Tiger Woods is running out of adversities to overcome, which could become a bit of a crisis as he closes in on Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major tournament victories. After all, you know how the man loves a challenge and loathes the people who issue it to him.
This past weekend alone, he overcame the brownest course since the Chisholm Trail. He overcame playing two days with Nick Faldo, who once criticized Tiger's ... well, something, anyway. He overcame the pain of the still-fresh wounds of his father's death, and he overcame his need for a driver on a golf course.
Frankly, I'm just not sure what's left -- but, as horrific a notion as this might be, a list follows.
Playing in snow? No, the driver becomes even more important then.
|Short of accidentally dropping one his many major championship trophies on his head ... (AP)|
Playing during a tsunami? Hey, so he keeps the ball to the right side of the fairway a little more aggressively.
Playing in a meteor shower? Not unless the meteor imbeds the ball. Or him.
Playing in North Korea when Kim Jong-Il is in one of his moods? Well, the man is not just a first-class dictator, but he has shot a few 50s in his career, and he has the mimeographed scorecards to prove it.
Playing the Kosovo Open in an active minefield? Hey, what's one, or half a million, more pot bunkers?
Playing under the threat of a new global war? Hey, one man's Armageddon is another man's B.C. Open.
Phil Mickelson? Pistols at dawn, sounds like.
Sergio Garcia? Only if Woods is made to wear the lemon-phlegm outfit Garcia wore on Sunday.
Michelle Wie? Could end up looking a bit of the bully.
Bill Murray? I'm not sure anyone's so funny that he or she could crack the man's concentration.
Ray Romano? See the above.
Wanda Sykes? Well, maybe.
The "Can You Hear Me Now?" guy from the cell phone ads? Our guess is Woods would beat the bespectacled little irritant with his sand wedge by the eighth hole, tops.
Phil Knight? At one time, discretion might have been the better part of valor for Woods. Now, I suspect the relationship is a lot closer to the other way around.
Connected to BALCO? Not while baseball's alive, thank you.
Connected to Kim Jong-Il? See above.
Still reminded that he hasn't caught Nicklaus yet? The helpful phrase, "Give it time" is easy to learn.
Bristling to criticism that he hasn't yet won paying left-handed? Sounds like a job for the Buick Open to me.
Nick Faldo? Taken care of, thank you.
The golfing media? Only if their gushing drowns out the sound of the camera phones.
An argument with the wife? Typically, spouses go to the golf course to forget about such thing, so that wouldn't seem to be a difficult hurdle.
An argument with the wife in which she hides his clubs? He has other sets.
An argument in which she hides all the clubs in the world? Man, she's good. And man, he must really have done something wrong for her to do that.
Children? Their distractive powers are one reason golf was invented, as we all know. The other reason, of course, was so that Scotsmen could have an excuse to kill five hours without having to eat leftover haggis.
Money? Dubai should be so loaded.
Boredom? He's too Type-A. He's the sort who would challenge the room service waiter to a swordfight, or alphabetize his shirts, to just learn how to curse in different languages as his international profile grows.
And finally, physical infirmity
Actually, in conjunction with Nike, his neural network is being re-written in binary code in hopes of having it reduced to an iPod-sized device so that in case of catastrophic accident, he can telekinetically guide the ball to where he wishes it to go, not unlike how he played this weekend. As a fallback position, his brain will be placed in a formaldehyde solution inside a bell jar and transported from tournament to tournament. Thus, the phrase, "He really thinks the course well" will come into vogue.
So what can he not overcome then? At this point, only an appearance on Project Runway, Hell's Kitchen or Judge Hatchett. From those kinds of horrific and clinical shame, nobody survives.
And for that matter, nobody should.