Golf is the most unique of professional sports.
One so gentlemanly and old-fashioned that a player would willingly help a competitor even though doing so may cost him a chance of winning.
And so it was in the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, when Tiger Woods turned a putting lesson from Steve Stricker late on Wednesday night into nine Thursday birdies.
Only twice in his storied career has Woods made 10 birdies in a professional round and, in truth, he had several good chances to at least equal that at the not-so-scary Blue Monster at Doral.
And when the day was done, Woods, who needed only 26 putts to shoot a six-under par 66, was tied for the lead.
Stricker was just a stroke back.
The irony wasn't lost on Stricker.
But the good-natured 46-year-old sees his help as merely a reflection of the culture of golf.
"It's just the nature of our game," he said.
"Although we are competitors, we are friends. And you like to see your friend do well."
And his friend certai...