With the month of March quickly coming to an end, people across the country are packing away their winter wear and surveying the aisles at malls and department stores in search of the newest spring fashions.
Although I like the warmth of the sunshine and the ability to wear shorts and flip flops on a regular basis, the weather reports are not what have kept me in the habit of picking up the Kearney Hub on a daily basis and tearing open the front page like a child opening presents at Christmas-time.
What draws my attention and has me teeming with anticipation is the fact that spring not only means enjoyable weather, it also signifies the fact that golfers around the world are hitting the driving range in preparation for the Masters Tournament that will be held April 8 through 11 at Augusta.
The tournament is not only the Super Bowl of golf, but also one that will mark the return of the sport’s favorite and most controversial son, Tiger Woods.
In a press conference held last Tuesday, Woods made it known to the public that he has planned his return to the sport, which is a moment I have been looking forward to since his scandal-ridden leave of absence in mid-January.
“The Masters is where I won my first major, and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta,” Woods said during the conference.
His decision will no doubt bring forth many jeers from fans across the world, especially due to the fact that the tournament is one which requires only one thing of its participants aside from the ability to swing a club and knock a little ball into a hole: They must have a penis.
The Augusta National is an all-male tournament, meaning the Michelle Wies of the world will have to once again sit this one out.
There have already been reports of female protesters citing that Woods’s decision to return is one which suggests a continued lack of moral standing, and many have problems forgetting the fact that Woods refused to boycott the Master’s Tournament only a year ago for its refusal to allow a woman to play in the tournament, a decision made ironically to keep Woods out of the oft judgmental eyes of the controversy-hungry media.
Although this decision is one that is slowly coming back to haunt him, especially after his exploits in dalliance and infidelity, people need to remember that Woods’s mere involvement in the game, let alone his prowess, is a positive mark for the sport that at one time only held color beneath the weight of a bag of clubs on a caddie’s shoulders.
When the tournament kicks off in a few short weeks, there is no doubt in my mind that all eyes will be focused hard on Woods, and although it is near impossible for him to play the course without any jests and jeers, I say it’s about time we let Tiger out of his cage so he can get back to doing what he does best, which is continually changing the face of golf.