Roger to Tiger: Don’t Look Back

Serbia's Novak Djokovic shouts during his men's final match ...
Too bad Novak Djokovic didn’t choose to play golf. Don’t they have golf courses in Serbia? Why didn’t someone tell him tennis just isn’t that hot any more – at least not as hot as golf. Maybe if someone had, we just might have another reason to watch golf.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel blessed to be able to witness Tiger Woods’ inexorable march towards greatness. Unprecedented greatness.Woods so dominates his sport that any discussions about his potential no longer include “if,” but “when.” Experts have stopped even wondering if he’ll break Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major championships.
And after Woods won his 62d tournament on Sunday – capturing the Buick Invitational as if he was the only one with keys to the car – to tie Arnold Palmer for fourth place on the all-time list of tournament victories, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks he won’t someday eclipse the mark of 82 wins held by the late golf icon, Sam Snead.


Even Nicklaus and Palmer simply sit by and chuckle, content at the reality that any days when they might have been considered “best ever” to play the game are long confined to dusty archives.

Shoot, now I’m wondering if Tiger Woods just night be the most dominant athlete ever.

If Djokovic had picked up a sawed-off nine-iron rather than a tennis racket, maybe we wouldn’t be wondering who’ll ultimately come along and take Tiger out. Let’s face it, everyone of his era is done.

Much of the world rooted for Phil Mickelson to be The One until he pulled a duffer-knucklehead move and yanked a driver out of his bag when he had the U.S. Open won and yanked it into the next county. Haven’t seen him since.

Vijay Singh made a nice run a couple of years ago, but Tiger is golf’s Eveready Bunny. While Phil and Vijay, Ernie Els and a few others have had moments when they seemed as if they might be worthy rivals to Woods, they all faded to being merely good while Tiger kept going and going and going…

For the last several years, Roger Federer has dominated tennis like his BFF Tiger owned golf. But just last year, the gregarious Serb emerged with a hint of change. He was brash, funny and had serious game. He wasn’t intimidated by Federer’s resume and he had the skills to counter Federer’s gifts.

In head-to-head matches, Federer still leads Djokovic 5 matches to two. But D-man has won two of the last three, including an almost surgical straight-set dismantling of Federer in the semis at the Australian Open. On Sunday, he took four sets to defeat the equally interesting Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, to win his first Grand Slam title.

The days of a Federer v. Somebody (usually Rafeal Nadal) Grand Slam final are no longer a given – thanks to the engaging Serb and the intriguing and personable Tsonga (who might even compete with Nadal for the biggest guns on tour). And tennis just might be better for it.

Golf should be so lucky. Instead, we are simply left to watch Woods click off the tournament and major wins one-by-one and guess what numbers he’ll leave in the record book.

Oh well, poor us. Hook up the TiVo, tell your kids to watch, and enjoy. It won’t ever happen again.

Tiger Woods reacts as he stands on the 16th tee during the final ...
Yes, he DOES think this is funny!



3 thoughts on “Roger to Tiger: Don’t Look Back

  1. Eddie says:

    with a few more slams Roger Federer may go down as the greatest tennis player of all time. Even though he didn’t win the Australian Open, he still has a few more slams left in him. The French belongs to Nadal, but you never know. Wimbledon is his favorite surface and should bag that one. The US Open will be interesting. I think Roger has been spoiled due to all the success he’s had lately. This loss my spark that fire again. Go Roger! You are a great tennis player and a super person.

  2. R. Pick says:

    Hey Roy, just writing to thank you for the writing advice you gave me! Also, I wish your friend Mike Wilbon a speedy recovery!

  3. anglhugnu2 says:

    Tiger is the Baby Boomers Elvis! He is effortlessly spiritual! His image on TV is pleasing to the eye. He is a peaceful person living out his life’s passion during a very complicated and difficult time for the slowly aging and dying male Baby Boomers; looking for the energy they remember so well from likes of Connors and McEnroe.

    What American MALE tennis player will be the next US Open Tennis Champ? What American MALE tennis player will be the next Wimbeldon? Herein lies the reason American male (and female) boomers refuses to watch tennis? Americans love their male leads. And, since there does not seem to be likes of a Jimmy Connors or John McEnroe in the near future, the TV numbers will be down in tennis in comparison to golf.

    While I love watching Tiger play golf on TV I am always chuckling at how Boomer sports announcers and Sports networks fawn over Tiger’s every move as a young lady to Elvis. An recent ESPN highlight showed Tiger’s ball sitting in sloppy bogg of water and grass. They next show Tiger seemingly chipping the ball up onto the green near the pin out of that sloppy bogg of water and grass. BUT, the lie Tiger had to hit that shot was not the same lie that was originally shown. He had had a drop out of the hazard. The lie was remarkably improved. While still a difficult shot, the illusion (the lie) of what Tiger accomplished was enhanced. Thus the Boomers Swoon to be Like Tiger.

    Any slug will tell you the wear and tear on a body playing on the professional tennis circuit is far greater than the wear and tear on a body playing golf. While both sports require discipline the tennis intensity and focus of energy and force upon the body in tennis is unmatch in golf.

    For the Baby Boomers golf is a slow sport, with pleasing views, and Tiger Woods to boot. Let’s face it Roy, when you get older you choose anything slower and a pleasing views. BUT, unfortunately you seem to miss out watching women’s golf with Anika. BUT, you can not seem to identify with greatness on her level. WHY? You would look silly in one of them skorts (that’s a skirt and shorts combo). šŸ™‚

    So Roy, there is NO competition between golf and tennis these days. Its all about The Boomers. And, as the Boomers get closer to the grave, they are hoping the plot is somewhere near a golf course where Tiger is playing; just so they can say “he touched the ground I walked on.”

    Play through!

    Author of IM with God

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