Why do you like Tiger Woods?

Koufax

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He had a torn ACL and stress fractures in his left leg.
I was home sick the day of that playoff and go to watch the whole thing. It was one of the most amazing performances I've ever seen. Can you imagine playing 18 holes under those conditions? And winning a playoff in a major? Inconceivable determination.
 

cshea

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I was home sick the day of that playoff and go to watch the whole thing. It was one of the most amazing performances I've ever seen. Can you imagine playing 18 holes under those conditions? And winning a playoff in a major? Inconceivable determination.
91 holes, plus all the practice. ESPN did an oral history on it earlier this year:

https://www.google.com/amp/www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/23747717/us-open-2018-ten-years-later-players-caddies-observers-marvel-tiger-2008-win?platform=amp

Haney says he shot a 47 (Tiger says 50 something) for 9 holes trying to test out a knee brace like a week before the tournament. Wild.
 

bosockboy

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Golf, like tennis, is built around 4 tournaments a year that matter in the historical context of the sport. Individual sports, these two in particular, classify greatness solely on number of majors won. Nicklaus had 18, and I think it was that lofty perch that drove people to love Tiger and root for him. Catch Jack. Every major he didn't win or missed was an opportunity lost.
 

RedOctober3829

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I like Tiger Woods because it made golf fun to watch. A young, brash superstar who broke every mold. He came around when I was in middle school and he made me fall in love with the game. I was already playing, but he made me want to play even more.
 

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deanx0

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I may be remembering this wrong, but when Tiger first came up, we still weren't that far from country clubs being open about their racist and bigoted membership policies--it was a game in America for rich white men. Hell, Augusta didn't have an African American member until like 1990.

To see Woods destroying records in their sacred sport delighted me, so I will always pull for Tiger.
 

Bergs

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I may be remembering this wrong, but when Tiger first came up, we still weren't that far from country clubs being open about their racist and bigoted membership policies--it was a game in America for rich white men. Hell, Augusta didn't have an African American member until like 1990.

To see Woods destroying records in their sacred sport delighted me, so I will always pull for Tiger.
Absolutely.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I'm not as much of a golf fan as many here probably are (probably because of Tiger's absence), so maybe this is off base, but I would throw Bobby Orr into the mix as a comparison. Not just showing up and being the best player immediately on arrival, but fundamentally changing the way the game was played, what golfers could do, how they could prepare. To my amateur eye, he invented the modern pro. Of course, his equal hasn't shown up yet.
 

dcmissle

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You know, I just finished watching the PBS documentary about Ted Williams and found it somewhat amusing to realize that perhaps the closest analog we’re going to find to Williams today is Tiger Woods.

Both came from highly dysfunctional backgrounds. Both were obsessed with an unattainable quest for perfection, which helped them reach the pinnacle of their profession. Both were deeply flawed humans, often sullen and given to fits of inappropriate anger. Both were terrible husbands and had difficulties as a father. And both are beloved figures in spite of it all.

Feels like we should have no difficulty figuring out the attraction of such a figure ...
When you say highly dysfunctional, do you mean this or something more?


October 6, 1978 — four days after the RS Yankees play-in game — when Tiger was 2.

All I know about this childhood story is that his dad drove Tiger. If there something else, please enlighten me.

Ted Williams, in this respect, seems to have had an entirely different experience. He made a mad dash TO baseball. Dad was a drifter, mom was married to the Salvation Army, Ted was left pretty much alone to do as he pleased.
 

Average Reds

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So was Arnie, what's your point?
I think he’s responding to dc’s question to me. I made the comment that Tiger, like Ted Williams, grew up in a dysfunctional household, which I think is a fair characterization.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.golfdigest.com/story/golf-earl-woods-book-0921/amp

There are obvious differences, as Early Woods was most decidedly not absent from Tiger’s life. However, there’s also a reason that Earl’s widow reportedly had him buried in an unmarked grave.

He did push Tiger to become the greatest golfer on the planet. So he’s got that going for him.
 
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BigMike

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Because he is an all time great athlete.

Society is moving toward this view where if you are imperfect or even boorish in one area that it somehow diminishes your accomplishments in another. I don’t subscribe to this view. It’s the old argument about separating the art from the artist, I still believe in that while realizing the culture views that as passé.
really is this the same society where a few poor attempt a humor tweets from more than a decade ago can turn your from a loved icon, into some lowlife who is unemployable by proper society now? OK enough with the V&N stuff.

