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The Emotional Roller Coaster That Was Tiger’s Final Round

By 04.11.11


Whoever created the “previous channel” button on the remote is an unheralded figure in American history. His/her feature allowed me to flip between the Celtics/Heat game and the final round of the Masters every two minutes without missing a beat. Rory McIlroy’s iconic collapse had him taking chip shots from locals’ backyards and made us all feel better about that bad day at work last week. And ultimately, Charl Schwartzel ended up taking home the coveted (but still tacky looking) green jacket as he did something only Jack Nickalus had ever done by birding the final four holes.
That’s all well and good, but the sheer excite surrounding the last day centered around one man,
Tiger Woods. What started out as a normal last round with Woods seemingly out of contention, the tides changed, and for a few hours, the world centered around golf. The drought which had been in effect since his 2008 U.S. Open victory on one leg, and more so when Elin went batsh*t on his SUV had all the makings of ending Sunday, April 9. It wasn’t meant to be and Tiger went to sleep last night finishing tied for fourth, but the wave of emotions while the round was actually in play was nothing short of amazing; comparable to what I’d imagine a cocaine, Red Bull and Four Loko high would feel like.
Flatline
Aside from golf enthusiasts, there wasn’t much buzz going into the final day. Well, to show respect to the event, there was a buzz, but not a “holy-sh*t-we’re-in-for-some-amazing-sh*t” type of buzz. Over the years, I’ve found that many golfers like the word “sh*t,” hence the word being used twice in such a short quote. Little did the world know, we were in store for a wild ride and it didn’t even fully center around Tiger. Charges, collapses, big shots and everything in between went on to define the final 18 holes.
But let’s be serious, hearing Tiger wasn’t “in contention” was just like hearing “the party is going to get shut down early.” There’s no point in taking your time to get invested in either if you know the end result. Welp, that was until…
Intrigue
Low and behold, Eldrick birdied the first few holes and the creeping suspicion began to build that maybe, just maybe, Sunday was the day everything came full circle. Twitter erupted with rallying cry for Tiger to keep up the momentum. The front nine for Woods was almost something out of a storybook. He shot a 31 and all signs pointed one of those finishes Tom Renaldi would narrate for years to come on the turning point of Tiger’s career and one that books would one day be written about.
I’d think of possible titles, but Bill Simmons already beat me to the punch. Tiger’s Blood is almost too good not to publish.
Mass Hysteria
Intrigued procreated into full blown excitement once Tiger had taken the lead. This is what we had all been waiting for right? For Woods to reclaim the top spot in golf – at Augusta National of all places – and all order could be restored in the world. You have to believe PGA executives were on the edge of their seats praying he could pull this off. The ratings would skyrocket and interest would once again be higher than next Wednesday (that’s 4/20, by the way). I’m not so sure they wouldn’t have flown Tiger to Vegas and told him celebrate his victory in a sea of loose white women who occasionally dabble in porn.
Come to think of it, why they didn’t rig the course like it was some sort of a live TV Buffalo Wild Wings commercial is beyond me.
Sheer Paranoia
We had come to the moutaintop of our high only to be be greeted by paranoia. Tiger had the lead, then he lost it, then he tied for it. It was all too much to handle, especially for me as at this exact moment the Celtics had just cut a 22 point lead to 10 in the blink of an eye. By this time, the former leader McIlroy had already taken himself out of contention, but the leader board was still more crowded than traffic trying to get out of D.C. on a Friday afternoon. The back nine for Tiger, however, did not present the same magic the front did, but the possibility of him carving out a win continued to linger.
I still believed because through all the nonsense Woods has put himself through, seeing the guy win would have been worth all worth the drama. That being said, the Good Lord probably would not let me get away with a Tiger victory at the Masters and LeBron getting his first championship ring in the same calendar year. Sacrifices have to be made and, at the end of the day, Tiger has 14 Majors while LeBron sports a gold medal, two MVP trophies and a cartoon. You do the math.
Acceptance
Well, like all disappointments, the situation is easier to deal with once it is accepted. Tiger didn’t win. A guy named Charl – who sounds more like a German porn star – won the tournament and that’s fine. There’s no taking away from what the guy did, even amongst all the chatter that the world’s former #1 player was on the prowl. Schwartzel will probably eat, sleep, sh*t, take Woods’ trip to Vegas and everything else under the sun with that green jacket on. And he has all the right in the world to do so. Hell, if it were me, I’d play the next tournament in it just as a reminder.
As for the man in the red shirt, we’re all left to wonder if Tiger turned the corner or yesterday represented merely a hiccup. Let us all remember, he placed fourth in the Masters last year and was basically irrelevant the remainder of the season. Here’s to hoping history does not repeat itself, even if it is only for my selfish reasons of wanting to see the guy whoop everybody’s ass. The economy was better during Tiger’s prime. Life was just better that way. Sooner or later, he will win a major tournament mainly because even at his perceived worst, he’s still better than 99.3% of golfers worldwide.
Hold on, what the hell am I talking about though? He still worth over a billion. I wish my biggest professional problem was trying to fix my putting game.


TAGSPGA GolfSMOKE BREAKSPORTSSpotlightThe MastersTIGER WOODS

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