Wasn’t that a blast! Louis Oosthuizen making his albatross on number two, and then Bubba Watson with his four birdies in a row on the back nine that kept most of us on the edge of our seats. Then to have Phil Mickelson lurking…and most of us knowing that it would be just like him to pounce on the leaders, adding to our anticipation. Bubba then demonstrated in sudden death that golf, like life, is about realizing our mistakes, reassessing our predicament, and having a commitment to recover.
The 2012 Masters will be considered a classic for a long time!
Not only that but it was very good for the game of golf. There is another star on the PGA Tour. Oh sure, Bubba has been around for awhile, and we all know how exciting he is with his swashbuckling manner of play. But, to do it in the way that he did it! Having to create shots that would scare the daylights out of many touring pros, on the back nine, on Sunday, at The Masters, has contributed to Bubba becoming a household name, even amongst many non-golfers.
With the current state of the PGA Tour (and Tiger Woods’ antics weakening his mind and reducing him to just another touring pro), golf has lost much of the excitement that it had in recent years. We needed some fresh heroes to step up. Oosthuizen wasn’t a fluke when he won the British Open, but now he has confirmed himself as a player who has to be reckoned with in all the majors. Let’s add something to the mix, though. Bubba and Louis are not only great golfers. Their attitudes and behavior make them people who many of you would enjoy your posterity looking up to.
Tiger has been an unbelievable golfer who raised the bar possibly higher than it’s ever been…in some respects, anyway. Sadly, though, I shudder at the thought of his example of being a role model to those who will follow. Not only for his antics off the course, but even on it. If a full-grown man doesn’t have more control over himself than to sling and then kick his club when he hits a shot that he doesn’t like, what kind of example does that set for the youngsters coming up? He lets profanity fly when he deems it is necessary, whether there are ladies, children, or whoever in the gallery. Honestly, I sit and watch Tiger sometimes and wonder what he is going to do next that sets a bad example for those youngsters who idolize him.
I’m pulling for him, though! I want Tiger to get past all of this and finally grow up into the man that he has the opportunity to become. I really don’t know how I would handle it if I was young, worth hundreds of millions of dollars or maybe a billion, was idolized all over the world, and had people treating me like royalty wherever I went. Then, to know that I was so special that many people just wanted to say “Hi” as I passed by so that they could tell their grandchildren 40 years from now that they actually talked to me. Even with all of those distractions, in many ways, Tiger has demonstrated that he is driven to be the best that he can be and I give him credit for that.
It would be a great story if Tiger got his life together and was able to finally look all of us in the eye and say, “What have I done? How could I have been such a boorish person who, too many times, has shown so little respect for the game, my competitors, the fans, and having little regard for giving back to the game which has been so good to me? I can only imagine what effect my actions on and off the course will have on many young men in the future who have idolized me for years.”
I would like to say to him, Tiger, you’ve been compared to and in many people’s eyes, even exceeded Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and even Jack Nicklaus as the best golfer in history. It would be nice to see you finally get to the place, though, where you could represent the true spirit of golf as those men have, men who gave back as much or more than they took. I’m really pulling for you, Tiger. Please…grow up! If not for yourself, do it for the youngsters coming up!
We all make mistakes; that’s part of life! One of the wonderful things about golf, though, is that it teaches us how to take responsibility for errors, correct them, and become better for it. You’ve done that very thing on the golf course, in major championships, right in front of our eyes. It will be one of the greatest sports stories ever told if you finally accept the responsibility that goes along with what you have received from golf and the fans that have supported you and behaved in a way that upholds the finest traditions of the game. Now, let me give you some incentive! It would also give you the best chance at beating Jack’s total number of wins in the majors – seriously! Here is a fact of life: For anybody to reach their true potential, they simply must be at peace with themselves.