No Karma For Tiger
I don’t necessarily believe in karma. And I certainly wouldn’t, if golf’s most famous buddhist would have won golf’s biggest tournament. I’ve heard it said that if Tiger Woods won, it would have set karma back centuries.
Big golf tournaments rarely are only about golf. There are usually other story lines that follow the players down the fairway, over the bunker and onto the green. The Masters was no different. There was real-life drama that grabbed the attention of even the non-golf fan…. from the whispers of infidelity on the first tee on Thursday to the applause of faithfulness over the final putt Sunday. It started with the focus on Tiger Woods’ family values, but ended with the focus on Phil Mickelson’s family values. Abandonment vs. devotion.
Tiger and Phil are both fantastic golfers. That was obvious this past weekend. By now, you know the stark contrasts between these two, which were more than obvious this past weekend. Tiger’s extra-marital affairs. Phil standing by his wife with breast cancer. Tiger’s sour, glaring, club throwing, profanity-laced demeanor. Phil giving out fist bumps and high fives to the commoners.
Did you catch Tiger’s post-tourney interview with CBS Sports’ Peter Kostis? Here’s a snippet of what he said:
- Kostis: “After such a long and difficult absence from the game can you put this week in perspective?”
- Tiger: “Yeah, I finished fourth. Not what I wanted. I wanted to win this tournament.”
- Kostis: “Is it going to take you a while to control your emotions and not eliminate them on the golf course in the change you’ve committed to?”
- Tiger: “I think people are making way to much of a big deal out of this thing.”
When asked about the embrace with his wife, Amy, following the round, Phil was a bit emotional, explaining: “I don’t normally shed tears over wins and when Amy and I hugged off of 18, that was a very emotional moment for us and that’s something I’ll look back on and just cherish. I’ll cherish every moment of this week. This was a very special week.”
Granted, Phil won, Tiger didn’t. But Tiger did have a great tournament, and the fans and press treated him like a king. Maybe he should have said something like this after the tournament:
“I’m so pleased that I finished fourth. I play to win, but after my actions and what I’ve put my family and friends through, I’m just glad to be back. And I want to thank the golfers and fans for their tremendous support this week. They didn’t have to treat me so well. And Phil had a great tournament. He’s a fantastic golfer and I want to congratulate him for his victory today. I look forward to many more battles on the golf course with him.”
But of course he didn’t say those nice things. I heard the Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner say “graciousness is not in Tiger’s golf bag”. On Sunday, he couldn’t pull karma out of his bag either. It was in Phil’s bag. Come to think of it, I may believe in karma after all.