There must be a number of confused golf fans tuning into the PGA Championship this weekend. Guys and gals sitting down for a nice afternoon of major championship golf and wondering to themselves…
“I thought that Tiger guy was back?”
For weeks, Tiger has been the main story in golf even though he hasn’t really done anything notable with a club. A few weeks back we were stunned to learn Tiger had decided to split with longtime caddie Steve Williams. Then Tiger announced via Twitter he’d be returning to competitive golf at the World Golf Championships at Bridgestone. The world watched, live-blogged and tweeted Tiger’s return. He didn’t win, but his former caddie’s new mate did. Said caddie made sure to let the world know he wasn’t to fond of Tiger anymore.
Those were the headlines we’d been immersed in all month. Tiger this. Tiger that. Tiger was back.
But, after two days of the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, we’ve learned that Tiger isn’t really back at all. Tiger’s back home, forced to watch scores of guys do what he used to do best better than him.
All week casual golf fans looked forward to watching Tiger again. Now, they tune in and they’re left with Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner and Steve Stricker. Guys that have never won major championships. Guys who’ve never been on the cover of People.
This is no weak leader board by any stretch. It’s a collection of the best players in the world right now. Phil Mickelson is lurking. Lee Westwood and Luke Donald both have chances to make a move. Sergio Garcia isn’t even done yet. There are relative no names and stars — all great golfers.
But, Tiger’s name not being on the board is a story, whether we like it or not. The greatest golfer we’ve ever seen can’t make cuts all the time anymore. He can’t avoid bunkers and water balls. Sometimes, his rounds look a bit human and maybe even a bit like ours.
Nobody knows where this story goes. None of us know if Woods is truly motivated anymore. All we have are guesses as to when we’ll see him again.
All we know or all we’re realizing as we watch this weekend’s major is that Tiger kind of lied to us via Twitter. He’s not back at all. Not even close.