Commentary: Do Other Golfers Resent Tiger Woods' Success?

By Bob Barry, Sr. | THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 15, 2001 | Go to article overview

Commentary: Do Other Golfers Resent Tiger Woods' Success?


Bob Barry, Sr., THE JOURNAL RECORD


Bob Sr.:

How do you measure success?

It would be a little too strong to say that other golfers resent Tiger Woods' success, wouldn't it? Or would it?

There is no doubt about it that the other golfers feel something about Tiger Woods' golf game and how he goes about playing that game. But is resent the word to use to describe that feeling? As a former president of the United States said, It depends upon what the meaning of is, is. But in this case we focus on the meaning of the word resent.

That word, resent, has an interesting history. The current meaning of resent according to the dictionary is: To feel indignantly aggrieved at. But you know what ... for a time ranging roughly in the last part of the 17th century to the second half of the 18th, the word resent referred to a gratefulness and appreciation as well as injury and insult. Resent has also been used in other senses that seem strange to us, such as to feel pain or to perceive by smell. The thread that ties the various definitions of this word is that it refers to the notion of feeling or perceiving.

Wow. For a sportscaster that was quite a journey into the cerebral. But it makes my point. There is no doubt that many golfers on tour resent Tiger Woods. This young kid has come on the tour and taken it over. He is several cuts above all but a handful of the pros on tour.

Ernie Els is a nice a gentleman as one can be, but when asked point blank if he would like for Tiger Woods to win the U.S. Open if Els doesn't, Ernie, with his very nice manner, finally said, No. I hope one of the other guys come to the front.

But while I think Els and many others do resent Woods' success in certain aspects, they also are grateful for his taking golf to so many people in the world that before looked upon golf as an elitist sport. We could use all the current and former definitions of the word resent as we go down the list of golf pros currently on tour. There is the appreciation that Bob Jr. writes about. The purses are up because of Arnold Palmer in his day and now because of Tiger Woods. There are many golfers who just thought they were about to reach the top, who now feel the pain of knowing they have a long way to go to match the work ethic and precision of Tiger. In each of these cases, the word resent is proper depending upon how far back in the word's history you want to go.

There is an old sports cliche that a certain athlete smells victory or in the case of my golf game just smells, but it will be a while before we see another golfer or any other athlete perform like Tiger Woods does when he smells victory. He can't win them all, and I'll bet he resents that.

Come on guys. Come on you youngsters who think golf is so easy because Tiger makes it look that way. Have a go at the greatest individual game ever invented, golf. No doubt you will resent that little ball for not going where you want it to.

Bob Jr.:

No. It'$ Tiger'$ Succe$$ful trail ...

I don't think any of the pro golfers resent Tiger Woods' success. Why? …

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