Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tiger Woods - When Words Fail You

Saying that a third round of a U.S. Open was one of the greatest sports moments of all time is a little like saying that the 6th inning of a World Series game, or the 3rd quarter of a Super Bowl, made history. It just doesn't make sense to say something like that.

And yet - if there is a more dramatic moment in 2008 in the world of sports than what we witnessed today at Torrey Pines Golf Course, then it will likely be provided by Tiger Woods. Johnny Miller called him "the human highlight reel." Even Tiger himself seemed incredulous at what was happening. The simple fact of the matter is that, if you saw what happened today in a film, you'd snicker, thinking "that sort of sh*t just doesn't happen in real life."

You have to put this in perspective. Think what you will about the course setups of the USGA, but they are designed to award the last man standing. You are going to suffer on a U.S. Open course, whether you win, finish 40th, or miss the cut. You are one of the very best in the world at what you do, and this course will humble you.

So...Tiger had knee surgery in April. He has not played competitive golf since the Masters. He is in obvious pain on the course, if not agony. To finish would be a testament to his will and his ability. It is not possible for a human being to do what he did on the back nine this afternoon and evening. And yet, he did it. He leads the U.S. Open, heading into the final round. Were he healthy, people would be closing the books as we speak. But he is not healthy, and thus there is heavy drama heading into the final round. Lee Westwood is just the kind of guy that is unflappable enough to shine in this kind of moment. Geoff Ogilvy is lurking. Rocco Mediate is looking to make history.

My money is on Tiger.

(AP Photo)

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