-mail from Bill Crouch in Colorado Springs:
What happened to "it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game"? WAY too much emphasis on the "W" which translates to money. Scruples cast aside, at least until caught.

Bill, I'm not sure if you're talking about playing Saturday morning at the Broadmoor or the weekends on tour. The game, for the most part, demands scruples either way. But there is so much money on the line in the professional game that it becomes awfully intense. Scruples, however, remain intact, always.

And finally T.J. Auclair, who writes so brilliantly for PGA.com, e-mailed this:
Jim, you've covered so many of these. How does Schwartzel's four-birdie finish rank among the great finishes in major championship history?

What was really pretty strange, T.J., was how difficult it was to track those four. So much was going on at the time that it actually sorta snuck up on me, at least. All of a sudden, he sinks that putt on 17 and he's going to win. So for pure drama, probably doesn't rank that high. What I will always be astonished by was the great number of men who rode through the leaderboard from Goosen's eagle at No. 1 on the opening day to Schwartzel's last birdie on Sunday night. Fisher to Couples to Fowler to Garcia to Quiros to Yang to Barnes to the final dozen who contended right to the end. It really was the most astonishing Masters I've ever covered.
 


Comments

mlonthegreen

Great thoughts Jim. I too was struck more than once over the weekend by what an edge Tiger had in the interviews, and am really done with him at this point as any kind of fan. He has, to me, become someone who has not an ounce of grace or a connection to anything approaching civility if the situation is not exactly what he wants it to be.
It was, no doubt, exciting to see the run and the shotmaking that make him the most watchable pure golfer on the planet when he's on his game. But it was also quite clear that he is no longer anything but a spoiled child, with an unbelievable sense of entitlement, instead of someone who should be grateful every minute for the opportunity to have the life he has had, and to have achieved it by playing a game. Amazing that I learned so much more from a 21 year old Rory McIlroy than I did from a mid-30's Hall-of-Shamer Tiger.

streatracer32

Can't handle these reporters always pointing out the negative things. Millions around the world were cheering, up on their feet, feeling hope for their well-known hero. He was doing it once again; he was charging. His victory red shirt seemed as if it was going to be buried by the green jacket. Everybody was watching, everybody was living in the moment, everybody watched when he was cast away by another outcast; another guy that will probably never win the green jacket ever again. Tiger knew it; he let it slip right through his hands. He was upset, who wouldn't be. How would you feel if you just climbed the tallest mountain of your life, and then ran out of steam 10 feet from the top. Oh wait you have probably never been in the position, but your article seems to hit good points on that (much sarcasim said in that line).

daveandrews723

Agree totally with your post. Tiger's act has worn very thin and he is tiresome now, to me at least. Rory McIlroy showed us what a class act truly is in his post-event comments... in a much more trying situation than Tiger was in.