Sunday, August 12, 2007

13: Tiger Woods Wins 2007 PGA Championship

I spent all afternoon following Tiger Woods through the final 18 holes of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Well, I followed it on the television (CBS had excellent coverage).

I only watch golf tournaments when Tiger Woods is playing. Like most casual observers, the only golfer I really know about is Tiger Woods and he just happens to be the best at it. Yeah, I know the names of some of the others (Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, etc.), but none of them have the charisma, star power, nor THE GAME of Tiger! He's usually unflappable and just wins! To my way of thinking, he is easily the best golfer who's ever lived: he has no peer in the game, every week, he is playing to win, he's made more money than anyone else, he's won more tournaments than anyone else, and he's won more majors at his age than anyone else. Jack Nicklaus was really good, but he wasn't even close to being Tiger good!

The other reason I follow Tiger Woods is that he was the reason I got my first set of golf clubs back in 1997. At work, I was being pressured by my boss to learn how to play golf. A few months after Tiger won his first Masters, I got a set of clubs for my birthday, took some lessons, and have been a casual (VERY CASUAL) golfer ever since. Tiger Woods is the one athlete who single-handedly transformed a sport and brought it to the masses (ugh! I'm one of the masses!). It is no longer a sport for rich white men to play at all-white country clubs, I've found it to be a fun and challenging endeavor that anyone can enjoy!

Tiger Woods entered today's championship round with a 3-shot lead over Stephen Ames (yeah, the guy he thumped "9 & 8" in last years Match Play Tournament after he uttered some crap about Tiger being beatable)! He held off formidable charges from Ernie Els and (until today, a no-name golfer named) Woody Austin. Both pulled within 1 stroke before Tiger birdied the 15th hole and put the championship away. The only way he could've lost would've been to double-bogey the last hole (like Phil Mickelson at last year's US Open and Sergio Garcia at this year's British Open)!

Read the ESPN article on Tiger's win here.

This win gave Tiger his 13th major and puts him on track to pass Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 majors within 3 or 4 years. He won 2 majors (British and PGA) last year, won one (PGA) this year, but also came in 2nd place at this year's Masters and US Open. Barring an injury or a life event that takes him away from the game during the summer, I guess that Tiger will win at least 2 majors for the next 3 or 4 years, with him passing Nicklaus in 2010.


Villager said...

Great post. I found myself watching some of the TV coverage over each of the past weekends and Tiger was the reason why....

He is indeed the best that there ever was.

peace, Villager

David Sullivan said...

Golf is no longer for rich white men, but has had a long history of being a sport for the working man of all kinds at municipal courses. I play at a semi-private course which has no pretention whatsoever (huge understatement; we have guys there that play in tank tops!). I have played at many "munis" were you have every strata of society represented.

I played a muni course in Cleveland and was the only white face to be seen. I talked to the starter who was a black man in his 80's who said he had been playing there since the thirties and still held a single digit handicap.

Being poor and living in the city as a kid I never considered golf as a sport I could play. I didn't step onto a golf course to play until I was thirty (we used to go sledding or thieving there). I have an 8 handicap (used to be a six before kids). Its the only sport where the rules are enforced by the players and players actually penalize themselves.

Tiger is the best ever, hands down!