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.