Tiger Woods is in the lead at Torrey Pines and I love it. I felt a little spark of excitement in my gut when I heard the news. I haven’t often felt that about golf since Tiger’s wife smacked the self-confidence out of him with a 9 iron.
Tiger Woods was fun to watch “pre-nine-iron” because I enjoyed the fantasy of someone being so dominant. It’s also why I love the movie “Gladiator.” It pumps my testosterone and reinforces my American exceptionalist training.
There’s something fundamentally wrong with a Rory Mcilroy being #1. He looks like my best friend’s little brother way back in high school, a curly-haired, freckled-faced little Scottish kid.
Some kid who popped out of a Norman McRockwell painting doesn’t inspire my inner lion. I want the growls. I want to fist pumps. I want the ball to roll in inexplicably and the impossible iron shots out of the trees that roll within a foot of the hole to delight a howling mob of old white guys.
I don’t care what Tiger Woods did, does, will do in his bedroom. He’s not my role model. He’s who I want to be on the golf course.
I want the superhero back. I want the guy who scares the crap out of his competition, who stands off to the side in peripheral vision during a putt to make his competitor weak in the knees. I like that Tiger. I like the guy goes to the range after a round to practice instead of going to the club house for a beer with the boys.
I hope the real Tiger is here in 2013. I hope he’s fierce, independent, indomitable; if he is, it means golf is relevant again in a way it hasn’t been since that 9 iron.