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Friday, August 12, 2022

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

It’s not something I’m sure I’m proud of, but I can’t deny the truth.

I’m rooting for Tiger Woods to win the Masters this weekend.

I obviously don’t condone any of his off-the-course behavior. I don’t appreciate the “new Tiger,” which seems almost worse to me. At least before, I didn’t really know much about Tiger, because he rarely let any outsiders in. While I may have stupidly believed that old sculpted image, that was pretty much on my shoulders.

Now Tiger is pretending to let everyone in but faking it. Doesn’t that make him less real in a way?

Regardless, I know I probably shouldn’t want Tiger to succeed this weekend. My mom, and many other women, would probably not approve. It’s a lot like rooting for the villain or betting the Don’t Pass line on the craps table.

The only way I rationalize it to myself is that I want to see greatness. And to me, Tiger winning the Masters after this kind of layoff would be one of the most remarkable sports feats I’ve seen in my lifetime. A victory at Augusta after a five-month break would rank right up there with his U.S. Open win on a bad ACL.

I know Tiger usually doesn’t play as many tournaments as other players and often times even sits out the events preceding majors.

But this layoff is five months away without a competitive tournament. Five months filled with tabloids and treatment.

Winning this weekend would effectively be Tiger flipping a middle finger to the world of golf. What more impressive statement could he possibly make? He’d be showing everyone that the sport still revolves around him and that the rules of mortal men simply don’t apply.

Also, it’s important to point out that Tiger didn’t really wrong me. We’re not related. I’ve never met him. The fact that he’s a jerk and cheated on his wife doesn’t exactly make him much different than a lot of other great, once-in-a-lifetime athletes. The hatred you might have of Woods — do you despise other greats like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson? Rumor has it those two weren’t exactly the most committed men. These things simply weren’t as big a deal because the TMZs of the world didn’t exist.

I know part of the problem with Tiger was that we all felt like he was different. We thought he was going to be that great sports star that was also a great role model. So everybody felt burned when his transgressions were revealed. The fact that he was put on a pedestal isn’t Tiger’s fault.

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But this isn’t any sort of apology for Woods. He made his choices because he lives in a different world than you and I. He felt like rules don’t apply to him, and the truth is they still do not. Maybe he’ll change and become some great person of character.

The truth is I don’t really care. All I want from Tiger is for him to be putting on another green jacket come Sunday.

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