Tuesday, 1 March 2016

I Never Rooted for Him Either

Arnold Palmer once said, "I never rooted against an opponent, but I never rooted for him either."  This says something about the great ones.  They want to win.  In his book, Golf My Way, in summing things up, Jack pointed to desire as being the most important thing a golfer needs to possess.

I just read another article about Tiger.  In it, Billy Horschel is reported to have suggested he wanted to see Tiger come back and "kick our asses."  Does Billy really feel that way?  Would any champion golfer ever actually hope another golfer would beat him?  Hardly.

All this talk about Tiger coming back is to be expected.  We are all interested in seeing whether Tiger can get back to playing the sort of golf he is capable of playing.  The real champions might be rooting for Tiger to get healthy, and return to golf.  The young guns might welcome the chance to test themselves against the legend.  But they certainly won't be rooting for him to win.  Not when they're in the field.

You can be certain Tiger never rooted for anyone to beat him.  Jack certainly never did either.  He may wish Tiger well, but even Jack, as gracious as he is, won't be rooting for Tiger to beat his Major record.  Champions just aren't wired that way.

How well liked Tiger is by his fellow tour players is debatable.  What they do appreciate is that thanks to Tiger they are playing for bigger purses and have more shiny cars in their garages.  They want to see him back.  But few if any of them want to see him come out and dominate like he did.  If they are rooting for Tiger to win, they're in the wrong business.