Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Delight in Tiger's demise lacks class

By Jonathan Bradley

Golf can be a lonely sport when things aren’t going your way, but Tiger Woods suffered through a special kind of isolation at the Memorial on Sunday.

After shooting the worst round of his professional career on Saturday (85), the 14-time Major winner was dead last going into the final day and left to play his concluding round without a partner.

Woods later admitted that resembling an amateur hacker around a Muirfield course where he has won five times was a humbling experience, no doubt made all the worse by the fact that many found it enjoyable viewing.

His split from Elin Nordegren, a spikiness in interviews and a tendency to eschew a shout of fore in favour of a different four-letter F-word, have all dented the 39-year-old’s image in recent years, but the zeal with which some are receiving his demise remains surprising.

Since turning pro in 1996 Woods has brought non-golfers and the young to the game like never before and there is a considerable case that he is the most influential figure in the sport’s professional history, yet his struggles are still met with glee.

Almost 40 and undergoing yet another swing re-invention, nobody should expect a red-clad Tiger showing the Sunday dominance of old, but no matter what many seem to think, continued scenes like those in Ohio this weekend would be an ill-fitting denouement to such a career.

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