Monday, May 13, 2013


By Bob Golon
Special Contributor to "Minding What Matters"

Sergio and Tiger exchange a brief handshake
after the match (AP photo). 
        At the completion of yesterday’s Mother’s Day festivities, about 5PM, I settled in front of the TV to see what sports were on. Mid-May is a great time for this. Major League Baseball is finally starting to sort itself out from the Spring Training malaise, do-or-die hockey games are being played, and the NBA playoffs are in full flower. 
        But the most compelling event of the weekend was played at the TPC Sawgrass Golf Course at Point Vedra Beach, Florida – The Players Championship of the PGA. For the first time since 2001 Tiger Woods prevailed in this event, but, like anything involving Tiger these past few years, it was not without controversy.
        On Saturday, Woods and Sergio Garcia of Spain were locked in an epic struggle at the top end of the leader board. On the par-5 second hole, Woods, after receiving clearance from one of the tournament marshalls that Garcia had completed his shot, committed the sin of reaching into his bag to select his club, causing a loud gasp from the gallery. The only problem was that Garcia was
still in the middle of his swing. Supposedly distracted by the noise of the crowd, Garcia hit an errant shot, causing him to lose a stroke that he might not have lootherwise.
        Garcia’s reaction was sure to please the Tiger-haters out there, most of whom are the same people who insist on seeing the President’s birth certificate. And yes, I know all about Tiger’s past indiscretions in his personal life, our collective judgment of which should be cause for at least some of us look in the mirror occasionally. 
        In any case, Garcia stomped down the second fairway like a petulant 5-year-old, glaring at Woods. Afterwards, he moaned to the press about that dastardly Tiger Woods. Unfortunately, Woods answered him back, which is about the only incorrect thing Tiger would do on this weekend.
        During Sunday’s final round, Tiger could do no wrong, until his double-bogey on hole 14 deadlocked the match between him and three others, including the aforementioned Sergio Garcia. One by one, the other golfers fell back, until it was (of course, it had to be!) a two way tie between Garcia and Woods with two holes to go.
        Woods made it through the hellacious par-3 17th hole in good order, salvaging a par by two-putting the green. It was now Garcia’s turn to keep pace. After he hit his tee shot, the gallery gasped again, like the day before, only this time because the ball found nothing but the lake beside the green. Penalized two shots, Garcia tried his tee shot again. Again – doink! – into the water. Again, a two-shot penalty. In a matter of minutes, Sergio Garcia was hopelessly out of contention, with Wood’s gallery cheering mightily.
        I don’t know with which clich√© to wrap up this article: “Don’t ever grab a Tiger by the tail,” or “People in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones.” On this Sunday anyway, they both applied.

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