2005: A Tiger's Odyssey
Winning anything in December, whether it be a bowl game or golf tournament, is meaningless in a sports writer or historian’s book. Competing in the winter is like catching up on homework over winter break. Of course it helps, but shouldn’t you be out building a snow fort somewhere?
But, a few weeks back I remember thinking to myself, “How did Nickelback become famous? I don’t know anyone who likes them. . .” Then I recalled even the Golden Bear said a few years ago, when Tiger (Woods) was fading from demi-god status that settling down and having a family would give him a rekindled, fiery spirit.
I don’t think a catch like Elin Parnevik (or something) is going to make anyone complacent. Coming home to a sweetheart like her must have his testosterone juiced up like he’s going after his third U.S. Amateur again.
Also, we forget Tiger’s birthname, Eldrick, is a dork’s name. And dorks never let the best grade in class get out of grasp too long. Pretty soon the curve will be his again, and soon enough he’ll be getting swirlies from angry, inferior classmates.
Tiger has gone through the motions for awhile now, and I think 2005 will be a big year. Three major’s big? Unlikely. Vijay’s 2004 big? Comparable.
Tiger has far too much of a social life to play in as many tournaments, meaning Vijay’s win count and purse record may as well be sealed up somewhere in Fiji. But as far as Big Wins, I’m tempted to say Tiger will squeeze out two majors, a Players or Tour Championship, a World Series win or two, and not to mention some mid-majors and a few overseas laughers.
True, the competition is stiff. No stiffer than it was in 2000 when Tiger waltzed to nine wins. The stakes are there: no longer can he claim supremacy. Tiger’s days jet-setting with beautiful people in the Mediterranean are over for the time being. He’s got a bigger voyage to trek: busting the curve for everyone–and I’m sure this time he’d even welcome getting shoved in a locker for doing so, too.
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