Column: Madeleine Winnett on Tiger Woods
“My glutes are shutting off!” Well, even for the prince of obtuseness himself, that was a fairly bizarre statement. I use my ‘glutes’ for walking, so clearly they couldn’t have been shutting off too much as Tiger still managed to walk off the course.
At least now he really is the butt of everyone’s jokes in the truest sense of the word! I spoke to two pros and asked if they thought he really was injured, or if he hadn’t wanted to miss another cut because he was playing so poorly.
Unequivocally, they said the latter.
Now, part of me is always hesitant to criticise someone for an injury when we can never actually know how much pain they are in. I have had more than my share of injuries over the years and have been unable to finish rounds. Things can be going swimmingly one minute, and then one slightly heavy shot can flare up a whole host of aggravation.
So, I might have had a modicum of sympathy if he had declared recurrent back pain following his surgery as a reason to retire, but “My glutes are shutting off”?
Come on Tiger, pull the other one!
Rory made a huge mistake when he walked off the course after eight holes of the Honda Classic in 2013 citing toothache as his defence. Since he was seven over par at the time, we all had our suspicions that that may not have been an entirely truthful explanation. But then, because he’s more of a man than Tiger will ever be, he realised the error of his ways and made an abject apology.
“I feel like I let a lot of people down with what I did last week, and for that I am sorry.” And that’s why I love Rory so much and dislike Tiger – well, one of the many reasons!
I’m thinking of throwing a party – a Tiger Woods-themed party. Can you ever imagine Tiger saying such a thing? No. He would just dig himself deeper into the mire with every ensuing statement trying to cover his tracks.
A number of people are lamenting Tiger’s absence now as he takes an extended leave to try and sort himself out, and they seem to think it is sad to see his golfing demise. No it isn’t. I’m thinking of throwing a party – a Tiger Woods-themed party. My only dilemma at the moment is whether to dress as a fire hydrant, or go in carrying a spittoon in one hand and a swear box in the other.
I hate people trying to claim he is the greatest golfer of all time. No he isn’t – but he’s probably the luckiest. If my life depended on it, I would rather trust half a dozen 30-plus handicappers at my club to be able to hit a driver and keep it on the fairway than him. How many times has he lashed one off the tee into the trees, only for the commentator to say, “Oh, he’s been very lucky there to have a gap to the green”? He nearly always found a gap. People who subscribe to the theory that trees are 90 per cent air annoy me intensely. No they’re not. When I am playing, even if I flick the tiniest of leaves on the most delicate twig ever to emerge, it always acts like a brick wall.
Time and time again Tiger has put his ball in the most impenetrable spots only for a magical gap to appear. I know what the Hebrews felt like watching Moses parting the Red Sea, because Tiger seemed to have similar powers in his heyday!
The one thing I do lament about him not being around at the moment though is that I no longer have a golfer to shout at when I’m watching the telly.
There is no doubt that he seems to polarise feelings in a way that no-one else can. You either love Tiger or you loathe him, so there is something missing when he isn’t there
There just isn’t anyone else to fill that gap. I couldn’t imagine willing Adam Scott’s ball into the water as he’s standing on the tee. It would be like throwing a puppy out onto the streets after Christmas. I desperately want to give Rickie Fowler a decent haircut and a hat that doesn’t make him look as though he has escaped from an asylum, but I still don’t want to shout, “Miss it, miss it, miss it” in ever louder tones when he’s standing over a putt.
Perhaps there are just too many nice people in golf and we need to create a few more villains. Ladies’ golf has even fewer candidates. How could you possibly contemplate hating the World No. 1 when she is only 17? The worst thing you would want to do is send her to her room to finish her homework.
The female equivalent of Tiger in terms of drawing power must be Dame Laura Davies, but after 30 years in the limelight, I still don’t know any member of the public or in the media who would dream of saying a word against her. That would be sacrilege.
And, on that note, as I have been sitting down for a long time now, my glutes seem to be shutting off – so I think I had better go and play some golf!