It was a line out of Sports Illustrated a week or so ago, and it was like raking a teacher's fingernails across the blackboard. It was like a screech in my ears.
It was a player who ranks 112th on the PGA Tour. A pro. A guy who plays golf for a living. From Texas. You wouldn't let your child stand in line to get his autograph. Harrison Frazar, who is not known for winning, but he's mad because Tiger Woods hasn't been out here sweetening the tournament pot.
"We need him back. We need him playing our events, not only the majors," H. Frazar said. "Why not Tampa, Bay Hill or Houston..... and places he has never been to, or been to only once?"
Well, Harrison, you poor sap, you know why he doesn't go to those places. (Oh, he has been to Bay Hill several times. Arnie spoils him there, for Palmer is a good host and likes to see storming crowds at his tournament). Tiger hasn't played anywhere in a while because he screwed up big time.
The only times he has shown his face is on his own terms, playing before his own selected audience, first in the Tiger Woods Sawgrass Recital, then twice on five-minute television mea culpas whatever that means. The CBS network, to its credit, said it didn't have time for personal commercials, especially for a guy who said, "I'll give you five minutes."
"But we need him back," came the whine from Harrison Frazar in SI.
By this time, Woods has committed to the Masters, and he will take the shroud off at Augusta. He hasn't had time to show up all these weeks in Scottsdale, in Palm Harbor, in Palm Beach Gardens, in Mayakoba, or any of those stops. Suddenly, though, he decided he could find time for the Masters. Call a timeout in his devotion to mending family life because there's a major being played in Augusta.
A MAJOR! He could set Elin and the kids aside, let his family plan take a seat in the corner while he picks up another notch on Nicklaus. Jack, you might know, has won 18 majors. Tiger has won 14, and he has his eye on Jack's lead. Of course he couldn't let this one get by.
So he'll let his devotion to family reparation take a back seat while he takes aim at Jack. While he feeds his ego. Good show, Tiger, you're giving us a good look at what's really going on inside your bleeding (ugh) heart.
I hear you're having a press conference at Augusta National on Monday, and it might break your heart, but I won't be there. I'll be tied up. That's the day my wife has me down to change the water in her fish pond. I'll catch you the rest of the week, though.
Gee, wonder what poor bloke will be assigned to the Tiger twosome or will it be a threesome?
One of them won't be Harrison Frazar, for sure. He'll have to wait to get his cut of having you back bringing glory to the tour pots.
Furman Bisher is one of the deans of American sports writing. The longtime Atlanta sports journalist is a member of the Georgia and Atlanta Sports Halls of Fame and in addition to his newspaper writing has authored multiple books on major figures like Hank Aaron and Arnold Palmer. He writes periodic columns for the Daily Post.