Tiger Is So Good ... He's Boring Us to Tears

By Douglas S. Looney Senior sports columnist of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 28, 2000 | Go to article overview

Tiger Is So Good ... He's Boring Us to Tears


Douglas S. Looney Senior sports columnist of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Enough time now has passed to enable us to clearly understand the enormity of Tiger Woods's sweeping triumph earlier this week at golf's British Open.

What we understand is that it was boring. What we further understand is Woods is making the entire PGA tour repeatedly boring. What the magnificence of Woods's play is doing is demonstrating that too much success, too much excellence, and too much brilliance can paint a picture not of vibrant reds and blues and greens but one of drab browns and grays and blacks.

It is the oddest of dichotomies.

After all, we admire enormous talent. Tiger gives us that. But we also admire - and want - exciting competition in which the outcome is in doubt until the last possible moment. Tiger is taking this away from us. He gives us coronations instead of competitions. Alas, he is too good. He is a glorious peacock among scuffling mud hens. He has won an incomprehensible 13 of his last 23 tournaments.

Pro-golfer Tom Watson says of Woods, "He has raised the bar to a level only he can jump." Proof of Watson's perceptiveness is in the numbers. At the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, Woods never was threatened and won by eight shots, 19 under par. Second place finisher Ernie Els conceded even if he had played the best he could, he couldn't have shot 19 under.

At the US Open at Pebble Beach last month, Woods didn't simply beat the best golfers in the world, he humiliated them in a 15-shot victory. Jack Nicklaus is regarded as the best golfer ever. But Nick Faldo says he believes that Woods is "probably stronger than Nicklaus was."

Faldo was asked when he would win another major tournament. "When Tiger retires," he said.

Woods is the first person to hold three of the four major championship titles - the PGA, US Open, and British Open - at the same time since Ben Hogan did in 1953. He's only the fifth golfer to win all four majors, which includes the Masters. The others were Hogan, Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Gene Sarazen. Yet, Woods is spoiling everybody's fun - fans as well as other players. But the key lies not in Woods but in the other players. …

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