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Please, Don't Ruin The Masters
By kickntrue on 4/5/10
By Matt Snyder, ClubSG Contributor

Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.

With the first major of the PGA Tour season about to start, I am taking a moment to look back on the year so far. It has been an exciting season on Tour thanks to a bunch of different guys. First of all, Fred Couples, who is a favorite of anyone who has ever watched golf, is playing great. He’s dominating the Champions Tour and has also been among the leaders numerous times on the PGA Tour. Another crowd pleaser, Ernie Els, has restored his ability to compete and is reminding everyone that he still has what it takes to win. The “Big Easy” is a dedicated father and a gentleman who carries himself with class and charisma on and around the golf course. His swing is like poetry in motion and it’s next to impossible not to cheer for him. Then there’s John Daly, who is more prevalent in the game of golf than he has been in several years with his Loud Mouth pants and his own television series on the Golf Channel. His golf has been a little shaky, but it certainly shows signs of life in the near future. Those of us who are still believers in Daly and are cheering for his success have had many opportunities to see him play, as well as gain some insight into how much golf still means to him via Being John Daly.

This element of parody is what makes sports exciting and fun to watch. It is always great to see new names and faces achieving success and challenging the top players to be better.

All that being said, I think the most exciting thing about the PGA Tour season thus far has been the success of the younger and newer players on tour. We have seen a lot of names like Prugh, Villegas, Johnson, Na, Holmes, Mahan, and Fowler who are in the top twenty on the money list and competing for titles week in and week out. We’ve also seen guys like Ryan Palmer, Chris Couch and Steve Marino, who have seen flashes of success over the course of their careers, making a case that they are a threat to win every week. This element of parody is what makes sports exciting and fun to watch. It is always great to see new names and faces achieving success and challenging the top players to be better.

So, what does this have to do with the Masters. Well, it is my fear that the Masters will mark the end of many of the good things that have existed in the season thus far. Of course, I am referencing the return of Tiger Woods. So far this season, all of the drama that surrounds Tiger has been kept separate from golf. If you watch SportsCenter or the news, you can find Tiger there every day. But, if you watch golf, you haven’t had to see or hear too much about Tiger. You have been able to watch all the great talent that is out there without the distraction that is Mr. Woods. For golf fans, like myself, who watch golf to see great golfers hit great shots and not to see every shot of one man whether he is in contention or not, this season has been a reminder of how much the PGA Tour has to offer. I hope that all of you have taken advantage of the opportunity while it lasted, because it is all about to change.

This tournament is legendary and timeless. The tradition runs as deep as the golf course is beautiful. I hope that all that is not lost this year because of the transgressions of Tiger Woods and his pathetic lifestyle both on and off the course.

I hope that I am wrong about this. It would be great if the coverage of the Masters was not totally ruined by Tiger’s return, but the odds of that are not very good. This tournament is legendary and timeless. The tradition runs as deep as the golf course is beautiful. I hope that all that is not lost this year because of the transgressions of Tiger Woods and his pathetic lifestyle both on and off the course. The game and the tournament deserve way more respect than to have all the greatness that is golf and the Masters shoved to the background by the return of someone who has disgraced the sport in all the ways that he has. From his inappropriate and selfish manners on the course, to the now well-known short falls of his personal life, Tiger has smeared the game of golf from the gentlemen’s game that it once was.

So, to the mainstream media, please do not take away all the great things about the PGA Tour and the game of golf that we love so dearly just because Tiger Woods has chosen to return to golf this week. Show us the incredible scenery, the great shots of all players, and the history that surrounds the Masters. Remind us that these are gentlemen that are trusted to keep their own score and call penalties on themselves. Mutual respect for each other, the courses, and the fans is understood by 99% of the players. So, show us them instead of the 1% who don’t understand it. Look, I know Tiger means money and ratings and I understand that he will dominate the headlines. But, I also understand that there is plenty of time and room for all the great things about Masters’ week to be covered as well. It is my hope that those responsible for bringing the Masters into our homes will also understand that. Show the casual viewers of the game that immaturity, profanity, anger, disrespect, and unfaithfulness are not what golf is all about and that those characteristics will not be the cover page of such a rich and respected tournament like the Masters.


* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.


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[ comments ]
The Devil says:
The masters has proved over many years that the tournament is bigger than any one man (Just ask Gary Mccord) or one TV channel. Whilst I am sure that we all do not agree with their policies; they have for many years, provided all us mere mortals with a great event. I hope and trust that this great game will prevail. Tiger has been missed by the game and the business that is golf, I am sure we are to be treated to another amazing event.
4/5/10
 
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