Thank You, Tiger Woods – Masters reCap

I started golfing in 1999…My uncle would take me to a local course for twilight rounds when it would be empty.  One hole, in particular, offered a sweet reward. A short par 3, pseudo island, with less than a 100 yard carry to the green. Downhill fifty feet, you could throw a golf ball onto the green. If I could ever make it over the water, the prize was an M&M McFlurry. I must have sunk a hundred golf balls into that pond. It felt like it was never going to happen. Some days I’d really catch one good… it was in the pond every time. Winter comes and goes, finally I think I have the distance and they’d be wide left and in the water. I failed at that one shot more times than I’ve failed at anything in life. I should have quit this dumb game that first summer. My uncle played, but I didn’t know anybody else that did. It was a stupid game, and you had to wear church clothes. 

Then it happened, not the McFlurry but Tiger Woods. In April 2001 Tiger Woods became the first person to complete the professional golf grand slam, winning four consecutive major titles culminating with The Masters. At 26 Tiger Woods was the number one golfer in the world and at the moment possessed all four of golfs Major Trophies. Tiger represented more than success or perseverance. He did more than make golf cool. He captivated the entire world. 

I think it is impossible to talk about Tiger Woods without beginning with his childhood. The son of an African American Vietnam Veteran and an immigrant from Thailand became the greatest golfer in history. His father, Earl Woods, was an abusive alcoholic and sex addict, now reportedly buried in an unmarked grave. His mother moved to the United States not knowing that Earl already had a family there, raised tiger to ‘kill’ and “take the soul’ of his opponents. Both parents isolated their son from his classmates, and forced him to break up with his first girlfriend fearing lack of focus. Tiger was built to destroy his golf opponents and not much else. But at the time, no one knew. Tiger Woods was one of the great barrier-breaking American success stories. One player winning four consecutive professional major championships had never been done before. Tiger Woods had six majors championships by 26 years old, he went on to be the number one golfer in the world for 264 consecutive weeks. He’s my hero.

It took three years. It took three years for me to hit the ball to that downhill green, and I’ll never forget the night I did it. 104 yards, all downhill, 80-yard carry, the kid pulls the driver and its money. Sure… at the time I only cared about the ice cream, but if David Duval had won the Masters in 2001 I would not have played, followed or cared about golf at all. Tiger turned millions of people around the world into golfers. From 1996 to 2006 over 2,000 new golf courses were built. I remember how the golf course changed. I remember having to wait for hours to get a tee time. I remember spending days on the driving range trying to hit Tiger’s famous ‘Stinger’ shot. I forced my mom to buy me the Nike ‘Sasquatch’ Driver because Tiger used it. Tiger was not some regional team, he was all of ours. The Warriors dynasty will fade when Steph and KD leave, and only San Francisco will mourn. Tiger Woods belonged to all of us.

He made mistakes and suffered for them. Despite his parents best efforts, the man is human. The past twelve years have been revealing. Infidelity, divorce, surgery after surgery, a phone hacking, DUI, arrest, rehab, and comeback after comeback. Tiger Woods is not the perfect man, and if you need him to be in order to appreciate what happened this weekend take a look in the mirror. I can’t put into words what I felt yesterday, I’m not sure it has really hit me yet. I knew he had the game, and a doctorate level knowledge of the course, but I’m in awe. Thank you Tiger Woods. Thank you for giving a new generation an appreciation of your greatness. Thank you for showing that no matter how bad it may seem, anything is possible. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Thank you for going.

Picks:

Tournament Type Pick Odds Stake Result Cumulative Week by week
The Masters T20 Bubba Watson 1 1 1 0.85
The Masters T20 Tony Finau 1 1 1 1.85
The Masters T20 Adam Scott 1.3 1 1.3 3.15
The Masters Top Am Viktor Hovland 1.75 1 1.75 4.90
The Masters MU Moli o Finau -1.15 1.15 -1.15 3.75
The Masters MU Scott o Koepka -1.1 1.1 -1.1 2.65
The Masters MU Finau o conners -1.39 1.39 1 3.65
The Masters MU Koepka o Spieth -1.3 1.3 -1.3 2.35
The Masters MU Bryson o Day 1.15 1.15 -1.15 1.20 $1.35

Quickly…. Adam Scott is a dufus. light those pleated pants on fire, and throw your putter in the flames. Possibly the best ball striker on tour, in contention through three rounds, just completely ejects himself from the tournament every time he steps on the putting green. That being said, Top 20 cashes. Viktor Hovland is a stud. The U.S. Am champ finished -3, and T32. He would have come home with $68k if it were up to me, but well Amateur rules and the NCAA… The matchups this week were a complete disaster, but ill be better. Up 1.35u on the week, and 1.2u overall. I’ll have more this week.

Long and Straight – JP

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