Tiger Woods and the subtle art of not giving up | Golf News and Tour Information

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Is this the first Masters in history where the practice rounds were more electric than the tournament rounds?

No disrespect to champion Scottie Scheffler, but the unfortunate reverse of wire-to-wire wins tends to evaporate the excitement, even when it’s the world No. 1 taking on the next hottest player in the world in the group. end on a Sunday. A four-putt finish isn’t an exclamation mark, but the phrase was already running when Cam Smith’s tee shot flew out to Rae’s Creek at No. 12. Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa capped off their tournaments with delighting set-hole bunker shots, but in this The pinnacle of the 86th edition was unmistakably Tiger Woods in midweek.

No need to rehash the narrative arc from jet tracker Daniel Field to shy remarks from the Thursday red-figure newsroom (71). The conversation on the course at Augusta National started with a frenzy, like anywhere golf is talked about. While it’s commonplace for an exciting thing to become less exciting, the point here is to properly celebrate Tiger’s 78-78 finish. He reminded us all what competition means.

Jack Nicklaus said he would never be a ceremonial golfer, and Tiger tenaciously maintained he would never enter a tournament he didn’t believe he could win. But neither really means that. And while Tiger really means it now, maybe it’s softened a bit this week and will be even more so in the future. Jack played in the majors until he was 65.

If the middle act of this Masters was a gift for golf fans, let the closing act be an inspiration for golfers. At all levels of ability, people are giving up every day. While “give up” has various meanings — not playing tournaments, not playing certain tournaments, or never putting your hands on a golf grip again — it’s especially prominent among top amateur and club golfers. Tiger Woods is 46, the age in life when goals often change to just not get worse or get worse too fast. When your game isn’t what it used to be or what you’d like it to be, it can be tempting to pack it up.

But participating in a golf tournament is a special experience. At the Masters, on the first tee, there’s a wooden box of scorecards, pencils and mints, just like that’s probably where you’re playing, even if it’s the net backing of the fifth flight. What if Tiger played well below the standards of his prime and finished 47th? He was there.

Does Tiger consider this Masters as one of the greatest achievements of his career? “For not having won an event, yes. Without a doubt, ”he said Sunday, limping but smiling. “The amount of texts, Facetimes and calls I received from players close to me throughout this period meant a lot.”

While most of us (thankfully) haven’t been through comparable hardships and never will, the support from your golf buddies would be the same. Enter a tournament maybe you can’t win.

Michael C. Ford