Hey, Golf Needs Villains Too

From open.salon.com

From open.salon.com

The Masters is over but the dust has nary settled from “Dropgate,” as the blogosphere continues to explode with arguments for and against the Tiger non-DQ/WD.  I find myself disinterested in taking a position but glad Tiger played the weekend because I love to root against him when he gets in the hunt.

The purists in our game are outraged that the letter of the law wasn’t upheld but golf needs its villains too.  I love the human element in golf and put in a similar situation, would have probably withdrawn and done the right thing.  But Tiger is WAY PAST doing the right thing and actually adds interest to every telecast for fans looking for an antagonist.  This is why we turn on the TV when players or teams we hate are on.  The watch is compelling and pulling for the mighty to fall is American as apple pie.  Who doesn’t enjoy a Yankees drubbing or a Cowboys implosion (outside of the Evil Empire and Big-D respectively.)

Golf and sports are played by humans and should be officiated by humans, not fans calling into TV production rooms or by machines evaluating every camera angle of every play to ensure perfection and complete fairness.  Humans make mistakes and to remove the human element from all sports is ill-advised.  So bring on the villains, blown calls, and controversy.  It makes for excellent TV viewing and better conversation at the water cooler.

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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7 Responses to Hey, Golf Needs Villains Too

  1. photosbyandy says:

    I’m not taking a position either but the rule guys could have made it easier if they had gotten to tiger before he signed his card. Oh well!!! Im not sure if purists are a good thing or bad thing!!!

  2. Brian Penn says:

    We don’t have an issue if the rules guys were not taking phone calls from the public. Thanks Andy!

  3. your wife says:

    I enjoyed this post – good job hon!

  4. Bingo on that point Brian. The rules guy DID get to Tiger before he signed his card and said he was in the clear. It didn’t come up until the post round interview. Other than that I always find myself rooting for the underdog or the odd journeyman who makes a run at a tournament, but something in me wants to see Tiger and the big names contend. There is an intangible some of these guys posses that makes them intriguing. The rise and fall of Tiger might be one of the most interesting stories in sports history when it all shakes out. Either way it makes for great TV.

  5. Brian Penn says:

    Agreed. When the journeyman screws up in the last round of a major, like Jean van de Velde, it’s a bit of a circus. When Tiger blows up, it’s riveting. Thanks!

  6. rossdstarkey says:

    I think the Tournament committee have a lot to answer for here. They knew his drop was wrong before his round ended but did nothing. After Tiger had admitted what he’d done, then there was no longer a right and wrong conclusion to the situation. Tiger is no villain, if the committee had DQ’d him then he’d have taken it n the chin. As it didn’t he was free to carry on. In this situation it nothing to do with the player and everything to do with how and when the ruling was discussed and the penalty implemented. It was all too messy for my liking, very unlike the Masters. They should have told him before signing his card (thereby an automatic two shot penalty, clean and sorted) once they didn’t the eventually ruling was rightfully up for debate.

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