Reflecting on the Masters

An unbelievably exciting Masters concluded this weekend with history being made by Charl Schwartzel with his record finish of four birdies in a row, Rory McIlroy’s excellent play through 63 holes of the tournament, and Tiger Woods charge on the front 9 of the final round. The depth of skill (aptitude) during Sunday’s round was exceptional. However, is the golfing public more enamored with aptitude rather than attitude?

Replay the interviews with Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods following completion of the round and tell me who you would rather join for a friendly game, Rory or Tiger? As Christine Brennan wrote in her Monday column for USA Today newspaper, “Tiger’s uneven play is only part of the story of his confounding comeback from his unprecedented fall from grace.

His uneven behavior is another part of the conversation, and it unfortunately doesn’t seem to be getting better, either. Woods’ demeanor bordered on the terrible when shots weren’t to his liking this week. He pouted. He pounded his club into the ground. He walked away. He swore. And when he finished his round and didn’t like that, his answers to interviews were just as bad. (His CBS appearance Sunday has to be one of the 10 worst in sports history by a superstar). All this from the man who vowed last year to change his ways, to behave better. Perhaps he had his fingers crossed at the time he said it. Were Tiger 12 years old, you’d send him to his room.

Since he’s a bit older, perhaps he should be made to watch a tape of how McIlroy handled his embarrassing 80 – with grace, dignity and an appreciative smile. We learned a few things about Tiger in this, another major loss – chief among them that the new Tiger is as unpleasant as the old.

No amount of great golf can change that.” Couldn’t have said it better, Christine. I guess the old adage plays out – if you want to know the true character of a person, play 18 holes of golf with them. So Tiger, want to improve your game? Try improving your attitude first, and your aptitude with the tools of your trade should return.

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