I had been looking forward to watching the 2009 Masters for, oh, about nine months, roughly the period between Tiger Woods’ knee surgery and his return to his favorite stage of all in Augusta, Ga. Who knew we’d end up getting a rare golf doubleheader, and in this reference I am not referring to the couple of extra playoff holes?
I allude, of course, to the seemingly two separate stories provided Sunday afternoon with a delightful 56 minutes per hour from Hootie and the High Rollers (he’s now chairman emeritus): 1 – The main story, the battle between Tiger and Phil Mickelson, which was a heckuva story for about three hours before winding up with a wildly unsatisfactory “golfus interruptus” ending; and then 2 – The actual Masters’ leaders, battling for a little over an hour and then into a playoff.
I don’t know about you, but the whole proceeding left me with a kind of odd, empty feeling. Nice enough finish, with Cabrera prevailing, but the celebratory quality of having the first Agentine to win the Masters isn’t quite as endearing as it might have been to have had the Kentuckian Perry nail it down on behalf of old geezers and good ole American natavists.
One suspects that the unique staging of the Sunday version of the 2009 Masters is nothing more than the understandable unintended consequence from the nearly unprecedented situation of having a player who is almost larger than his sport. I say “nearly,” because the NBA faced a similar problem at Jordan’s peak, and that enterprise managed to find a way to go on once its marquee name ultimately stepped off the stage.
Golf, too, will survive once Tiger finally gives it up some years from now, but in the meantime it’s kinda fun to watch the accommodations that end up taking place as the sport tries to undertake the difficult balancing act between the two behemoths.
Sidebar: On the same morning that the country was lauding its newest Masters champion, a judge in Saudi Arabia upheld an earlier court decision that it would not annul a marriage between a 47-year-old man and an 8-year-old girl. Sure makes our curious antiquated views on women (still no Augusta members, thank you) seem like pretty small potatoes. And no, I am not suggesting there’s a moral equivalence between the two, but merely noting that when it comes to clinging to discriminatory, outdated foolishness, it’s the underlying notions about the fairer sex that bind us, even to the mullahs.