Musings and Mulligans

Roy Lang III is The Times Assistant Sports Editor. He played golf at Centenary College. He has covered six major golf championships and also covered last year’s Ryder Cup. As an added bonus, both Hal Sutton and David Toms are on his speed-dial.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Early 2008 thoughts

So here we are, already a month into the 2008 golf season. What have we learned? Not much has changed.
Tiger Woods' success is officially mind-numbing.
It's sad, because I don't think anyone is impressed by what he does anymore. We complete our three-part installment with Hal Sutton in the paper tomorrow, and it's focused on the direction of the PGA Tour.
I have never subscribed to the theory that Tiger Woods' domination would eventually send golf fans packing. I still think sports fans enjoy dominant players and teams -- but only to a certain extent.
The thing is, we've never seen this type of domination -- ever. In any sport. And I've turned the corner a bit on this. Since Woods has taken is domination to an unheard of level, I DO believe fans are becoming bored with it in a way.
As I said earlier, pretty soon, nothing Tiger does will impress. People will only look at the events he doesn't win and ask, "What happened?"
That's not good. In golf, it's impossible to win all the time -- althought Tiger's going a long way to test that theory.
It's already clear that no one cares two you-know-whats about the events Tiger doesn't play in -- already a sign of fans' apathy. Events used to be judged by major/no major, the level of prestige and the purse money.
Now it's simply, "Is Tiger playing."
I can see Hal Sutton's point about the future being in doubt. Relatively speaking. Tiger may very well be pushing fans out the door every day. I tell you one thing, I appreciate what he does and I'm thrilled to know I'll be able to say I saw him play in his prime.

Other notions
Phil, Phil, Phil:
Awesome gesture to give the father and son Super Bowl tickets. However, John Holmes, sorry J.B. Holmes dusting you in a playoff probably won't help in your next showdown El Tigre.

Ian Poulter: Come on man. Don't say ANYTHING that can be misconstrued as a knock on Tiger. It's just not smart. My tactic would be to shower Tiger with love, but in the back of my mind make myself believe I could take him down. The old keep your friends close and your enemies closer rule.

David Toms: Starts outside a guaranteed spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team for the first time in a while. Season didn't start well in Arizona, but then again, he hasn't played since the fall, so a rough start was likely. It would be tremendous to see him back in the Winner's Circle again this year. Unless he shoots 80 all year, he's a lock to be a captain's pick of Paul Azinger.

Richard Oliver: Who? If you don't know, he's one of the great minds in sports, especially golf. And he's a friend. He loves his work with the San Antonio Express-News and it's evident here in his blog. Bookmark it.