Blog Entry

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:02 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 5:26 pm
 
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson planned to play a round at Augusta earlier this week but Woods backed out at the last moment. Mickelson joked that Woods was intimidated. (Getty)

By Steve Elling

DORAL, Fla. -- Guess they'll have to settle for their battle three weeks ago at Pebble Beach.

Though it sounds hard to believe, when Phil Mickelson made his annual trip up to Augusta National earlier this week for some Masters recon, he spent his practice time solely with new running mates Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley.

That's because Tiger Woods was a no-show.

Mickelson said Wednesday at the Cadillac Championship that two marquee players had planned to play together, but it fell through.

"I guess it was the intimidation," Mickelson cracked.

Playing in the same group as Woods three weeks ago at the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, Mickelson came from six shots back in the final round, shooting 64 to win. He beat Woods by 11 strokes that day.

In fact, Mickelson was full of whistling one-liners about Woods on Wednesday. When he was asked about the 8-under 62 that Woods shot last Sunday in the final round of the Honda Classic to nearly come from behind to win, Mickelson was in prime form.

"Obviously, [Tiger] was paying attention a couple of weeks ago, which is nice to see," he said, causing laughs from many in the room.

Some in the room clearly didn’t get the reference to Pebble Beach.

"At least I thought it was funny," Mickelson said, making a hand motion above his head. "Whoosh."

Publicists for both players said after Mickelson's press conference at Doral Golf Resort & Spa that they had no personal knowledge of any plans for the two to play together at Augusta National.

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Comments

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:50 pm
 

Enough of TIger Already

So, Phil, how did you play?

What do you think your chances are in the Masters this year?

How did Keegan and Dustin play?

What kind of hair gel do you prefer?

Anything but Tiger questions.  I like Tiger but until he shows some consistency please pay attention to the other 143 golfers with TOur cards.



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 1:19 pm
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

Teres Minor wrote: "Part of the hatred comes because of his prickly personality when somene arouses his ire.  The problem with that, though, is if a Caucasian athlete gets angry, he is seen as 'gritty' or 'competitive.'  When someone with more skin pigment gets angry, he is seen as a 'thug' or 'having no class'."


While often a valid observation, it's not a fair one when applied to golf fans. A number of white players have earned long-lasting enmity for singular or multiple expressions of anger on the course. Tom Weiskopf and Collin Montgomery come to mind. It's not entirely limited to golfers, either. My father loathed Jack Morris from the very first time he turned and glared at a fielder who missed a chance behind him.

This may reflect an enduring cultural difference between the races (or, at least a large segment of whites.) I cannot recall an instant of criticism of any athlete by a black man on account of bad sportsmanship. Maybe I don't get around enough, but how many can you recall? (It's very much bound up in the Victorian notions of the middle class, I suspect. One simply doesn't behave in such ways if one espects to get ahead. One might as well loudly fart during a funeral mass.)



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:24 am
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

Great comparison on Tiger's fanbase to Arnie's Army.  For those who are old enough to remember, Arnie WAS golf for a few years.  Also, Jack got almost as much hatred as Tiger does when he overtook Arnie.  The people sitting on their fat butts in Augusta's backrooms even changed Augusta just to make it "Jack-proof."  Jack got almost as much hatred as Tiger does now until he changed his image from "Fat Jack" to a slimmer, more personable Jack.    

Sadly, though, Tiger can only change half of his image.  Part of the hatred comes because of his prickly personality when somene arouses his ire.  The problem with that, though, is if a Caucasian athlete gets angry, he is seen as "gritty" or "competitive."  When someone with more skin pigment gets angry, he is seen as a "thug" or "having no class."

Tiger is changing some, but those who hate him are so blinded by their rage and their ignorance that they haven't noticed.  He needs to change more, but at the same time, he has absolutely no obligation to answer questions that are deragatory in nature, nor does he have any obligation to answer questions pertaining to personal controversies.  

Luckily for Tiger, he still drives ratings more than anyone on the tour.  Tiger is good for a 40-60 percent increase in viewership and live gate.  In other words, those who hate him are grossly outnumbered by those who appreciate his talent and his ability to turn a tournament into something bigger than it would be without him.

 



Since: Jul 1, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:22 am
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

you must not watch that much golf....



Since: Jul 1, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:21 am
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

you must not watch that much golf....



Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:38 am
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

i root for all except tiger. i have never seen phil, rory, and others throw their clubs, curse, have their caddie tell people to shut up and such. tiger was a great golfer and may return to that, but i will always root against him, because the one thing i always thought he lacked was class.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:26 am
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

What a surprise, Tiger couldn't keep his Tee Time in Augusta with Phil.....probably a scheduling problem, probably he was having Family time with his Kids again......This Tiger theme is continuing it appears with the His Schedule or No schedule......It is tiresome to constantly hear about Tiger this and Tiger that....so much like the Kardashian's.....what a joke.  Hope Tiger gets his Ass handed to him this week at Doral....



Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:23 am
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

Sorry, but I was a HUGE Shark fan... and in no way was his fan base, real golf fans or otherwise, bigger than what Tiger has had in his prime.  NOT EVEN CLOSE.

The only thing close was Arnie's Army and Jack in his prime.  Tiger's fan base beats Jack in his prime, not sure about Arnie's Army



Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:06 am
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

Did woods already win this week?? He has won the last 5 tournaments he has played in by Wednesday evening.



Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:04 am
 

Yes, really: Tiger, Lefty in a Masters friendly?

ikey, you are probably too young to remember, but Greg Norman was a huge star in his time -- I'd say bigger in terms of real golf fans than Woods in his prime -- and he is Australian.

Americans are not xenophobic when it comes to golf.



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