A few years back when El Tigre was on the top of his game, something dawned on me. The PGA was rigged. See this was during the PGA Championship and Tiger was just forced into a five-hole playoff. Now this was unusual because The Man was dominating. He was MJ. He was fear personified in a power swing and he’d eat up anything and everything in his way. The Man went on to win the playoff in dramatic fashion. I mean, how unreal a plot line, the PGA was masterful.
Golf has been part of my life for many years. But golf has been part of EVERYONES life only for a few years. See, back in the day, when I was a tiny little 9 year old dragging his clubs across a fairway, I was looked at differently. Golf was not fun. Golf was not exciting. Golf was for fat asses in plaid pants.
Then came Happy and Happy’s swing. Suddenly golf was something different. It could openly mock itself, it could be funny. There was some enjoyment in it besides pars and birds. People (of all ages) flocked to courses to try the Happy swing. Y’all know the swing. The three steps and WHAM! It was great fun. But then came The Man.
People flocked to the courses to emulate his swing. And all of sudden, the young golfers, the p.t. (pre tiger) golfers became something else. We now became the sport and this sinewy youngster was, dare I say, cool.
Now if I wanted to be cool I would have ridden a motorcycle or worn a tight Hanes shirt with a pack of cigs balled up in my sleeve. But being cool cause I was a golfer? Wowzers!
Things changed. People changed. More importantly golf changed. We had a superstar and he made us ALL want to walk in his shoes. That was something Fred Couples couldn’t do. That was something Nick Faldo couldn’t do. Red shirts started popping up on courses. Black shoes crunched through the fescue. Nike came to the table. And every Joe followed suit.
But see this was all the grand plan of the PGA. After all, they scripted this whole thing. They needed their MJ and they created him in that same Arctic Cave that Clarke turned Super. The PGA was not done, however. They knew all along that The Man needed to fall off. Know why? Everyone loves the comeback. So what’d they do? A knee surgery, a Swedish blond bombshell. Then they sprinkled in the idea that she’s a nanny. They gave Lefty some love. They rewarded Vijay. More importantly, they made Tiger question his own skills. Think Daniel-son in Karate Kid 2. The crane, his bread and butter, wouldn’t work in Okinawa. He had to adapt. Tiger started playing army golf off the tee (left, left, left, right, left) and he was knocked off his pedestal.
The PGA had everyone in his or her hands. Finally it was time for their Robert Downey Jr. moment. The comeback. And Tiger, we welcome you back. See Tiger, if it wasn’t for you, I’d be the uncool kid with the fat ass in the plaid pants.