Did you hear? Tiger Woods is not playing in the Masters in 2016. Not playing also are Arnold Palmer and Fred Couples. Guess what – they are still holding the event this week at Augusta National Golf Club. Maybe it is time to stop the continued “when is he coming back” and the chase for Jack’s major record conversation.
There is no question that Tiger Wood’s place in golf history is legendary and tremendously significant. There can be no debate that for many years Tiger was the greatest talent that we have ever seen (and possibly may ever see). He was and always will be absolutely amazing. Although the decline in his golf dominance has been precipitous, I feel sure that his legacy will not be tarnished even if he doesn’t win or even play in another major. I consider myself fortunate to have been present for one of the most incredible sports spectacles in recorded history.
Tiger’s absence; however, does not signal the end to the annual spring event in Augusta nor golf as we know it. This year’s tournament is exciting in that we have a young players (Fowler, McIlroy, Speith, Day, Scott) that; inspired by Tiger’s dominance, posses the ability to hit the ball massive distances, putt like demons and get the ball up and down from almost anywhere. Alternate scenarios include Dustin Johnson realizing his huge talent at the shrine of golf or Phil Mickelson winning one more green jacket in his middle forties, just like Jack did in 1986. What if Bubba produces another miracle?
The Masters has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year and although many of us will miss the imposing figure of Eldrick Woods, this week and the exciting times that are just ahead of us will be no less a joy for many millions of golf fans.