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Woods owes nothing to the game of golf

October 17, 2004|by MARK KELLER

In the eyes of the national media, Tiger Woods can't seem to win no matter what he does.

That's not to say Woods is a loser. Far from it, actually, his stunning fall from No. 1 in the men's golf rankings all the way to No. 3 not withstanding.

Woods has been criticized for his "slump," having gone eight straight majors without a title.

He's been blasted for his break with coach Butch Harmon because his swing has not been as fluid since the split.

Now he's getting it from all sides because (gasp!) he got married!

How dare he do such a thing. Doesn't he realize what he's doing to the sports world?

Apparently, Woods doesn't much care. And you know what ... that's a good thing.

He shouldn't be overly concerned that he's gone two years without a major title. Woods has said all along that majors are tough to win.

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The problem was nobody believed him because he made it look so easy for so long. But now that others have started to win and he's stopped, should he consider it a crisis?

Does Woods need to apologize to anyone for not being as dominant a player as he once was?

No, he shouldn't have to.

However, some feel Woods is doing himself, the game of golf and sports in general a disservice by not putting all of his energy into his career.

Hasn't Woods done enough to elevate the game of golf around the world? Instead of Woods owing golf - and its fans and followers - perhaps it's time Woods got something in return.

Sure, golf has been good to Woods. One only has to look at his career earnings (not counting endorsements) to see just how good the game has been to him.

For Woods, who has achieved so many career milestones already in his young life, to be denied one of life's greatest milestones - marriage - because of the selfishness of others who only care about the golfer would be silly.

Woods has earned the right to fall in love, to marry the woman of his dreams and to spend as many of his millions as he likes on an extended honeymoon, one that Woods himself admits he's not sure when it will end.

Personally, I'd love to see Woods and his new bride stay on their honeymoon for, oh, a year or so, just to spite those who are after him to hurry back to golf.

For years, Woods has been showing other players who's boss when he's on the golf course.

It'd be great to see him show who's the boss off the course also.

(That'd be his wife, of course).




Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at keller@herald-mail.com

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