Barclays Golf: As Tiger Woods Fades, Golf Looks for New Hero

Cliff PotterCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2010

PARAMUS, NJ - AUGUST 27:  Tiger Woods walks up the fairway on the sixth hole during the second round of The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club on August 27, 2010 in Paramus, New Jersey.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It is not enough that Tiger Woods is in the middle of the end of his career. Not enough that Jack Nicklaus' record in the Majors is almost certainly no longer in jeopardy. No sensible person would find in Tiger Woods the player he used to be.

Yet many in the crowds still hope he wins. The media plays to his tune, saying Tiger Woods is back after only part of the first round of a tournament is over. And everyone hopes for Tiger Woods' real return as a winner again.

Leaving aside sensibilities about whether we need to apologize for not liking his antics away from the golf course, those who no longer root for him are considered more beneath contempt than anyone who ever criticized Jack Nicklaus. This is backed by the claim that he will come back, he will yet conquer the great Nicklaus and sit at the top of the pantheon of golf.

One blogger recently suggested that there is no point in writing about golf if the writer believes Tiger Woods is beyond his prime. His claim was based on Woods' first round score at The Barclays, which he said proved Tiger was back even before the rest of the field had finished.

Then came the rest of the round, and the next round, showing Tiger Woods too far back to make any comeback unless the field in front totally collapses.

It is easy to claim that Tiger Woods just had a tough second round. But the picture says it all. Tiger is chasing the future riddled with demons from the past. And they will not stop.

As the year presses on, with Ryder Cup and other details to follow, Tiger Woods' last chance for the Ryder Cup is probably The Barclays. And this championship is eluding his grasp. The pressure is enormous. And is not likely to diminish tomorrow or Sunday.

The PGA at one time deemed Tiger Woods a must draw. And others still see Tiger Woods as the best in golf. However, these unyielding fans must soon withdraw and find another golfer to back.

Tiger Woods certainly lost his hero position when he started chasing and sexting women. And his fall from grace is over. His marriage at an end. And the history books marred by another sports hero whose private life left much to be desired.

In the end, we must all agree that fans who continue to laud Tiger Woods as still the very best golfer are missing the mark by a long shot. He is a has-been, who has had the farthest fall from grace from the top of any sport at the fastest pace in history. The Real Truth is that he is done chasing Nicklaus and may be done winning Majors.

So it should be with fallen sports heroes.


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