I’d like to welcome Tiger Woods back to Augusta, and thank him for raising interest in the Masters Tournament and golf itself.
Many in America think we here are a bunch of Gullahs, rednecks, boondockers and backwoods funny-talkers. They’re right. We know pine trees and peaches; pastures and ponds; and chicken and pigs – and we’re proud of it. We also know churches and clubs; fairways and greens; and azaleas and roses. We are the new South.
I’m glad Woods and all the great players will come. Georgia and South Carolina bloom and boom every year during Masters Week. A victory here lifts not only Woods’ standing but pride and excitement among many who otherwise consider golf elitist. I hope Woods surprises us with a win.
We understand the past couple of years have not been Woods’ best. Altercations, separation and rehabilitation has brought him challenges and change. I thank him for making it through. Difficulty and uncertainty visits all. That’s life. Controversy and conversation is inevitable when you’re in the spotlight. Whether he likes it or not, he’s considered a black man, not half-Asian or some other persuasion. He must live with it.
We can’t solve all our own problems, and neither can Woods. However, for all the pride and joy he brings, we extend appreciation and hope he enjoys everything we have to offer. Good luck, Tiger!