Accolades to the Associated Press’ Tim Dahlberg for his factual article appearing in the April 7 Augusta Chronicle. Finally, someone developed a backbone in portraying Tiger Woods for his unprofessional attitude, behavior and character qualities that so many people only quietly talk about.
Mr. Dahlberg got the “foul-mouthed, club-kicking” correct. Include club-slinging. It’s not a good example to follow for youngsters learning the game. This is the type of professional-athlete behavior you see in baseball, football or basketball, usually carrying a possible ejection, monetary fine, suspension or all of the preceding.
Mr. Woods is a skilled golfer and a “sort of” apologizer, as AP’s Jim Litke indicates. But a professional attitude, behavior and expectations in golf should never be compromised in favor of skill or crowd appeal.
Defined as “a gentleman’s game,” golf is distinguished by integrity, sportsmanship, honor and dignity, which have been upheld by true gentlemen – Bobby Jones, Sarazen, Nelson, Snead, Hogan, Palmer, Player, Nicklaus, Elder, Floyd, Sifford, Watson, Crenshaw, Norman, Faldo, Couples, Ballesteros, Singh, Mize, Mickelson, Westwood, McIlroy and others.
I’ve followed the Masters Tournament and golf since the 1950s. In 62 years, I don’t recall the gentleman’s game of golf ever being embarrassed or tainted by any professional, as Tiger Woods did 30 months ago when his previously disgusting behavior was disclosed. He continued to embarrass the game of golf on national television, on an otherwise beautiful Friday at the 2012 Masters.
In 1968, Masters officials enforced the ruling for signing an incorrect scorecard, denying Roberto de
Vicenzo a playoff, and a possible Masters victory and green jacket. Now, officials turn a blind eye to Woods’ behavior.
Why do the Masters and the PGA sit on their hands in silence and allow this aloof, arrogant, childlike, temper-tantrum behavior to be displayed on national television at the prestigious Masters? Why is Woods allowed to continue embarrassing golf, the Masters, the above professional gentlemen and himself?
William “Bill” Thweatt
North Augusta, S.C.