Monday, August 24, 2015

This (Non) Sporting Life: Tiger Came Down to Greensboro

So it has not been a quiet weekend here in my home city of Greensboro NC as we had a celebrity of some notoriety pay us a visit for a spell. Tiger Woods came to play at our local golf tournament, currently known as the Wyndham Championship. We achieved this honor thanks to Tiger's golf game crashing into horrendous suckitude in the last year or so. So coming to play at the Wyndham and hopefully pulling home a respectable showing was his only hope of proceeding forward in the Fed Ex Cup.

Yes, this city has self-esteem issues. Greensboro's nickname is the Gate City because of it's central location in the state, making it a perfect gate way to go somewhere else. 

Yep, to the south is the state zoo and to the south and west is Charlotte NC which actually looks like a real city. To the west are the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and to the north is Virginia which we all know is for lovers. To the east are North Carolina's beautiful beaches. There are lots of things for Tiger Woods to see during his stay in Greensboro if you're willing to travel.

Don't get me wrong; I love being in Greensboro. For example, from here, I can go see our state's NFL team, the Carolina Panthers. After a mere 90 minute drive to Charlotte.

Anyway, back to Tiger Woods. He picked a great year to visit. A few years back when Wyndham Resorts took over the sponsorship of our local golf tournament, the date was moved from April to August. And everyone figured we were doomed because August is not just hot, its unbearably hot with humidity so thick you can mold it like Play-Do. Nobody was going to come to our little dog and pony golf show now.

I think our first year out with the August date, the heat was not a factor. That's because it rained the whole damn time. The next year, yes, it was too damn hot.

But it seems we've had quite a few years where the weather for the Wyndham has actually be quite mild and enjoyable. And this weekend, the weather was especially nice, totally opposite of the expectations one would have for an August weekend.

So Tiger Woods came to town. There had been hopes and wishes in the past that he would grace us with his presence. Of course, that was when he was playing good. No, scratch that. He was playing awesome, totally looking unbeatable.

But then Tiger had a fall from grace. His father died. Tiger's marriage crumbled as his infidelity was exposed. He had a falling out with his long time caddy. Tiger had medical problems, mostly with his back. And his game began to deteriorate. Wins were harder to come by, then they dried up. He was failing to make the cut to even keep playing. From a man who conquered the game of golf to a man who looked like he could barely play it anymore, Tiger Woods turned to Greensboro.

And in Greensboro NC, Tiger Woods found his game. The way he played on Thursday and Friday, it may not have been the great Tiger Woods of old but it wasn't the failure we had despaired to see struggle on the course in recent weeks. At the end of Friday, Tiger was in a place he had not been since 2013: at the top of the leader board.

Saturday saw Tiger 2 shots down from the leader but still in contention to win.

But Sunday was not as kind as Tiger Woods struggled. Davis Love III won the Wyndham Championship (making him the third-oldest winner in PGA Tour history) as Tiger's season came to an end. So the narrative did not deliver a last minute redeeming victory for Tiger but this is real life and not a movie. In real life, you take your victories where you can find them. And for Tiger, it was the mere fact that he had a chance to win, a chance that had eluded him for so long. And perhaps also counting as a victory was Tiger rediscovering the joy of the game, something that has also been absent from Tiger's life of late. These are good things to be appreciated and Tiger Woods found them here in Greensboro NC.    

Everyone, be good to one another. And thanks for paying us a visit, Tiger. Maybe we can do it again next year?

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

Oh, I'm not done with golf yet. Writing about the Wyndham Championship reminded me of my own golf tournament experience.

Tomorrow: the time I worked for ESPN. 

Lois Lane Vs. Lana Lang

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