I am on the other side of the Tiger fence. To me he quickly ascended to vilan status, and is very easy to root against. Mind you it remains a good thing having him back, because honestly the tour needs a vilan. There are others who can be dislikeable (DJ, but he absolute lack of personality at all ust makes him blah, go away), or Speith for any number of reasons being almost the anti-Tiger, but yet somehow just as easy to dislike.
 

dcmissle

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I think he’s responding to dc’s question to me. I made the comment that Tiger, like Ted Williams, grew up in a dysfunctional household, which I think is a fair characterization.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.golfdigest.com/story/golf-earl-woods-book-0921/amp

There are obvious differences, as Early Woods was most decidedly not absent from Tiger’s life. However, there’s also a reason that Earl’s widow reportedly had him buried in an unmarked grave.

He did push Tiger to become the greatest golfer on the planet. So he’s got that going for him.
So papa was a rollin’ stone. That’s an old American story, an ancient human story.

Sticking a golf club in the hands of a two-year old is not.
 

Marciano490

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Do these guys get to eat and drink and pee during rounds? I’m wondering how hunger might affect them and the effect of carrying more muscle on metabolism.
 

steveluck7

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There are port-o-johns around the course that they use. I’m sure there are permanent facilities at spots on most courses as well.
Every now and then, you’ll catch them grabbing a bar of some sort from their bag and eating it. Usually while waiting to hit a tee shot
 

johnmd20

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Do these guys get to eat and drink and pee during rounds? I’m wondering how hunger might affect them and the effect of carrying more muscle on metabolism.
Every now and then you'll catch a view of the players eating a sandwich or a power bar. They definitely eat. And they go to the bathroom in the middle of the greens, but the TV cameras cut away when that happens.
 

luckysox

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That was a great piece by Thompson. And man, if you don't feel at least half sorry for Tiger - because dude is messed up - well, then I don't know what to tell you. I would LOVE to see him win a major again, walk to the presser, drop a ball on the table and say, "I'm done" and just walk out. But he's too old to join the navy now...
 

BigMike

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Every now and then you'll catch a view of the players eating a sandwich or a power bar. They definitely eat. And they go to the bathroom in the middle of the greens, but the TV cameras cut away when that happens.
Haha, I think most players eat during a round. And no doubt all keep themselves hydrated. I think they generally try to avoid the pitstops along the way, but it no doubt happens. It was a big deal the other day when Kutcher took a pit stop and then basically had to rush to meet his tee time,

I will say one of the biggest frustrations with me on Tiger, and it isn't even his fault.

Monday morning after the Open, I glance at the USA today, and at the top of the first page was a good sized picture of Tiger, with some headline like Tiger's back. Tiger is always a bigger story than the event itself
 

snowmanny

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Right when he turned pro he was interviewed by some other golfer. Couples? I can't remember, which is annoying. Anyway, the interview went something along the lines of this:

PGA Veteran: Tiger, what are your goals going out there for this tournament?
Woods: I want to win.
PGA Veteran: Well, sure, we all want to win. I mean, what would you consider a successful outcome? Making the cut?
Woods: No, I want to win.
PGA Veteran: Well you can't win every week. It's really hard to finish in the top ten, it's hard to even make the cut, so I'm asking for a realistic goal for this week.
Woods: Every time I go out there, my goal is to win.
PGA Veteran (snickering): You'll learn.

I mean he showed up when everybody seemed to be happy with finishing in the money and collecting endorsements, said he was going to be great every week, got laughed at, and then was great every week. I cannot stand people who think they are incredibly wonderful at this or that, except for the rare individual who actually is incredibly wonderful at this or that.
I'm sure I'd rather hang out with five hundred pro golfers besides Woods, but he's the one I want to watch.

I'm sitting here half-watching Big Brother during the rain delay, and "Curtis Strange" popped in my head. And then I found this from The Golf Channel replaying the part of Strange's interview with Woods when the vet snickered at the brand new pro

https://www.golfchannel.com/video/twenty-years-ago-tiger-explains-winning-mindset/
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Every now and then you'll catch a view of the players eating a sandwich or a power bar. They definitely eat. And they go to the bathroom in the middle of the greens, but the TV cameras cut away when that happens.
Remember the time they messed up the feed and we saw Daly taking a dump in the cup? That was awesome.
 

Zomp

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Tiger has been known to eat a power bar a hole.

In the bag your typical tour pro will have protein bars, bananas, almonds, a peanut butter sangwich, etc...

Nowadays I don’t think conditioning is a factor unless they’re playing 36.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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I’m not sure what to make of the “boarish” behavior comment. I generous reading is displeasure with Tiger’s more aggressive tone on the course that clashed with the traditional/reserved/polite/gentlemanly golf culture. I think that was a feature, not a bug, though.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I know there are a number of golf fans here, so I'll avoid my usual golf rant. But put simply the reason that I like Tiger is that I don't care for golf. He kind of gave it the middle finger but from within so it was even more effective. I like him for the same reason I like the Rodney Dangerfield character in Caddyshack. Or maybe Chevy Chase. I love that he came out of the box and tore up the course at a club that didn't have a member that looked like him until just a few years before.

