10 THOUGHTS ON TIGER WOODS WINNING THE 2019 MASTERS

  1. Caddyshack – When I was in high school, I worked as a caddy at a private golf club. A majority of the caddies were African-American kids trying to make some pocket change. The club had zero African-American members. The members were nice, but we were always treated like the “help”. Working there I never imagined a golf player like Eldredge Tiger Woods.
  2. Poetic Justice – Tiger won his first Masters at age 22. He then dominated golf for the next nine years. This old caddie felt like justice was served.
  3. The Heavyweight Champion of the World – I see a lot of similarities between Tiger and Jack Johnson. They were two black men who dominated what was a white man’s sport with a swagger that enthralled and angered the masses. Both men were taken down by their sexual indiscretions. You can also include Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson in that narrative.
  4. Last year at this time – I was hoping for redemption for Tiger. He was in the hunt and then things fell apart again. Things had been falling apart for the last nine years. He suffered many injuries and appeared to have lost his edge. I still remember his comments about getting his buttocks to engage in his swing. I wondered if a day like today was going to come.
  5. The Day Came – It was Tiger’s first win at a major tournament in more than ten years. I remember the last time he won was the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines beating Rocco Mediate on one leg.
  6. 15 & 3It was Tiger’s 15th major win. He needs three more to tie Jack Nicklaus.
  7. Five Green Jackets – It was Tiger’s 5th victory at the Masters. Fourteen years after his fourth.
  8. There is a First Time for Everything – It was the first time in his career to win a major championship when he was not winning after 54 holes. He had been close in the past, but never closed the deal until last week.
  9. A Family Affair – I remember Tiger winning the Masters and hugging his father. I also remember when Tiger won the Masters shortly after his father passed. Those were touching moments. Seeing Tiger hug his kids after winning on Sunday brought tears to my eyes.
  10. Implicit Bias Sucks – Earlier last weekend while I was leaving my son’s baseball game, I saw a black man taking his son to a lacrosse match. Ironically, I had all sorts of thoughts about this guy and his son playing a white man’s game. I had to put my implicit bias in check and say maybe this kid will be the Tiger Woods of lacrosse.

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