Can we just get straight to the point? We all want Tiger Woods to win. We really do. He has been this generation’s Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, yadayadayada…He’s the living legend of golf breathing upon us. But–
No. Today’s Tiger Woods is not the same Tiger Woods we knew ten years ago. No. He is not the prolific, fierce, resilient beast we knew in past years. No. He cannot drive the living daylights out of the ball and chip it from thirty feet away in the muck of cattails. No…Tiger Woods will not win the 2017 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
Mark my words…Rory McIlroy will win the 2017 Masters.
For the past two or three years, the great question of “Tiger, Phil, or the Field…?” has been casted upon us with great annoyance. It’s as if the news media [cough. cough. ESPN] had forgotten that the PGA was in the midst of promoting young, exuberant talent–and they have it! The PGA found the fountain of youth with fresh faces. A pool filled with Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Rory McIlroy has been stewing beneath our noses and we’ve simply taken it for granted. It’s as if the bartender slid us the finest sazerac and we ignored that subtle hint of absinthe that birades us with character and depth.
And right smack middle of that field of fresh blood…? Rory McIlroy. The kid is rockin’ it. Rory currently leads the 2017 PGA FedEx leaderboard, holding a top-10 spot in three of four tournaments. He already has won 13 PGA tournaments; including a US Open, The Open, and PGA Championship victories. What’s left to fill his resume…? The Masters!
Nobody can deny that the excitement of watching a prowling “Tiger” hunt down it’s prey and defeat the competition is beyond explanation of the expression. It was one of the most exhilarating things to see on a unaffiliated NFL Sunday. Nobody can honestly substitute such action. But on the flip, one cannot simply trash this new generation of Golf. The competition is at an all-time high and that was the ultimate goal spectators were hoping to achieve.
In, 2017, the field is the tight. There is no clear favorite to take home the Green Jacket.
The “gopher” whom will stand alone atop the rest of the field??? Look for a name that won’t buckle under the pressure the Augusta winds will blow upon the leaders. Look for a name that has seen success and will strive under the fire that may burn in the distance. Look for Rory.
Honestly, I would love to see a fresh face like Rickie Fowler to conquer past failures and frustrations and walk away sporting green. It’d be great for the sport. It’d be great for momentum and revenue. The slogan creates itself…“Green is the new Orange!!”
But I just don’t see it. I hope he proves me wrong but I just don’t see it.
Other favorites that strike my fancy to win but just won’t: Austrailian Jason Day, American Dustin Johnson, and my dark horse, American Jimmy Walker.
Let’s cut to the chase–it would be nice to wake up on Sunday and see the legend chase down his prey in that classic red shirt. Hell, these days I wake up on Sundays in great hope of seeing Tiger Woods within reach of contention of the leader. But those hopes come and go neglected. The fans still want to believe. They still exist and there is still a prism of trust that there still passion and fire within the talents of Tiger. But is there any heat in the fire…?