Thursday, August 04, 2011

Tiger Woods spurns pals, do fellow golfers want him back?

Tiger_WoodsAlthough sports media is quick to report splits between Tiger Woods and caddie, former swing coaches, management and friends, PGA Tour and European Tour golfers have been standing together to welcome the former number-one golfer back onto the fairway.

PGA Champion, Martin Kaymer said it best, "We need him, we really need him. He's the best player who ever played that game."

Darren Clarke, winner of the 2011 Open Championship and paired with Tiger Woods for the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, commented, "Tiger Woods could be a hard man to beat because of his record around this golf course. He loves it so much and has played so well here before. I wouldn't be surprised to see him have a really, really good week."

But Rory McIlroy, fresh off his latest twitter escapade involving golf writer Jay Townshend, appeared a bit ambiguous and on-the-fence about his true feelings regarding Tiger Woods taking center stage, "It’d be maybe a little intimidating if you knew for sure if [Woods] was going to play the way he did in 2000, 2001, but no one knows that."

With Tiger Woods' return to golf this week, internet sports have been abuzz with sorrowful tales of short-lasting unions between sports celebrities...sniff...

Could it be that Tiger Woods really wasn't great friends with sports legends like Charles Barkley and Roger Federer, or even really tight with caddie Steve Williams? As outsiders, fans tend to receive snippets of information as if we were playing "Telephone", an old game where a sentence is whispered to many, one-by-one, and is spewed out differently than it started. The media also enjoys photo-ops and creating buzz around sports superstars, so hanging out at a club "gambling and partying" could easily have been misconstrued.

A true friend, Charles, does not change his cell phone number without sharing it with Barkley continued, "I’ve been trying to get to him and can’t get to him,” he said. “It’s very frustrating.” ..hint, hint

Convenience has a way of playing a role in many people's lives. Roger Federer, for example, was number-one in the world of tennis, Woods was the top golfer in the world; so easy to create a relationship built on similarities. With both Woods and Federer slipping from their respective perches, their friendship might have ended along with the "back-patting." This would explain the ease and apparent readiness in which Woods separated himself from his former "pack".

With Tiger Woods clearing his head and life of distractions, it is only a matter of time before the former champion shows signs of greatness. Champions are made, not born.

As the great golfer Sam Snead once said, "The mark of a great player is in his ability to come back. The great champions have all come back from defeat."

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