VIENNA, Va, March 28, 2012 – There is now a pot of gold at the end of the golf rainbow, and the gold collector this week is none other than Tiger Woods. For the first time in almost two and a half years, at the conclusion of the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational golf match, the once super golfer in the red shirt could throw up his arm in delight at the outcome.
He had finally won one.
Graeme McDowell came in second, but all eyes were on Tiger. The question is, how many were glad to see the long dry spell end, and how many secretly wished he had lost?
Over the last 30 months, more than a few people have felt and said that “he got what was coming to him.”
The loss of sponsorship, his inability to win a tournament, his obvious loss of his marriage to the lovely blonde who used to be on his arm – all of these were seen as just what he deserved. Even his physical ailments including a leg injury and a recurring Achilles tendon flare-up, were seen as more icing on the cake of divine retribution.
It took only a one-car collision with a fire plug on the grounds of his own palatial home at Thanksgiving, to end the outstanding career of a young man who was one of the best the sport has ever seen. When the stories began to emerge of his dozens of lady friends, his rendezvous in every major golf city in the country with them, and other significant escapades, the star which had shown so brightly fell to earth faster than a speeding asteroid.
His later brouhaha with his long time caddy, New Zealander Steve Williams, who had been his bag man from 1999 to 2011, marked another strange event with a man who had exceeded strangeness with his scandalous philandering. On the bag this time is Joe LaCava who caddied for Fred Couples for some time prior to Couples’ shortening his schedule due to illness.
And this time, the new duo seemed to work out fairly well. There is a rhythm either endemic to or gradually learned between a golfer and his caddy, and this team just may make it.
The jury is still out among millions of former fans whether or not Tiger has paid his dues for his feckless, reckless personal life, and is now deserving of the popularity, acclaim and honor which once were rightfully his.
The Arnold Palmer tournament may be a new beginning, and the Masters is not that far off. As to whether or not the rehabilitated Tiger can reach the level of the original version remains to be soon.
And his fans have to make their minds up as well.
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