Monday, August 17, 2009

Death and taxes

We are back to death and taxes. We had added a third item to the list, but took our eraser to it yesterday. Tiger Woods leading a major going into the final round no longer equates to an automatic victory.

We knew, somewhere in the recesses of our mind, that this day might come. Tiger has 'only' won about 30% of the tournaments he has played in as a professional. (forget that there is no one on today's tour even remotely near him in percentage of wins). He missed the cut recently in the British Open while that other TW (Tom Watson) stole his place in the spotlight.

But, just because there was a statistical understanding of the impossibility of his NEVER losing when in the lead of a major, doesn't make it feel any less surreal to be confronted with Tiger's golfing mortality.

The best ever tag is a heavy one to lug around with you, especially when the expectations are so high almost from the moment of your birth. He was a phenomenon at 3 and has remained a phenomenon for 30 years. It wasn't that he didn't know how to lose, it was that he always knew how to win. Victory seemed to follow him around the course. It has now abandoned him, maybe only for the briefest of moments.

He still wins with incredible regularity. It often appears these days that he is somehow not nearly his best even in victory. Yet, one wonders if this is the beginning of the end of the dynasty. For the first time since 2004, no major titles were part of this year's collection. Beaten in the PGA by a much lesser light, in a mano-a-mano struggle, only reinforces the 'concern'.

Only time will tell if Tiger will lick his wounds and come back even fiercer next season. In the meantime, there is one less certainty in the world.

No comments: