Without doubting the sincerity of Phil Mickelson’s motives in embracing his ill wife Amy immediately after so splendidly claiming his third Masters, I couldn’t help but wonder was his subsequent emphasis on the importance of having his family there to share in his hour of glory a subtle pop at his nemesis?
The longer the week went on the more Woods’ façade cracked, his plaintive “TIGER WOODS! JESUS CHRIST!!!!” after yet another errant tee-shot down the finishing straight making one wonder where such comparisons might fit into his recently rediscovered Buddhist beliefs.
Questioned afterwards about his worsening mood on Sunday, Woods snapped that “people are making too much of that” – when it was he, and he alone, who announced just six days earlier that a new, toned-down Tiger was coming out to play.
The initial bonhomie with spectators seemed forced, the smiles only lasting as long as he was in contention. As soon as it looked like his chances were gone west – thanks to the worst display of driving since Jim McDaid decided he was Steve McQueen (and even then Woods could have won it) – the world No1 reverted to surly Tiger type.
BBC golf commentator/curmudgeon Peter Alliss – still up to his old mischief, namedropping country club nonentities in the midst of high drama – had voiced his fear in advance that given his habit of verbally stepping on toes “I could destroy myself”. Still, he managed to slip in (possibly on purpose) the quote of the weekend in summing up “the return of Tiger. He was in and out, up and down as usual.”
A man Alliss once witheringly described as “very good at reading the autocue”, Gary Lineker was notable (but not missed) by his absence in the plush Beeb booth, replaced by Scottish snooker/etc presenter Hazel Irvine who, to the amazement of Augusta National’s battery of male chauvinists, didn’t put a word wrong.
Despite aunty’s aptitude for golf, Sky are expected to outbid them for the viewing rights to next year’s Masters, which will mean endless repeats of adverts and a sprinkling of golf.
Speaking of which: has Tiger Woods no shame? Whatever about his Pauline conversion on the road to Georgia, his contemptuously-timed new Nike tick trailer (pictured), in which he used his dead dad’s “words” from the grave to satisfy his and his main sponsor’s insatiable desire for dough, was about as crass as any son can get. (‘Did you learn anything?’ the late Earl is meant to wonder. Sure Pop. You wouldn’t believe what you can get away with staring at wearing shades.)
Indeed, Woods’ pre-tournament press conference saw him stress his determination to not just be a more personable person/greater golfer but a better ambassador for those companies who might wish to use his services to sell their wares.
Clearly cash is still Tiger’s main driver. Maybe he’s just making sure there’s money there for rainier (payout) days to come. And might one suggest his mom look for royalties while she’s still alive.