Any doubt about who is the “idiot” on the subject of Tiger Woods’ performance in the U.S. Open has been put to rest by no less an authority than Jack Nicklaus.
Golf’s all-time greatest … pending further development of the Woods legacy … was quoted in yet a third Chronicle (this one in August, Georgia, home of the Masters) as follows:
“In light of this week’s revelation about Tiger’s health, it makes his performance in the U.S. Open that much more phenomenal. I have always said that the U.S. Open is the most difficult and complete examination of a golfer, and for him to persevere with a damaged knee and stress fracture is a testament not only to his ability, but his tremendously high level of competitiveness.”
Nicklaus also observed:
“To have a will as strong as that, I take my hat off to him.”
And thus we have, on the one hand, Gwen Knapp: “Tiger Woods is an idiot” …
… and on the other, Jack Nicklaus: Tiger Woods is “phenomenal”.
End of discussion.
For the complete AP article in the Augusta Chronicle, see:
… you believe the San Francisco Chronicle’s would-be sports columnist Gwen Knapp, who starts today’s column with this startling assertion:
“Tiger Woods is an idiot. A mesmerizing, peerless, incandescent idiot. If he’d used his head at all, he would never have entered the U.S. Open last week ….”
The only idiot in this piece is Gwen Knapp, whose prose is neither mesmerizing nor incandescent, though she is peerless in her lack of understanding of what makes a great athlete. Tiger’s victory in this Open was an inspirational example of courage in the face of adversity, a concept Miss Knapp is obviously incapable of comprehending.
With this performance, Tiger joined a small group of extraordinary athletes, exemplified by San Diego Charger Kellen Winslow against the Dolphins in the 1981 NFL playoffs … LA Dodger Kirk Gibson in the 1989 World Series … Mary Lou Retton in the 1984 Olympics … New York Knick Willis Reed against the Lakers in the 1970 NBA Championship game … and the Boston Red Sox’ Curt Schilling against the Yankees in game 6 of the 2004 ALCS.
The stuff of legend. If Tiger never takes another swing, this exceptional win will be the exclamation mark at the end of his amazing career.
Knapp’s entire column can be viewed on the SFGate.com website at:
For another view of Tiger’s win … in a Chronicle of another persuasion (the Houston variety), see:
In this column, a sportwriter … Jerome Solomon … who understands and appreciates the significance of Tiger’s accomplishment, offers his perspective, which starts with the question … “How special was Tiger Woods’ victory at the U.S. Open on an injured knee and bum leg?”
Solomon answers his own question … “With all he had going on – at the most difficult tournament of the year, on the longest course in major-tournament history – Woods was like a one-legged-man in a you-know-what kicking contest. And he still kicked everybody’s you know what.”
And concludes: “… if you’re really curious about how special Tiger’s performance was – tear your ACL, then continually twist your body around with the force that comes to a locked left knee on a golf swing that generates more than 130-mph clubhead speed. Or forget the ligament. Just have someone hit you in the shin with a bat every so often – for five days. Actually, save yourself the pain and accept that this ranks among the great “injured athlete” performances of all time. ”
Yes, Mr. Solomon … and Miss Knapp … it surely does.