Tiger Bad for the Game


The Comebacker this week is a decidedly mixed bag. Weve got Sergio in the Publix; a conditional marriage proposal for Annika and a little Tiger bashing of sorts.
Without further ado:
Bryce writes: I heard someone on the Golf Channel comment that Kenny Perry got a bad break when his ball hit the tree. Yes, you are correct that the safe miss is to the right of the green. However, Kenny's ball was 50 yards off line and sailing beyond the safe area when it hit the tree. That was not bad luck, it was a bad shot. Bad shots are seldom rewarded.
The Comebacker
Correct. Any time you hit a ball to a place where a bad break is a possibility, you should not complain about the result. Hogan, you may remember, didnt get too many bad breaks.

James writes: When Kenny Perrys ball hit the tree and rolled over the green into the hazard, why did he drop in the fairway when the ball crossed the green before rolling into the hazard, don't you drop where the ball enters the hazard?
The Comebacker
As it was explained to me, the stakes were yellow which means the player has to drop on the side of the hazard he originally crossed.

Barrie writes: As much as I admire Tiger and enjoy watching him come up with impossible shots, I like tournaments without him. The reason? You never know who will win. I love it when on a Sunday there are seven guys within a shot of the lead. The winner could be anyone. There is often a playoff and there is drama. If Tiger were in the field and within a few shots of the lead, I would assume that he would win. It almost feels inevitable when Tiger is in such a spot and it is that inevitability that destroys any sense of drama for me.
The Comebacker
Blaming Tiger for being a buzzkill is like blaming the Johnstown Flood on a leaky faucet in Altoona.

Esteban writes: Just a quick anecdote of Annika to portray just why she'll be so missed: During a practice round in Bosque Real in Mexico City a few years ago, I caught Annika walking with her head down, completely absorbed in thought and a bit troubled. Since she was coming off the range, I assumed she was thinking about some aspect of her swing. I was hesitant to approach her so as not to disturb her when just then a group of people came up to her, and in stumbling English asked if they could take a picture with her. Immediately she changed her frown to a sunny, sincere smile, and posed for a bunch of photos. She was patient and friendly all the while. They thanked her profusely, and as soon as they were gone, her frown of concentration came back, and she kept walking, staring at the ground. I never got my autograph, but the memory of that moment will stay with me forever!
The Comebacker
Not enough stories like these make the printed light of day.

Michael writes: I try not to judge people until I have seen and talked to them in person. I met Sergio on Monday before the tournament at the Publix store where I work in the Produce department at Sawgrass near the Players club...Nobody but me recognized him as he was pushing a cart and buying his own groceries. I must preface this saying that Sergio is my favorite golfer...Seve was but he retired (not on top of his game like Annika). I introduced myself and we had a great 10-15 minute conversation. He's not used to Americans who appreciate how great a player he is and don't look for ways to criticize his putting or his attitude or the way he has helped the Europeans kick butt in the Ryder Cup over and over again. He could not have been nicer and I told him that the only person he needed to listen to was his father Victor and that he should have confidence after finishing 2nd last year. We talked about bullfighting, winning the Irish Open in 1999, and orange juice. He likes Tropicana Valencia which his roommate Camilo Villegas bought for him later that night. I realized that I had my golf bag in my trunk and so I got my EL TORO bull headcover that I have on my driver and he signed one of the horns.
The Comebacker
Was that orange juice no pulp, some pulp, or lots of pulp?

Wayne writes: I'd be more than willing to quit my current job to become Mr. Mom to Annika's offspring, however, I have a few demands...1) A daily golf lesson while baby is sleeping, in lieu of pay if necessary. 2) I don't cook so take out is mandatory, unless of course she enjoys barbequed steak/burgers/sausages everyday? 3) I refuse to field calls at 2 am from Lorena, who keeps saying No Mas and begging Annika to return so she has some real competition. 4) Includes me in her early Monday morning foursome with Tiger and Stevie so her (sic) and I can and work their wallets (don't forget, she's semi-retired now and will need the cash), while Mr. Sorenstam watches the kid(s). Those are my terms and they aren't negotiable.
The Comebacker
Sorry, Wayner, word out of the Sorenstam camp is that Annika isnt real big on barbecue.

Joel writes: I haven't seen this slant on Annika's retirement. If this is her farewell tour, think of the crowds that will be at the events. Crafty on her part. Sergio is, was, and will be a chump. When will you in the media stop doing the following: 1. Act as if anyone under 20 who wins is the next Messiah (sorry God). 2. Using the phrase good golf shot. With apologies to Bill Engvall, of course it's a golf shot because you are playing golf. DUH. You never hear a baseball announcer saying it was a good baseball shot or baseball catch. You also never hear a hockey announcer talk about a good hockey shot.
The Comebacker
Actually, the one thats been making me a little crazy lately is when basketball announcers talk about a player having the ability to score the basketball. Hubie Brown, who should know better, is especially guilty of this particularly annoying example of sportspeak.

Steve writes: I call him Garcia, not Sergio, because I don't believe he's earned, and I don't believe he deserves the one-name moniker our beloved athletes are sometimes known by, like Tiger, Annika, Phil, Arnie, Jack, etc. He has a lot to prove to me before I accept him as an athlete worth considering for such sentiment. He is, to put it bluntly a petulant brat and his post-game comments did nothing to sway me..He needs to grow up, humble himself and show respect for the game and his competitors. Until he does, I will root against him.
The Comebacker
So Im guessing, Steve, you wont be asking Sergio to sign your headcover any time soon.
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