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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Can We Now Just Get On With It

Watching the Golfchannel, after Jordan Spieth's phenomenal performance, I once again find myself having to listen to the talking heads spending time analyzing and speculating about Tiger and his game. Am I missing something? Granted, Tiger played comparatively better this week, but only comparatively better. He was never really in the tournament. So why is he still garnering so much attention? Why can we not seem to move on?

For weeks before Augusta, we had to endure all the endless speculation about Tiger. Would he play? If he played, would he crash and burn, or could he win? This was despite the fact that Jordan Spieth was playing great golf and Rory had the opportunity to get the career slam. Seemingly, all we could think about was Tiger. Can we not get over Tiger Woods?

Tiger has not been a factor in the Majors for ages. Why is he still the main story every time a Major comes around? Tiger played better this week. But he was never a factor. He never deserved all the attention and hype. Tiger had a chance to make a run today, but he would have had to shoot something in the neighbourhood of sixty one or two. He didn't even break par. Rory played alongside him and beat him by seven shots. Jordan Spieth, with all the pressure he had to face, beat him by three shots. Is it not finally time to accept the fact that there are new kids in town and they are now better than Tiger Woods?

Tiger has been a phenomenal player, possibly the best ever to play the game. In his prime he was undoubtedly a match for anyone. However, he is no longer the best player in the game. He is an old thirty nine, having battled personal problems, injury, and a definite loss of confidence. He has nothing left to prove. His record speaks for itself. It is only natural that the next generation eventually takes over and the torch gets passed. It has been something all the greats have had to face. It is also something fans and golf announcers have to face. 

Jack Nicklaus said it best today when he said, and I am paraphrasing, that it is perhaps now time to let the young players take over. Let's do that. Let's give these kids their due. Tiger may have another run, like Jack did in eighty six. If and when he does, we can all get excited, like we did with Jack. But it's time to finally admit that Tiger is not the best player in the game anymore. It's okay. Golf is bigger than Tiger, and it is in good hands with the likes of Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Let's move on.