The Masters as Morality Play

So Phil won and Tiger didn’t, and while Elin was wherever she was, Amy and the kids were on hand for the group hug.  The CBS eye welled up.

"Until next time, amigo..."

It would be easy to portray Phil as a saint and Tiger as a sinner, but one isn’t as perfect as we’d like to paint him, and the other is what he is, which is easier to see when his people are powerless to protect him.

You can believe good triumphed over evil if you’d like, but the simple reality is they are two men at the very top of their profession who are vicious competitors.     

That’s what I watch for.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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12 Responses to The Masters as Morality Play

  1. James says:

    Gerry – Even after all of the Tiger-hype of the past 6 months, I was surprised at the morality play that was imputed to the Masters this time around. Golf, in the end, is all about 1 person vs. the course. There is certainly a competitive aspect as well as an emotional factor associated with it. But as was said in Bagger Vance, “the game cannot be beaten, it can only be well played.”

    The Masters has always been the first among equals when it comes to the major tournaments, IMO. As Sunday morning came around, my thoughts were: Could Tiger pull off another of his incredible come-from-behind wins; Would Lefty crash-and-burn again at Amen Corner; or Would some new contender like Lee Westwood break through?

    However, if Tiger won, it wouldn’t end his moral and marital problems, and if Lefty won it wouldn’t end the medical problems his family is currently dealing with. They are life problems that exist outside of the boundaries of the game of golf.

    I will admit feeling glad that Phil and his family were able to celebrate the win together. And if Tiger had won, I’d have been in the same positon that I’ve always been where he’s concerned – admiring the skill he’s shown but unable to warm up to him as a human being.

    So I guess the outcome was a win for all concerned. Those people who despise Tiger got to see their villan defeated in front of the world, and their (newly adopted) hero win. CBS and Augusta National, got record viewership. And for those folks who love golf, they got to see one heck of a final round.

    • Gerry says:

      Nice job, James.
      As a former sports reporter (before they made multi-millions), I’ve pretty much learned to admire the skills of accomplished athletes and disregard the rest, which really doesn’t concern me.

  2. Wendy says:


  3. Steve says:

    I was having a difficult time trying to explain to my wife why it would not be a disappointment to me if Tiger found a way to win on Sunday. James eloquently explains what I could not.

  4. James

    Thoughtful take on all this. And the Bagger Vance reference is spot on. If a fiction writer were to have written the script, Tiger would have won by a stroke, then would have had a stroke, and died on the 18th green.

    The way it ended wasn’t bad. Phil’s always an unlikely hero. A likable hero. Uncomplicated. A regular guy.

    I like him. And like so many of the friends I’ve had, the jury’s still out on Mr. Woods. Love him? Loath him? Toss the coin and see which side faces up.

    Tied for fourth at the Masters. That’s a perfect game, in its way. For Tiger. Now.

    Phil. We LIKE you!

    Faint praise.

  5. Gerry:

    They almost did it. I’m not talking about westwood or choi, i’m talking about cbs. When the competition left me speechless, they couldn’t stop talking — insisting upon pushing their storyline — as if the golf was not drama enough.

    Then, just when i thought it couldnt get any worse, the high point became the low point. As Phil clinched it, nantz actually said ‘a victory for family!!!’. (yes, btw, that would be the same jim nantz whose divorce recently went to trial) Are you kidding me?

    No surprise your post would be right on. The parmfarm loves the Brooks file. 😉

    • Gerry says:

      And right back atcha.
      Nantz’s declaration that it was a “victory for family” made me want to throw up. But I feel that way about athletes who credit a higher being for helping them win. I prefer to believe that any and all higher beings have better things to worry about than a game.

  6. Li'l Em-Kel says:

    Ah, but nothing can compare with the pathos, the drama, the triumph and exhileration that characterized the “Presentation of the Green Jacket.”

    TV just doesn’t get any better than that, right?

  7. Dee says:

    I agree with all the sport for sport sake talk, but there’s nothing like some heart in a game. The players are human beings not avatars. Good vs. evil and good wins – yay! Righteous! Of course the story is still riveting even if the reverse were true. It’s the stuff of good theater.

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