This Is One Battle That Tiger Cant Win

By George WhiteJuly 29, 2002, 4:00 pm
So what social injustice is Tiger Woods accused of coddling today?
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 Outdated idea, probably, but its still alive in these circles.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?
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Molinari reflects on beating Woods at Ryder Cup, Open

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 9:11 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Francesco Molinari might be a useful resource for the European Ryder Cup team.

He’s already beaten Tiger Woods, head to head, at a Ryder Cup and a major.

Molinari was in the anchor match at the 2012 Ryder Cup when Woods conceded on the final hole to give the Europeans an outright victory in the incredible comeback at Medinah. He said the last hole was a “blur,” and it remains the last Ryder Cup that both Molinari and Woods played.

“I’ve improved a lot as a player since 2012,” said Molinari, who lost his previous singles match against Woods in 2010, 4 and 3, “and I hope to show that on the course this week.”

The proof is the claret jug that he now keeps at home.

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To win his first major he needed to not only endure the circus that a Woods group brings, but he needed to outlast the 14-time major champion and a host of other worthy contenders to prevail at Carnoustie.

Reflecting on that momentous day Tuesday, Molinari said he initially was dreading the final-round date with Woods.

“If I’m completely honest, I wasn’t exactly hoping to be paired with Tiger, not because I don’t like to play with him, but because, obviously, the hype and with him being in contention in a major, it’s going to be noisy and it’s going to be a lot of people," he said. 

“So the most challenging part was probably that moment when the draw came out, but then I quickly managed to think, You know, whatever. I don’t really care. I’m here to do a job, and they can’t really influence how I do my job.”  

To thrive in that situation gave Molinari a lot of confidence – especially heading into a pressure-cooker like the Ryder Cup.

Asked whether it’s more pressure trying to win a major or a Ryder Cup – since he’s now done both – Molinari said: “You won’t believe me, but it’s nowhere near. Carnoustie was nowhere near Medinah or in any matching ways. It’s hard to believe, but it’s probably because you play for a team; you play for a continent in our case, and you know about the tradition and what players have done in the past.”

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Woods 25/1 to break Nicklaus' record by age 50

By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 9:05 am

With his victory at the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods crept closer to Sam Snead's all-time PGA Tour wins mark. But he also got fans thinking about whether golf's most famous record is once again in play.

Woods has been stuck on 14 career major titles since the 2008 U.S. Open, although he had a pair of close calls this summer. But now that he's again a winner on Tour, oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook created bets on where Woods' career major haul will end up.

The line they drew in the sand? Dec. 30, 2025 - when Woods, now 42, will turn 50 years old.

According to the Westgate, Woods is a -150 favorite to win at least one more major by that time. He's 2/1 to win at least two more, 5/1 to win at least three more and 12/1 to win at least four more. But it'll take five more majors to break Nicklaus' record haul of 18, and the odds on Woods doing that by age 50 are set at 25/1.

There are also odds on Woods' 2019 major prospects, as he's already the betting favorite for the Masters at 9/1. Woods' odds of winning any major next year are listed at +225, while the pessimists can wager -275 that his major victory drought will extend to at least 2020.

There's even a bet for those expecting some serious history: the odds of Woods sweeping all four majors next year at age 43 are 200/1.

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All 12 Europeans have history at Le Golf National

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 8:55 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The European team has plenty of experience at Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National, which has been the longtime host of the French Open.

The question this week is whether it’ll matter.

The only American player to compete in this year’s French Open was Justin Thomas. Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and Bubba Watson all got a look at Le Golf National before The Open.

Not surprisingly, the European team has a proven track record here – all 12 players have seen the course at some point. Alex Noren won in July. Tommy Fleetwood is a past champion, too. So is European vice captain Graeme McDowell. Francesco Molinari and assistant Lee Westwood also have runners-up here.

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“I definitely think it’s a help to us, for sure,” Ian Poulter said. “It’s probably the most-played venue as a Ryder Cup venue for all of the European players that have played. So we definitely have a feel of how this golf course has played in very different weather conditions. I definitely think we have an understanding of how this golf course can play.”

Of course, this setup is no different than what players typically experience as they prepare for a major championship. They’ll play 18 holes each of the next two days, then maybe nine holes on Thursday, as they get a feel for the layout.  

“When it’s the best players in the world, and we play on golf courses week-in and week-out where we have to learn a new golf course, it’s difficult to say how much of an advantage it will be,” Fleetwood said. “It can only be a good thing, or it can’t do any harm that we know the course better or that we’ve played it more times.

“Knowledge can only be a good thing. Maybe it’s a little advantage, but it’s the best players in the world that are out here, so it’s not something to look at too much.”

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First-tee grandstand 'biggest you'll ever see'

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 8:27 am

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The first-tee nerves could be even more intense this week at the Ryder Cup.

If only because of the atmosphere.

The grandstand surrounding the first hole at Le Golf National is unlike anything that’s ever been seen at this event – a 6,500-seat behemoth that dwarfs the previous arenas.

“It’s the biggest grandstand you’ll ever see at a golf tournament,” Tommy Fleetwood said.

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“It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t had to hit that tee shot before,” Ian Poulter said. “When I think back (to my first Ryder Cup) in 2004, the stand is nothing like what we have today. So it really is going to be quite a special moment Friday, and it’s going to be very interesting to see.”

Poulter said it’ll be his job to prepare, as best he can, the team’s rookies for what they’ll experience when the first ball goes in the air Friday morning.

“The No. 1 thing I’ve pictured since the Ryder Cup became a goal is that first tee shot,” Fleetwood said. “But nothing prepares you for the real thing. The grandstand is pretty big – there’s no denying that.

“It’s something that everybody wants in their career, so as nerve-wracking as it is, and whatever those feelings are, everybody wants that in their life. So you just have to take it on and let it all happen.”