Posts Tagged ‘nike’
Okay, golf fans, the Accenture Match Play tournament has finally moved from being one big snowball fight in the parking lot to an actual competitive golf tournament.
I had turned on the TV late yesterday afternoon to check in on the supposed first day’s play that I had recorded on the DVR, only to discover that play was slowed to a halt by a snowstorm…in Tucson. In the desert.
I’m not making this up.
For you golf novices, match play in golf is very different than the traditional stroke play you see on your typical weekend golf tournament.
In match play, think about how the 64 brackets in the NCAA basketball tournament break down, and you’ve got the gist of it.
For the Accenture, sixty four players are grouped into four super brackets, and in each, one player faces off another player in the first round.
Whoever wins the most holes out of the 18, wins that match and, like in college basketball, moves on to the next round.
It’s also an entirely different kind of golf strategy. When your opponent makes a mistake, you work to seize on that mistake by not screwing up yourself, so each match can be akin to watching a dance — the only question is, who will step on who’s golf shoes?
In the finishing of round one that just got underway mid-afternoon Tucson time, there have been a few surprises.
South African Charles Schwartzel, a favorite going in, lost 1 up to rookie Russell Henley.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia almost gave away a commanding lead to Thai golfer Thongchai Jaidee (who, by the way, saw his first snow ever yesterday…also in Tucson!), and they battled it out into extra holes until Garcia took the match 1 up.
Our favorite European Ryder Cup nemesis, evil-eyed Ian Poulter, stepped away from his Twitter account long enough to take out Stephen Gallacher 2-1.
But the matches much of the golf world are holding their breath for are those featuring Tiger Woods v. Charles Howell III, and world ranked number one, Rory McIlroy, matched against fellow Irishman Shane Lowry.
The big question on my mind: Has McIlroy adjusted yet to those new $90 million Nike golf clubs? Rumor was going into the tournament, he had already switched back to his faithful Scotty Cameron putter, but then I’d read Nike had added some weights to his custom “Method” putter so he’d switched back to all Nike, all the time.
Switching clubs is not always a seamless transition, as I recently discovered, and I don’t depend on my clubs to make a living. McIlroy’s first three holes today would suggest they’re good enough (he was 1 up after 3 last I checked).
Tiger…well, Tiger’s just been on, and he probably also just beat the leader of the free world by a good 20 strokes last weekend (President Obama), so his confidence is probably high.
Could it all come down to Woods v. McIlroy in the championship match on Sunday (or, Monday, assuming the snow delay pushes out the finish)?
Methinks the golfing gods won’t be THAT generous to we fans, but I’m certainly willing to send that energy into the universe to try and make it so. CBS will never have seen golf ratings so high so early in a golf season.
Tiger Woods seems to have not learned that it’s always the cover-up, if not the crime.
In his case, it was both…that against his family and in not learning the lesson of basic PR crisis management — get ahead of the story and don’t let it follow you around like a bad slice.
Of course, were I in his shoes (which I will never, of course, be), I might not want to get out ahead of that particular story, either. It’s a shame and an embarrassment, and he’s allowed it to trickle out like a long session of Chinese water torture, putt putt style.
Not unlike how he taunts his victims on the golf course.
To be sure, in the golfing world, Tiger is already a walking legend. Now he can add the covers of US Weekly and other paparazzi titles to his record.
For those of we amateur golfers who have watched Tiger play week in and week out over the past 13 years, it’s like a bunch of house painters watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. Sometime you can’t believe what you’re seeing.
Perhaps seeing isn’t everything, particularly when what you’re believing is flawed.
Though Michelangelo didn’t live to see his design for St. Peter’s Basilica finished at the Vatican, Tiger has lived to see himself conquer one after another golf record like they were so many…trysts?
Perhaps that’s all those records are to him, more notches on his putter.
And though the jokes will continue to emerge, perhaps along with more of Tiger’s off-the-links partners, what will resonate for the rest of us for some time is the disappointment.
Not disappointment that we finally discover with some real proof (i.e., the voice mail) that Tiger is human.
But instead, to find that a man who truly does have everything is seemingly no happier than the millions of the rest of us who have so much less.
Making par, it seems, is evidently never enough.
As for Jesper Parnevik, the Swedish golfer who introduced Tiger to his wife, Elin, well, I’m with him.
Said Jesper about Tiger: “I would probably need to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time instead of a 3-iron. It’s a private thing, of course, but when you are the guy he is — the world’s best athlete — you should think more before you do stuff … and maybe not ’just do it,’ like Nike says.”
Actually, Jesper, I think Elin used a wedge on Tiger and the Escalade, but one of those Nike Sasquatch 460 Tour drivers probably would be a better fit.
And, like Sasquatch, once the beating’s over, Tiger can disappear into the wilderness with his Nike clubs and his bottle of Gatorade and his EA Sports Tiger Woods golf games and all the other sponsors who have let him off the hook with hardly a wink, and think long and hard about what he had, what he stands to lose, and how deeply disappointing his actions have been to his millions of fans around the world.
In the meantime, let the Tiger Woods jokes continue…he deserves a few more good punch lines and a lifetime of bogeys.