This Is One Battle That Tiger Cant Win
Lets see, the list is growing fairly long: he doesnt campaign enough for foreign workers who make his shirts for Nike; he didnt filibuster enough for Casey Martin and persons suffering a disability; he didnt try hard enough to elevate the position of blacks at country clubs; and now he hasnt taken up the cause of women in those same clubs ' enough.
Because Tiger doesnt attack the issues with the same zeal as the true zealots, some people assume he isnt interested. He cant just voice his displeasure with the system and get on with it. He should rail incessantly against this injustice, that shortcoming, until something changes. If he doesnt, tis a pity, isnt it? The young man must not care, some people believe.
I honestly dont know what goes on inside his mind. I dont know Woods, and the people who do know if he cares can be counted on ten fingers. He said he cares, and without information to the contrary, I believe him.
I thought he mentioned his objection pretty strongly when he was questioned about the womens issue at the British Open ' played at Muirfield, which doesnt allow women to join. It would be nice to see everyone have an equal chance to participate if they wanted to, he said, but there is nothing you can do about it.
Well, can you?
You can harp on it and harp on it, but last time I checked, this is a free country. Great Britain is the same. You are entitled to be as ignorant as you wish. You can be totally ignorant - denying a particular race membership in your little club. Or you can be partially ignorant ' about the womens issue.
Women can play on the courses at Augusta and at Muirfield, but so far none has membership. Outdated idea, probably, but its still alive in these circles. Both courses say there is no written prohibition against women members, but neither has come around to permitting a woman to belong. Both, however, permit women to play.
Some other places ' yes, right here in America ' dont even allow women to play. Those places are particularly ignorant. There are some clubs where women are not allowed to set foot on the premises. That, people, is just stupid.
There are parallels to the men-women thing. My housing development has a womens association. No men are allowed. I guess to be truly fair, I should raise some sort of a stink about it. But I personally dont care that the women have an exclusive club. The activities arent even remotely interesting to me, and I just never thought it was necessary to stand up and demand membership.
It is different when the club is built around a diversion that both sexes can enjoy ' golf, for example. I personally dont want to be a member where women arent welcomed as fellow members. But I realize that some men are different. Women are welcomed to play the course, but not to vote. If that offends you ' and it does me ' then go elsewhere.
Woods tried in plain kings English to explain himself. Of course, he was in a no-win situation. He would be vilified by some if he did, others if he didnt. And there are all kinds of no-win questions he will be asked to answer in the future, as long as he remains Tiger Woods. There will be no ducking them ' a noncommittal stance will be seen as capitulating to the status quo, just as an answer that isnt forceful enough is seen as agreeing that the status quo is OK.
That is the problem with Tiger being Tiger. He is expected to have diehard opinions about every issue, and if they arent diehard enough, there will be hell to pay. He said the actions were a disgrace. But he also said that being a disgrace isnt a crime. What more can he do, really?
Would it change things if Woods went on a campaign? If he did, Augusta would be more pro-male than ever. So would Muirfield. So what should he do to stop the sexism? Threaten to pull out of the event? Excuse me, but in the totally unlikely event that that would happen, it still would not hasten female membership. Both clubs would say, So long, and the championship would be played amongst the others who show up. A champion would be crowned, and it wouldnt be Tiger Woods. End of story.
No, Woods has chosen by far the most effective method of objecting. He stated his objections in a dignified yet quiet manner. That should have been sufficient to set the membership nodding, thinking there surely must be some merit to what he is saying. Augusta will have a woman member in the not-to-distant future, trust me. Muirfield may never have one, but what Tiger Woods thinks will be totally irrelevant.
He was asked a question, he responded, and now he is being trashed. What, pray tell, is the correct answer?
After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...
Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner
On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...
Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.
After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.
Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.
A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray
Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call
PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.
At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.
“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”
Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.
Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.
“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.
Davies impresses, but there's no catching Park
PHOENIX – Inbee Park won the tournament.
Laura Davies won the day.
It was a fitting script for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on Sunday, where nostalgia stirs the desert air in such a special way.
Two of the game’s all-time best, LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park and World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies, put on a show with the tour’s three living founders applauding them in the end.
Park and Davies made an event all about honoring the tour’s past while investing in its future something to savor in the moment. Founders Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge Vossler cheered them both.
For Park, there was meaningful affirmation in her 18th LPGA title.
In seven months away from the LPGA, healing up a bad back, Park confessed she wondered if she should retire. This was just her second start back. She won feeling no lingering effects from her injury.
“I was trying to figure out if I was still good enough to win,” Park said of her long break back home in South Korea. “This proved to me I can win and play some pain-free golf.”
At 54, Davies kept peeling away the years Sunday, one sweet swing after another. She did so after shaking some serious nerves hitting her first tee shot.
“It’s about as nervous as I’ve ever felt,” Davies said. “I swear I nearly shanked it.”
Davies has won 45 Ladies European Tour events and 20 LPGA titles, but she was almost 17 years removed from her last LPGA title. Still, she reached back to those times when she used to rule the game and chipped in for eagle at the second hole to steady herself.
“It calmed me down, and I really enjoyed the day,” Davies said.
With birdies at the ninth and 10th holes, Davies pulled from three shots down at day’s start to within one of Park, sending a buzz through all the fans who came out to root for the popular Englishwoman.
“People were loving it,” said Tanya Paterson, Davies’ caddie. “We kept hearing, `Laura, we love you.’ It was special for Laura, showing she can still compete.”
Davies relished giving all the young players today, who never saw how dominant she once was, some flashes from her great past.
“Yesterday, after I had that 63, a lot of the younger girls came up and said, `Oh, great playing today,”’ Davies said. “It was nice, I suppose, to have that. I still am a decent player, and I actually used to be really good at it. Maybe that did give them a glimpse into what it used to be like.”
She also relished showing certain fans something.
“Now, people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.
Davies was the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996, when she won two of her four major championships. She was emboldened by the way she stood up to Sunday pressure again.
In the end, though, there was no catching Park, who continues to amaze with her ability to win coming back from long breaks after injuries.
Park, 29, comes back yet again looking like the player who reigned at world No. 1 for 92 weeks, won three consecutive major championships in 2013 and won the Olympic gold medal two years ago.
“The reason that I am competing and playing is because I want to win and because I want to contend in golf tournaments,” Park said.
After Davies and Marina Alex mounted runs to move within one shot, Park pulled away, closing ferociously. She made four birdies in a row starting at the 12th and won by five shots. Her famed putting stroke heated up, reminding today’s players how nobody can demoralize a field more with a flat stick.
“I just felt like nothing has dropped on the front nine,” Park said. “I was just thinking to myself, `They have to drop at some point.’ And they just started dropping, dropping, dropping.”
Yet again, Park showed her ability to win after long breaks.
In Rio de Janeiro two years ago, Park the Olympic gold medal in her first start back after missing two months because of a ligament injury in her left thumb. She took eight months off after Rio and came back to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship last year, in just her second start upon returning.
“I'm really happy to have a win early in the season,” Park said. “That just takes so much pressure off me.”
And puts it on the rest of the tour if she takes her best form to the year’s first major at the ANA Inspiration in two weeks.
Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill
ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.
The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?
“Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”
And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.
After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.
“Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”