Tiger's Fall From Grace, Again
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 by Laramie Boyd
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         A while back,Tiger Woods was disqualified for dropping a golf ball illegally in a Abu Dhabi PGA Golf tournament. Two weeks ago, Tiger Woods should have been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, after admitting he made another illegal drop in a tournament, but he wasn't. Last week, Tiger Woods said the officials told him it was okay for him to hit a shot, but the Head of Officials reported " Nothing was said to us and we certainly said nothing to him. Tiger was saying what was good for him. It lacked character." After the round, Tiger Woods said he would never make a phone call to report that he had seen a rule violation by a player during a golf tournament, but yet it was a phone call by a TV observer who once saw Tiger's play in a tournament that prevented him from being disqualified. Based on his aversion to TV observers' phone calls that point out rule violations, he should have dropped out of the tournament or disqualified himself. But he didn't. I wonder how much longer the Professional Golfers Association will bend over backwards to accommodate this Tiger Woods person?
          Davis Love lll, one of the most highly respected golfers n the world, made the statement "I think if a rule is broken, no matter how you find out about it, it's good for the game. It protects the field(other players). Besides, if a player is playing by the rules, he has nothing to worry about." Clearly, violations of rules should be enforced uniformly to all players, none given special favors.
          Professional golf was once known to be a "gentleman's game." Golfers called rule violations on themselves. They displayed golf etiquette at all times, which generally is just plain old courtesy and common sense. Most often even the fans maintain an eerie silence during a player's swing, unlike most other professional sports fans. But now, with the ascendance of Tiger Woods to the role of "Best Player in the World," I fear golf is getting a black eye. No doubt he is the best ball striker, and is catching up with the great Jack Nicklaus's record of major wins. But something is missing in Tiger Woods' climb to golfing immortality. There are too many rule's twists and turns and accommodations for his errors. There are too many breeches in golf etiquette. You'll notice the man walks sullenly, almost angrily from green to tee, with no sign of appreciation or recognition of the part the fans have played in his rise to wealth and fame. He completely ignores the fans' attempts to make the slightest connection with him. Not a smile, not a high five. An almost "Don't bother me, I'm Tiger Woods" facade. His on-and-off course antics do not reflect positively on the reputation of the game of golf. And when I see and hear the standing cheers for this man week after week, I just have to wonder, why?