Tiger Woods’ Masters win was no tale of redemption- it was revenge | Marina Hyde

Tiger Woodss stunning return to golfs major highs thrilled as much for him sticking it to the old guard as it did for pure sporting spectacle

As someone who cried at Tiger Woods’s spectacular Master victory on Sunday– having spent years waiting for it and much of the weekend hollering quite unprintable forms of encouragement at the Tv- I advise hard-headedness about some of the reaction.

Although I have limited myself to reading just the 587 -odd articles about it all, it’s hard not to spot certain common themes. By far the most dominant is the idea that this is a narrative of redemption- that Tiger Woods has, in some not-entirely-explained style, become a morally better human than he was, and that that is a big part of why he is winning again.

Oh dear. I do hope not. In fact, I’d much prefer Tiger to be secretly worse than ever, and still winning again. You can have one without the other, whatever the High Sparrows insist. In fact, Woods did for years. Those who seek to turn the madness and magnificence of athletic into trite little parables are always to be resisted, especially when those fables are just convenient morality narratives. Woods the man has always been a matter for his family- no one else ever had any business feeling “let down” by him. Portion of the amusing, exasperating, exhilarating nature of sport is that nasty people can be wonderful at it.

Inevitably, the fabulists have been working overtime since Sunday to take ownership of Woods’s return journey. By far and away the most prevalent word to be bandied around in the wake of Tiger’s stunning comeback is “redemption”- a word which connotes a quasi-religious passage from sin to redemption. This sounds like merely the sort of story that small-state, multimillionaire evangelicals might like to tell themselves about Tiger Woods. And given what a grip these hypocritical moralisers already have over the upper echelons of this particular athletic, perhaps we should avoid assisting them in the matter.

In some ways, patently, the need for a simple fairy story is understandable. Narrative templates are the style we make sense of the much more formless tide of experience. But Tiger Woods’s journey back from both the implosion of his personal life and from serious injury and surgery is sufficiently complicated and nuanced to elude any reading of it as the “right” one. Can’t we pick an alternative to “redemption” out of the air? Can’t we make it a retaliation narrative, instead?

How about Woods’s comeback being one in the eye for all those horrendous golfing conservatives- I use the word euphemistically- who were only too pleased to write him off once his Hooters habit was discovered? As a matter of personal savour, I would have preferred it if he had been greeted off the 18 th on Sunday by a couple of cocktail waitress. But you can’t have it all.

Furthermore, I can only celebrate anything that Woods has ever done to disappoint what the Augusta National Club represents. His first Master victory, in 1997, came simply seven years after the club had admitted a black member, and may consequently be judged to have been a terrible upset for much of its old guard.

Tiger
Tiger Woods’s victory was greeted by pandemonium in the crowds, but followed by Augusta’s traditional, muted Green Jacket ceremony in Butler Cabin. Photo: UPI/ Barcroft Images

Even now, there is no more skin-crawling sight in golf than the Green Jacket presentation in the wretched interior of Augusta’s Butler Cabin, a place of staggering charmlessness and aesthetic demise. Here, competitors who have achieved sporting triumph have to sit obediently on twee dining chairs while some dreadful commercial real estate lawyer( the chairman) informs them at remorseless duration that they have been a “worthy” champion over the past year, or that the club is pleased to bestow upon them something they literally only won.( Incidentally , no Masters TV viewer can imagine devoting a millionth of a toss what” the club” feels about anything- because the club surely couldn’t give one about them. Augusta despises ordinary golf fans so much it can scarcely stand to give them a glimpse of its tournament. The sheer sum of period viewers are expected to spend watching a shrub or listening to birdsong, until they deign to prove you some scores or even some actual golf, is the most naked illustration of upper-class disdain in all of world athletic .)

One of the great annoyances with Timbers in his pomp, for some, was his refusal to come over all Muhammad Ali, and use his victories to attain pronouncements about racial inequality in America. He was simply the greatest golfer in the world, but he wasn’t a spokesman for anything other than extremely high-paying commercial brands.

The only time Woods did afflict the comfy, then, was when his non-apple-pie personal life was discovered, and the golf-industrial complex duly forced him into a series of most amazing actions. There were months of inpatient sexuality addiction therapy, which forced the game’s most impenetrable mind to “open up”. And then there was Tiger’s formal, televised apology for his infidelities, easily the maddest golf-related moment of the past decade( unless you count the Trump presidency ). Should you have forgotten the detail, this took place at the PGA Tour headquarters , no less, at a rostrum and in front of precisely the same kind of blue curtain they use for White House press conferences. There was an audience of spectators- including Woods’s disapproving mom in the front row.

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It was shortly after this mindboggling horror demonstrated that Woods told his old coach-and-four he was, from now on, going to play golf” only for myself “. Quite right too. But the idea that he had to be” a different man” to win again on Sunday is cobblers, and precisely the kind that would appeal to the hardline PGA Republicans who are baptised in Disney World swimming pools. I do hope Tiger Woods maintains beating them, until they are able to no longer kudo him even through gritted teeth.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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