Also, I find it very difficult to watch golf. I need a rooting interest to commit 3 hours of time and household capital on televised sports. I have no basis on which to develop a rooting interest in golf. I don't understand how anyone does. How does one decide to root for Phil Mickelson over Jordan Spieth? By what ball they play? Their home towns? I root for laundry in team sports. Or countries in international sports. (So, like the Ryder Cup is watchable.) But golf to me is like Nascar. How to make oneself care whether 42 beats 30? When Tiger's on the course, I can root for him, because I like him because I perceive that he shook up the establishment in a way that makes me smile.

As for the art versus the artist question, I don't think they are separable. Fuck Roman Polanski. I'm not an expert on Tiger's personal life, but my understanding is that he never really did anything deplorable or evil, but had human failings that many athletes have. (If I'm wrong about that, I'm willing to listen. I don't follow it closely.)
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I know there are a number of golf fans here, so I'll avoid my usual golf rant. But put simply the reason that I like Tiger is that I don't care for golf. He kind of gave it the middle finger but from within so it was even more effective. I like him for the same reason I like the Rodney Dangerfield character in Caddyshack. Or maybe Chevy Chase. I love that he came out of the box and tore up the course at a club that didn't have a member that looked like him until just a few years before.

Also, I find it very difficult to watch golf. I need a rooting interest to commit 3 hours of time and household capital on televised sports. I have no basis on which to develop a rooting interest in golf. I don't understand how anyone does. How does one decide to root for Phil Mickelson over Jordan Spieth? By what ball they play? Their home towns? I root for laundry in team sports. Or countries in international sports. (So, like the Ryder Cup is watchable.) But golf to me is like Nascar. How to make oneself care whether 42 beats 30? When Tiger's on the course, I can root for him, because I like him because I perceive that he shook up the establishment in a way that makes me smile.

As for the art versus the artist question, I don't think they are separable. Fuck Roman Polanski. I'm not an expert on Tiger's personal life, but my understanding is that he never really did anything deplorable or evil, but had human failings that many athletes have. (If I'm wrong about that, I'm willing to listen. I don't follow it closely.)
You root for Phil because he has a personality; he's gregarious, he (not so much anymore) makes stupid crazy choices trying to pull off crazy shots and because he's a magician with a wedge; there's literally not a shot he couldn't hit and hasn't tried. When you see him fuck up and slice a driver on 18 and screw up his chances, when he could have hit an iron and been fine, you commiserate, because that's what a lot of us hackers do. He interacts with fans, morphed from being known as a cocky jackass as youngster to a mentor to the young guys on tour and had Tiger not been born, he'd be considered the greatest golfer of his generation. Speith is basically the Arod or Jeter of the golf world, built in a PR test tube, with some nice back story, but bland as hell; he's an amazing golfer and plenty of people love him (I don't), but in my opinion he has zero charisma and watching him live he actually turns me off with his histrionics.

If you don't follow golf or you don't play, then sure, I understand where you're coming from. A lot of attaching to a particular player is just simply watching them, appreciating certain parts of their game, the way the are on the course, etc. It's not any different from any other sport, laundry or otherwise. You emotionally attach to a person from your experiences watching them.
 

terrynever

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I get a sense of awe watching pro golfers hit shots that goes beyond the respect we all have for great athletes in other sports. It's easy for those of us who appreciate golf to follow any of the professionals. Hell, I love watching the best amateurs play at the Northeast in RI every June. There are a few hundred spectators, at most. You pick a guy like Dustin Johnson when he played there in 2007. He killed it even then. To stand on the tee and watch the ball disappear 300 yards down the fairway is unreal. Just the flight of the ball.
Television doesn't really capture the power of the game. The cameras focus on the greens. Putting is boring. But watching golf in person is like standing behind second base and seeing Pedroia turn two. No other sport lets the fans get that close.
 

InstaFace

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Television doesn't really capture the power of the game. The cameras focus on the greens. Putting is boring. But watching golf in person is like standing behind second base and seeing Pedroia turn two. No other sport lets the fans get that close.
This is all I'll say on this in a golf thread, but: try attending a tennis tournament (ideally the first week of the US Open). Every court except the stadium feature court(s) lets spectators wander in on their own time, seat themselves, and be literally 30 feet from the action. Or stand on the non-stands side, which is just standing room or 3-row bleachers, and be literally 20 feet from the action. And if the match you're watching gets boring, you get up and go to one of the other 10+ courts with a match going on.

