Don’t be surprised if nauseatingly nice Tiger still leaves with all the booty

2010-04-08 00:00

GOLF hasn’t had this much coverage since, well the last scandal involving the man attracting all the attention.

So the man is back, swaggerless in front of the media, but you can bet your bottom dollar that things will change come Sunday if he has even the slightest whiff of another green jacket.

Were it anyone else, making the cut would have been considered a major achievement.

But this is Tiger Woods.

When quizzed about what his target for the week was during Monday’s rather elaborate press conference, he gave the answer that only he could give.

“We gonna go out and try to win this thing.”

There were no giggles, no gasps and certainly no follow-up questions from the packed gallery.

The golf world knows that Woods — despite his now very public list of shortcomings — swings it like no other on this planet.

Though his actions off the course have positively dropped jaws the world over, one must wonder how good this guy can be if he actually devotes all his attentions to the right kind of holes.

I would rather not revisit the 12, 13 or 18 bits on the side he had.

We have all had enough of those details.

Woods says he will be nervous when he tees off at just after 8.30 pm (SA time) tonight.

If he is nervous, then his rivals will be just as twitchy. No one else would dare bring their ‘B’ game to the hallowed fairways of Augusta and expect to get away with it.

This year’s U.S. Masters has suddenly taken on a whole new level of importance — and not least because there are those who have dared to believe that Tiger Woods has lost his aura because he lost the plot in his spare time.

I read an interesting article in the UK Daily Mail this week, which listed a few geniuses and their own list of vices.

The writer suggested that Woods’s transgressions probably kept him sane, much in the same manner that Beethoven found comfort in Hungarian wine in between penning his masterpieces.

He went on to say that without that escape, Woods may actually fall back into the pack and struggle to reach the same dizzy heights he scaled before his spectacular fall from grace.

I would beg to differ.

Woods cut a figure very ­refreshed and at ease with life, going on about his love for the crowd, and how much he appreciates being back among friends.

It was all becoming rather nauseating, especially when he went on about the number of hugs he had received from fellow players.

But that would have all been part of the perfectly packaged PR exercise to get the flimsy fluff out of the way very early in the week, thus allowing the world’s best golfer the time to hone his rusty skills.

It is rare that golfers hit the ground running, but those closest to him have suggested that he is swinging better than ever.

The Masters has never needed hyping, what with its stuffy traditions and extremely back-dated policies.

That, in many ways, is why the green jacket remains the most elusive piece of clothing in sport.

It doesn’t go with any shirt you may wear on every other week of the year, but this week it sits like a chunky chain on a pimp’s bright pink suit.

Tiger has four already, but do not be at all be surprised if he is helped into a fifth one by Angel Cabrera come Sunday night.

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