Tiger Woods is back, Jack! He's almost certainly not going to win this week, but it's good to see him out there again, playing fairly well at that. The point is, I'm just excited to watch him again, and I will explain why.
My following of Tiger has taken a long, winding road. When he exploded onto the scene in 1997, I hated him. I think I know why. Kids are obsessed with things being fair. To 11 year old me, it was unfair how damned good he was. My boy Tom Lehman and the rest of the guys just couldn't compete when he was on his game.
The worm finally turned my freshman year of college, when this happened. That is still so exciting 6 years later, I just peed. That whole final round battle with Chris DiMarco was incredible, and my respect and admiration for both of them increased dramatically (Then DiMarco disappeared off of the face of the Earth. Oh well, he's rich from playing golf.).
The only other moment that was even greater, in my opinion, was the 2008 US Open. Tiger was playing on a broken leg, wincing after most shots. He came to the 18th green, gave himself a birdie putt to put himself into a playoff, then this happened. Naturally, Tiger won thhe playoff the next day.
Then his world fell in shortly thereafter. He took time off to heal. His wife found out he had been cheating on her with every female with two arms, two legs and a face he could find, he crashed his Escalade on Thanksgiving, then everyone knows the rest.
Let the record show I hate what he did. Anyone who knows me well knows one of the things that bothers me more than anything else is someone cheating on someone else. Why be with someone if you're going to cheat on them? It is the ultimate betrayal and display of a lack of respect for someone you're supposed to care about.
The thing is, when I'm watching him golf, I don't care. I never have and never will know Tiger Woods personally. Whether he is a good husband or not doesn't affect the way I watch him play golf. Yeah, maybe it would be more fun to root for him without the baggage, but maybe not. I have always been huge Michael Jackson and Kanye West fans, which obviously has had drama attached to it also. As far as I'm concerned, if you're great at what you do, I don't care if I would like you behind the scenes or not.
It has been years since Tiger has won a tournament. I still want him to win more majors and break Jack Nicklaus' all-time record. I still think he will. What I know for a fact is that I'm glad the chase is on again.