It’s a really nice day here in Virginia with the temperature in the upper 60′s and lots of sun. I was out walking this morning when Zachary came by and so I cut the walk short after three or so miles. We sat out on the deck for awhile and talked. Zachary is doing his Honor Guard training at the Coast Guard base up in northern Virginia. There’s quite a lot of physical training, weight lifting and discipline involved in doing this. You have to be able to stand absolutely still at attention for two hours or more. The attention to details in your appearance is incredible. And then they have drills where they throw rifles (with bayonets attached!) to each other while their boss is in the middle of the toss. Many have scars from these practices.
I can really see a difference in Zach in the last few months. He seems calmer in a way. And more confident. I was thinking about this while watching Tiger Woods playing in the Masters the last few days. I have always liked Tiger and admired his incredible golfing talents. But he hasn’t played well this week and he’s at plus two today in the last round. Watching him play Friday on Masters.com was a real treat. Nick Faldo said at one point that Tiger had lost his mind. He hit an errant shot to a par three hole, dropped his club and kicked it a good distance. One report says he may be fined by the PGA for doing this. I wasn’t bothered by his drop shot as much as his several “G.Damn’s” after other bad shots, echoing through the galleries on this Easter weekend, no doubt offending many church goers as well as (we might assume) the Deity Himself.
Tiger could really benefit from learning to control his emotions. He’s not the same player he was a few years ago. He has had some serious injuries. Life has bitten him in the butt a few times. He can still win from time to time but I don’t really think he has come to terms with the aging process. And he seems to have a problem with greed. He wants things to be the way they were and he should be happy he experienced a level of play almost every golfer in the world will never experience. Once. In a way it’s similar to his desire to have a girl in every city (apparently) and a perfect family at home. That’s way over the top. It’s greedy. It’s childish.
And watching him on the golf course this week was like watching a teenager who shouldn’t be trusted with the keys to the car. Tiger needs to redefine the nature of the competition. It’s not about shooting the lowest score anymore. It’s about deciding who is going to win in the contest between the man and his negative emotions. If Tiger is as competitive as he says he is then I’m surprised he has lost so many times when it comes to dealing with this most basic challenge.
I’ve been watching Rory Mcilroy this week and he hasn’t played particularly well either. He finished up a poor round yesterday and gave his playing partner,Sergio Garcia, a hug because he also had a lackluster round. There’s a sense of calm about Rory as he makes his way around this venerable golf course. Although he is years younger than Tiger he is, in effect, much, much older. And he’s clearly a winner. The jury is still out regarding Tiger Woods, the child prodigy of golf.