First off, I have to agree with Feherty here. Woods sort of exemplifies my riff below. Tiger is more about Tiger than country or team, or at least used to be. (I think he’s more into it as he’s aged.)

Over the course of my lifetime, for sure, the Ryder Cup has grown into a bit of a monster, with hints of overt nationalism, accusations of cheating, wildly unruly fans, and some seriously great and horrid shots under a very powerful sphincter-tightening pressure-cooking microscope. If you understand the game (it’s fabulously difficult, physics-micro-fractions from perfection to horror when hitting a ball a long way with a long stick to a very small target, yet as many different ways to to do it properly as there are golfers–it is the most naturally…”selfish” (?) of major sports), you can understand the drama. It’s a TV natural.

As for the golf, there’s always been a fascinating dichotomy to me, at least over my lifetime, in which it has been very clear to me that the Europeans play better team golf, which when you consider about 90% of golf at that level goes on between the ears, in the minds of the players, and that over the course of my lifetime the Americans have generally been considered to have the better individual set of golfers going in yet regularly get beat, and that oh yes team golf is very different from individual golf, questions are raised as to Why?

One theory that bounces around in my head from time to time is political, to blame/credit soshulism/capitulsim. Nobody ever worries too much if the Americans are down a point or two going into singles, because the American mentality is much more Randian and individually driven, and we usually kick the Yurpean asses in singles, after getting drubbed during the team play. It’s as if the Europeans lift each other up when they’re together, and the Americans aren’t quite comfortable until they’re out there on their own. At least that’s how it seems to me. And that there’s a political metaphor and scientific conclusions to be reached (that are probably beyond our current capabilities) about how national character is indeed influential in the outcome of the Event.

There is no other sport that approaches golf, and the Ryder Cup in particular, as a representation of some of the outcomes of our national characters and politics, because no other sport mixes and matches formats and teams on a regular basis as does golf, which is generally played as an individual sport.

As a possibly ex-golfer, I’m so bad now I’m considering retirement, it sure is a lot of fun to watch. Especially when it’s on a course you’ve walked, if not been connected enough to play.

I have no idea who will win.

I have old golfer’s disease:  I get to 10 feet and in and I can’t make them anymore, because in my old age I’ve accepted in my head how hard golf actually is.  My 20 year old nephew pours in 10 footers like they’re nothing.  And like I used to.

Shot 88 with a late 8 and didn’t make ANYTHING.  Closed with a nice two-putt birdie, though, after covering 515 with my first two.  Haven’t had a look at eagle on the green in a long time.  

I’m about 10 hours of practice, and 10 years of aging away from my old golfing self.  

So that’s just what I’m going to go do. Perfect day here in Chicagoland.

Hit the ball straight, preferably far, and make a lot of putts. You can win a Masters that way.

Looks to me like a comminist furriner is going to be fitted in green this year, but the first round is almost invariably aberrational.

If Rory shoots 65 tomorrow, he deserves to win or choke. If Phil hits 4-14 fairways tomorrow he isn’t going to be -4 (using the Bill Smola technique*). Tiger has no chance of going low, IMHO. Someone new is going to win. Saw an interview with co-leader Quiros and liked him a lot.

Like most cliches, “You can’t win a tournament in the first round, but you can lose it” is completely true. After 1, anything E or better is fine.

*The Bill Smola Technique is, in short, taking a very early sports score and applying a linear graph to it over time. As in if the end of the first quarter of a football game was 21-0, using the Bill Smola Technique the final score will be 84-0. The BST dictates that Rory will finish -28, and meant to be funny used appropriately.

Sometimes the idea that Tiger Woods has been driven insane by golf makes me laugh.

Of all the people in the world who’ve ever even been remotely competent at golf, Tiger Woods needs to leave his brain out of it. His golf swing. And he can’t do it. I’ll take odds on him missing the cut.

I thought this piece was pretty darned informative and insightful.

Perhaps we’re born with a limited amount of discipline. We know where Tiger used most of his up, that’s for sure.

He should go with a whole new image program: Instead of the ever-polite, passionless polished public persona he’s cultivated since he was a kid (with an awful lot of help, obviously), he should just reintroduce himself to the world and announce that he’s going to say whatever is on his mind, tell us how he really feels, and people can take it or leave it. He’ll never please lots of ex-fans again, anyway. Plus it will save him a lot of dough firing all those “handlers.” And it’s just plain easier to live life out of the closet.

It would entertain me a lot, for sure. And what else is he to me?

Woke up with a happy face this morning, got some necessary stuff done, and have a Christmas party to attend tonight. The cats are fighting for keyboard space, and life is all right.

I’ve been following Tiger’s press since he was about 14. While people are going to dismiss this as image-rebuilding, I see a little bit of his parent’s influence here. He had good parents. I’ve seen Earl compared to Todd Marinovich’s father, and it’s all wrong. Earl always made golf fun for Tiger.

And Mom has a bit of the Zen in her.

All that being said, he’s a moron if he’s not teeing it up at Augusta, and I think the rest of his life would be a lot easier if he said publicly something like, “I deserve to be divorced, and I’ll take care of my kids (duh) and my wife, and we’ll work on being good friends and parents, and when I’m a little less prone to chasing ‘big Tiger’ around, maybe I’ll ask her to marry me again. I wouldn’t have married her in the first place if I didn’t think she was more than the rest.”

Just sayin’.

*cross-posted in Balloon Juice comments, like anyone gives a shit*

Update: Dear Tiger,

We’ll know one of two things if you skip the Majors, or any Major in 2010: Either your PR machine convinced you to change your stripes (I’ll be here all week) against what it (you) was that Elin married, the baddest-ass golfer on the planet, a game at that level which requires as much skill and concentration and emotional reserves few will ever understand, or she’s somehow convinced you not to golf, which wouldn’t be a tremendously good sign, IMHO, of her understanding of or love for you.

I don’t see any good outcomes in that scenario. From a PR or personal perspective.

Get a divorce, give up the dough, and be what your image holds you out to be. A pretty decent guy, single-issue notwithstanding, great father, and great ex-husband. If you liked her the most you can ask her to marry you again, under her terms. And give up EVERYTHING you have in the second-marriage pre-nup, which as your Imaginary Agent and Closest Confidante, I would advise you not to do.

Armchair Agent

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