Tiger Woods kicked his golf club after a bad shot on Friday afternoon. His game was melting down and he had just shanked yet another iron shot on the par-3 16th hole. Then he threw his 9-iron onto the ground and kicked it.
Then the world ended.
From the Indianapolis Star:
“…his boorish behavior at buttoned-down Augusta National on Friday, scowling, cursing, tossing clubs. He even went so far as to give one a swift kick after his shot on the 16th tee landed in the bunker.”
From Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel:
“He delivered it one sailor-cursing, club-throwing, iron-booting shot at a time. Tiger was a disaster at the Masters, not so much because of his round of 75 that left him tied for 40th at 3-over par for the tournament.”
You’d think Woods slapped a
fan patron after another bad shot. Though it’s not surprising that the sportswriters of America were so willing to feign outrage over Woods’ behavior or buy into the ridiculous ethos of Augusta National.
Even Woods admitted he didn’t control himself at all. He was caught swearing on camera several times before the club-kicking incident, and his game was definitely melting down. A couple of extra hours on the range Friday night only allowed him to be able to shoot even-par 72 on Saturday.
However, there is nothing worse than the press using their articles to shame Tiger Woods for his behavior, thereby reinforcing Augusta National’s ridiculous obsession with decorum. As I said before, it’s just a golf club with a golf course, not the moral compass of golf.
Nothing says more about Augusta National’s obsession with itself than when its president, Billy Payne, decided he needed to weigh in on the Tiger Woods infidelity scandal a couple of years ago. Woods is a four-time champion of The Masters which is his only relationship to the club. As weird as it was to hear sportswriters commenting on Woods’ personal life, it was even weirder for Billy Payne to feel like he had to comment on the situation at all.
So when Woods is getting scolded for showing emotion in the buttoned-down atmosphere of Augusta National – something people who play golf other places than the PGA do all the time – it’s only adding to the already bloated, overblown nature of The Masters. I doubt he’s the only guy who has played Augusta National who cheated on his wife. He might be the only one who got exposed on national television, though.
The guy had a bad day at work where he really, really wanted to not have a bad day. He kicked one golf club and swore a few times, something no sportswriter seemed to have a problem with when Woods hadn’t been caught cheating and was dominating the PGA every year. Apparently, he’s only fair game now that he’s not a national role model anymore.
And that’s the most hypocritical thing of all.