Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/15/14

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 09: Tiger Woods plays his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 9, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The answer, of course, is no. He didn’t.

Sure, Tiger Woods was both putrid and petulant this weekend – putrid in swinging the club, petulant in kicking it – and was a non-factor from late Friday on. But all it will take is for the next Major to roll around for Woods to dominate the golf discourse again.

Should he win said Major, or any one thereafter, his pursuit of Jack’s record once again becomes the #1 story line in golf (if it isn’t still already).

Still, I think the fact that I pondered this question on the way into work this morning is telling. Though it may be hard to articulate, I do think that Woods lost something more than just a tournament this weekend.

Yes, he lost another opportunity at a green jacket and another of his finite amount of chances to one Major win closer to Jack. But it’s something else.

For the first time in I don’t know how long, maybe ever, I didn’t need Tiger Woods to be enthralled by a golf tournament.

I’ve always been more of a Tiger fan than a golf fan. I realize I am far from representative of all golf fans, but there is certainly a subsection of the sports’ casual fan base that I represent. Considering how much Tiger swings TV ratings, it may even be a rather sizable chunk of the overall golf fan base.

I was excited about this year’s Masters because Tiger’s win at Bay Hill, combined with his ability to compete at Augusta even when he was playing poorly elsewhere, seemed to portend a great four-day run for Woods. It never materialized. As I tracked the scores on Friday, I felt my interest in the tournament slipping.

But then Saturday happened, and much to my surprise I became locked into a golf tournament in which Woods was irrelevant save for club-kicking tantrums and excoriations of his disobedient ball and swing.

Phil made a his patented run. Louis Oostheizen impressed me with his calm, cool, collectedness. And as I learned more about the background of Bubba Watson, and listened to him talk after his Saturday round, I became interested in seeing if the floppy-haired guy dressed in white could swing his pink driver to Augusta glory.

What really piqued my interest in Watson was his candor after Saturday. Asked about how he would handle the pressure of being in contention on Sunday at The Masters, Watson basically said, to paraphrase, that he was going to be nervous as hell as wasn’t sure if he could control it. Who says that? Without being disingenuously “humble” anyway? Something about the honesty of Watson’s admission, combined with his free-wheeling, swashbuckling golf mentality, drew me to him as a fan.

And then he won, after an absolutely thrilling Sunday that featured epic fails, epic successes, and one of the great clutch moments in recent sports history: Watson’s remarkable second shot from the pine needles on the final playoff hole.

It was a great. What a tournament, what a weekend, what a champion.

And what a surprise, at least to me, that it did not at all feel like something was missing without Tiger there getting his green jacket or being a factor on Sunday. I did not expect that to be the case. I’ve never really cared about Sunday at a Major if it didn’t involve Tiger. Yesterday I did, and I kind of liked it. (I even went out to the driving range and hit a bucket of balls on Sunday morning for the first time in ages, inspired by that rousing Saturday I guess?)

Will my interest in golf maintain if Tiger slides further along slow but slippery slope of irrelevancy he inched a little bit down this weekend? I don’t know. I suspect not actually, though this weekend has made me question that.

I’m sure I’ll find myself once again rooting for him when the next Major rolls around, though I’ll really just be rooting for my own selfish enjoyment of sports history than him. Seeing someone attack one of the hallowed records in sports is a rare, immensely enjoyable sports fan experience. I want to see it. Tiger is the only person who can give it to me, so everything else be damned.

The reality is that Tiger continues to make it easier and easier to root against him with his childish on-course displays. Plus, his constant talk about his swing, and reps, and blah blah blah…he’s taken the fun out of watching him because he no longer looks like he’s having any fun at all. Watching Tiger Woods play golf now feels like watching someone at a job they hate. That’s my impression anyway. And it’s made me do the unthinkable, at least for a lifetime Tiger Woods fan: I’ve started to appreciate things like the omnipresent wry smile of Phil Mickelson.

Still, no, Tiger Woods didn’t jump the shark this weekend. Considering everything that has happened over the last 3+ years, and the relevancy he maintains because of his legendary career, I’m not sure he ever really can.

But I did care a lot less this weekend that Tiger wasn’t a factor on Sunday, and I genuinely enjoyed the final two days of the Masters anyway. For a casual golf fan like me, I feel like that means something.

Maybe it just means that all the Tiger talk and hype is what has jumped the shark. What else can be said? He’s back. He’s done. He’s back. He’s done. It’s all been said, washed, rinsed, and repeated.

Just go win a Major Tiger. Until then, other people will. And if this weekend is any indication, for me anyway, that is just fine.


I’m curious as to your thought, so please use the comment section below.

This post is highly subjective based on how I personally experienced this weekend’s Masters. How did you experience it? Did Tiger’s irrelevance make you lose interest? Did you not care in the first place?

I a have feeling opinions on this will be all across the board, and I’m really curious to read them.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jon Jones facing felony charge for leaving scene of crime

Josh Hamilton officially traded back to Rangers

Report: Landing Adrian Peterson too costly for Cardinals

Report: Antonio Brown joins Steelers voluntary work outs

Charles Barkley: JR Smith should be suspended 10 games


Kelly Olynkyk: I'd probably get killed if I went to Cleveland

Report: Redskins likely to pick up Robert Griffin III's option

Eagles trying to trade Marcus Smith for another duck?

Chris Paul-Blake Griffin no longer a fragile relationship

Adam Wainwright injury leaves innings void for Cardinals

Report: Cowboys not in running for Adrian Peterson

John Angelos, Orioles got it right with Freddie Gray protest

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

Mark Cuban and the inevitable playoff peril of the Mavs

Wizards made Raptors look bad while remaking themselves

Previewing Game 7 showdown between Islanders and Capitals

WATCH: Rick Carlisle tapes mouth shut so he can't rip refs

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the quarterbacks

Greg Hardy faces teammate, Cowboys locker room leak

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jon Jones facing felony charge

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.