How many times during The Masters did we hear that Tiger Woods should withdraw himself from the tournament in order to protect the ‘integrity of golf’?
This is such bullshit.
First of all, the officials missed the call and it wasn’t until after Woods gave an interview that some caller alerted the Augusta Nationalist (my spelling) Golf Club officials that Woods incriminated himself.
Some caller? I can imagine this was the way the scene played out:
Augusta National Golf Course – 19th Hole
Inside a paneled lounge, several white men with southern drawls are drinking scotch and smoking cigars. There is a general laughter that never seems to die down.
Suddenly, a perspiring office worker bursts into the lounge.
OFFICE WORKER: Gentlemen, someone has just called and said Tiger Woods admitted during an interview to stepping back a yard to take a drop.
An Augusta Member (we’ll call him Scooter) drops his smile.
OFFICE WORKER: But more people are calling in. And they’re Tweeting, too!
Another member (we’ll call him Hootie) puts down his scotch and turns grave.
HOOTIE: Tweetin’? Gentlemen, we had better address this issue. Can someone please get a copy of that videotape or film of this interview and set it up in the Hogan Room anti-chamber for our immediate review? Bring your glasses, gentlemen. I have decided that scotch will be allowed for one time only in the Hogan Room.
Etc etc etc (I could go on forever with these guys).
We all know what happened. Tiger got a retroactive two stroke penalty and basically was removed from the tournament – at least in spirit. Commentators no longer praised his play or got excited when he made a good shot.
Golf Channel analysts called his decision to keep playing a disgrace and an error in judgment that will follow him the rest of his career and taint his legacy.
Oh, really? What would have made the situation right?
Maybe Tiger should have performed hara-kiri like a Japanese samurai on the 18th green because of what he has done to the great game of golf.
Has the great game of golf and its legacy of racism and exclusionary policies really taken a hit here?
You know what hurts the integrity of golf? The Augusta National Golf Club and its past policy of excluding women and minorities and doing VERY LITTLE to correct the problem (adding Lynn Swan and Condoleezza Rice doesn’t really get you there).
You know what hurts the integrity of golf? The hypocrisy of all those who point a finger at Tiger Woods for cheating on his wife when half the field at The Masters is on wife number 2 or 3 or 4 – with countless girlfriends in between (or during).
You know what hurts the integrity of golf? Old white men commenting that the sole black golfer competing in the tournament should quit when you know they wouldn’t ask that of Fred Couples if he committed the same infraction.
You know what hurts the integrity of golf? Playing a tournament at a club that was founded by a man – Cliff Roberts, the first Augusta Chairman – who once said: “As long as I’m alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.”
You know what hurts the integrity of golf? Those crappy looking green jackets that are mythologized to appear as though they were made by the hands of God.
The Masters – ‘a tradition like no other’ – and golf, in general – had better change its ways or it will be going the way of the dinosaur and the Republican party before too long.
Jill Kennedy – OnMedea