Monday, October 10, 2011

Will the real Tiger...

Tiger, where are you?

That guy in the red jersey at the Open in San Martin, Calif. can't be you. The real Tiger Woods wouldn't be playing in some rinky-dink tournament chock full of nobodies. And, for ceretain, the real Tiger wouldn't finish in a tie for 30th, 10 strokes behind some guy named Bryce Molder who's winning for the first time in 132 career starts.

The real Tiger would  have dominated this second-tier contest from the first hole, had it won by the end of the second day and spent the next two days swaggering the greens, intimidating his colleagues, lording his dominance over them--behaving, as he did in his prime, like a real jerk.

That guy out there, walking the greens with little confidence, is desperate, tinkering with his mechanics, fiddling with his swing, adjusting to a new caddie, Joe LaCava, doing anything that might propel him back to the No.1 spot he controlled for so many years. In the Open he finished with three respectable 68s, but was doomed by digging himself in a huge hole on the first day with a 73.

The real Tiger? He's gone--his knee and Achilles injuries speeding his decline. In his place, the fake Tiger was all smiles after the tournament, insisting that he's on an upward spiral, telling everyone to forget that 73 and focus on those three 68s.

We all know what Tiger needs--a return to his old life. He prospered as a lying, cheating womanizer. He was in his glory romping with that waitress who looks like Benjamin Franklin. He treasured the thrill of the cheat, the risk of being caught by his wife. Being a lowlife, no doubt, was invigorating. It apparently juiced up his golf game and gave his confidence a shot in the arm.

But now that he's divorced, plain old womanizing isn't a solution. Cavorting with tramps isn't enough. There's no thrill in that. Now there's no risk, no one to lie to. Where's the fun in that?

Face it. That guy out there masquerading as Tiger, floundering, taking one step forward and two steps back, is all we're going to get. It's sad but we do get this kinky kick out of watching him struggle to get back on the pedestal, to rise from a pedestrian No. 51 world ranking back to the top..

Who can resist a good train wreck?