But other than that exception I agree with you, and it doesn't take away from your larger point.
 

terrynever

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This is all I'll say on this in a golf thread, but: try attending a tennis tournament (ideally the first week of the US Open). Every court except the stadium feature court(s) lets spectators wander in on their own time, seat themselves, and be literally 30 feet from the action. Or stand on the non-stands side, which is just standing room or 3-row bleachers, and be literally 20 feet from the action. And if the match you're watching gets boring, you get up and go to one of the other 10+ courts with a match going on.

But other than that exception I agree with you, and it doesn't take away from your larger point.
Never thought of tennis! Great point.
I've found a golf ball for players and then stood 5 feet away while they played their shot, sometimes talking to the fans. Lee Trevino would talk to anybody.
 

dcmissle

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Never thought of tennis! Great point.
I've found a golf ball for players and then stood 5 feet away while they played their shot, sometimes talking to the fans. Lee Trevino would talk to anybody.
He’s right. Did what he described at Wimbledon few weeks ago.

Athleticism insane. Different species.
 

BigMike

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Never thought of tennis! Great point.
I've found a golf ball for players and then stood 5 feet away while they played their shot, sometimes talking to the fans. Lee Trevino would talk to anybody.
A good buddy won at Newport a couple of time.

First time I saw him play at a tournament he was playing Todd Martin. I am standing behind a 4 foot fence maybe 15 feet behind the player, (basically as close as where the ball boys stand at Wimbledon) as my buddy is hitting 132 mph serves which if not returned are headed right at the fans. Pretty great stuff.
 

garlan5

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Anyone question tiger and ped use. I know his name was on the list when arod or bartolo got called out. It seems odd how quickly he went downhill after his marriage fell apart. I never hated him but never cared a lot for him either. Same with Phil
 

SoxJox

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There are almost limitless positive and negative things that can be said about Tiger Woods. But then this: courses redesigned holes in an effort to "Tiger-proof" them.

Augusta lengthened half their holes by adding over 350 yards prior to the 2002 event. Olympia Fields added over 300 yards for the 2003 US Open. For the 2008 US Open, Torrey Pines grew to 7,600+ yards (ouch). And while not being lengthened, Bethpage Black's selection in part may have been influenced by length.

Now, some could and do argue that lengthening just made it that much harder on the shorter-hitting players. But the mere thought that some effort was needed to "Tiger proof" any course? I can't think of another golfer where that statement can be made. He was transformational, both figuratively and literally.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Anyone question tiger and ped use. I know his name was on the list when arod or bartolo got called out. It seems odd how quickly he went downhill after his marriage fell apart. I never hated him but never cared a lot for him either. Same with Phil
Yes, he took treatment from Galea, but nothing beyond platelet therapy ever came of the investigation.

It really doesn’t seem odd at all, to me at least; the Thanksgiving Day incident was basically the culmination of a lot of physical, mental and emotional stuff he’d been going through for a long time. He was wreck less with both his body and his personal life. If you have any interest in reading more into it, this is a good start:

http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/15278522/how-tiger-woods-life-unraveled-years-father-earl-woods-death
 

Comfortably Lomb

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There are almost limitless positive and negative things that can be said about Tiger Woods. But then this: courses redesigned holes in an effort to "Tiger-proof" them.

Augusta lengthened half their holes by adding over 350 yards prior to the 2002 event. Olympia Fields added over 300 yards for the 2003 US Open. For the 2008 US Open, Torrey Pines grew to 7,600+ yards (ouch). And while not being lengthened, Bethpage Black's selection in part may have been influenced by length.

Now, some could and do argue that lengthening just made it that much harder on the shorter-hitting players. But the mere thought that some effort was needed to "Tiger proof" any course? I can't think of another golfer where that statement can be made. He was transformational, both figuratively and literally.
“Tiger Proofing” was basically modifying courses to suit his game vs. a chunk of the tour. The marketing wizard behind that won the day. Somehow they made giving him an advantage seem like it was done to keep him from winning.
 

SoxJox

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The larger point remains valid: the effort, whatever its real or imagined intent or interpretation of effect, was borne by various course management groups changing their layouts because of him.
 

SumnerH

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A good buddy won at Newport a couple of time.

First time I saw him play at a tournament he was playing Todd Martin. I am standing behind a 4 foot fence maybe 15 feet behind the player, (basically as close as where the ball boys stand at Wimbledon) as my buddy is hitting 132 mph serves which if not returned are headed right at the fans. Pretty great stuff.
Todd Martin's probably my favorite 2nd tier tennis player of all time. Watching him play—fairly successfully—an antiquated style into the late 90s and early 2000s was fun, especially his battles at the 1999 US Open. Didn't hurt that he looked like he was 50 even at 30.