By Robert Bicknell
They say that “The Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday” and this year was proof positive of that adage as Tiger Woods, starting two shots behind the leader going into the final round, fought off as many as four legitimate challengers before emerging as the winner of the 83rd Masters Tournament.
This win is Tiger’s 5th Masters victory and his 15th Major overall, which is very impressive for someone that many pundits, yours truly included, wrote off as done and dusted last year.
This win isn’t really “vindication” as much as it is a redemption.
The Tiger who won this year isn’t the same guy who won 14 previous majors and, in my opinion, that is a very good thing. In his heyday, Tiger was a rude, egotistical, arrogant SOB who felt he was above mere mortals and could do anything he wanted simply because of who he was. He had it all. He was literally bigger than the game itself until the roof caved in.
There is no reason to re-hash all his trouble and tribulations in detail. We can suffice it to say that there is another applicable adage: “The bigger they are, the harder they fall” and Tiger fell like a piano off a building. In the period of a few weeks, he lost everything. His family, a lot of money, his prestige, his sponsors and, worst of all (for him) his privacy and his aura of invincibility.
The troubles exposed him for who he was, but it still wasn’t enough to get him to wake up. It took a DUI with the requisite mug shots being plastered on the front pages of every newspaper in the world to do that. That forced him to look in the mirror and ask the inevitable question “What the hell have I become?”
It brought about a deep introspective self-examination and, obviously, Tiger didn’t like what he saw in the mirror, especially when he needed to consider how his children would see him. Faced with the likelihood of never playing golf again due to his back injury, his self-destruction was complete.
They say that you have lose to know how to win and he did just that, and then the comeback began. Not of the old arrogant Tiger, but the new one. A much better one.
One who deserved a second chance.
It’s actually quite fitting that this would take place at Augusta National, a club which is so revered that it is only spoken in terms of deep respect as one of the guardians of golf tradition.
If the Golf Gods thought Tiger had atoned for his mistakes of youth and deserved a chance at redemption, it would be on those hallowed fairways.
They say that Golf mirrors life and once again, we have proof that it truly does, but (for Tiger) the future remains uncertain, but full of possibilities.
The 20th Annual Norfolk Invitational Golf Tournament, held last weekend at The Bluffs was a huge success as invited players enjoyed two rounds of golf and some spectacular entertainment in the evening. Honestly, the band was fantastic, as was the food.
There was a slideshow featuring photographs taken over the last 20 years, and it was fun to see how people changed, me especially. Where the hell did my old self go?
The event was pure class from start to finish and one lucky player walked away with a top of the line Audi automobile (with all taxes paid) after recording an Ace on Hole 11 on Saturday afternoon despite some very heavy wind.
That’s the second auto that has been given away in the 20 years of the Norfolk Invitational.
Even moi, with arthritis in most of my joints managed to put up two of the best rounds I have played in a few years. Of course, I didn’t win a car, but just being out there with some old friends was more than enough.
The course was in tip top condition (as usual) with greens rolling at 11, so putting was much more fun. I personally think moderately fast greens are actually a bit easier as the stroke is shorter.
The Norfolk Group would like to thank The Bluffs, Grand, all the sponsors and participants for helping to make their 20th anniversary a success.