The Masters 2010
Yesterday was the first round of the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
Over 20 million people tuned in to watch Tiger Woods tee off and if they were looking for fire works after the scandal that has dogged the world’s number one golfer they were disappointed.
Tiger probably selected The Masters (one of golf’s four major tournaments) for the civility of the Augusta National Golf Club where the tradition of golf is most highly respected.
Tiger, I am sure, was most pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the reception from the fans, his peers and the golf association leaders.
His reception on the first tee was even louder and more positive than usual and clearly everyone involved with the game of golf was delighted to have Tiger back on the tour.
He also shot his best first round at The Masters ever signing a score care with 2 eagles, 2 birdies and 2 bogies for a total first round score of 4 under 2 shots off the lead held by 50 year old Fred Couples.
There are four golfers at 5 under: K.L. Choi, 60 year old, Tom Watson, Lee Westwood and Phil Mikelson.
Tiger did seem a little different and was relating better with the fans and was seen laughing with the two other golfers in his group, Matt Kuchar and K.J.Choi. All three in this group had a very good round.
He did show some emotion albeit with muted fist pumps at his excellent shots and still a little frustration with his mistakes.
I have always loved watching Tiger play and was again thrilled at his incredible shot making ability. I am not happy about what he did to his wife and family, friends, supporters and sponsors but he does bring an unparalleled level of excitement to the game.
There is a very controversial Nike commercial that played on many stations yesterday. It is a somber faced Tiger in dramatic black and white listening to the words of his father, Earl Woods, who passed away several years ago, asking him what was he thinking, how was he feeling and what did he learn. Many feel this ad was in poor taste. When asked about it, Tiger said his father is still helping him and he approved the ad.
There is much speculation about what will happen if he wins The Masters, will all be forgiven or if he loses will he have trouble regaining his position in the golf world.
He gave a press conference at the beginning of the week. I thought he was a kinder, gentler and more humble Tiger Woods and I was very happy to see this. I hope he is sincere and only his actions over time will tell.
His wife, Elin, choose not to attend this years Masters which surprised nobody. He has a lot of ground to make up for what he did to her and only time will tell whether or not she will be able to forgive him for the humiliation he caused her by his multiple and extremely well documented indiscretions.
He had an interview in the Bulter Cabin after the first round with Mike Tirico in which he said he was very happy to be back and greatly appreciated the support of the fans who encouraged him on every hole particularly, on the first tee and the 18th green. His first drive was in the middle of the fairway which must have been the most nerve racking drive of his career. His first birdie on the four hole would have relaxed him further.
One can’t help ask oneself how would Elin have been received had she been the one perpetrating the multiple, highly reported infidelities.
Elin, however, is not the best golfer in the world.