I went to the “Showdown in Sherwood” yesterday. This golf match was designed to highlight the “rivalry” between Tiger Woods and David Duvall. Their rivalry will take a few more years to develop. Mostly they played like the old friends they are. Let’s call it a “friendly” rivalry.
The Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers have a rivalry . At one Cleveland/ Pittsburgh game, I sat in the Dawg Pound with other Browns fans. The Dawg Pound is basically hundreds of drunk fans with dog masks on their heads, some throwing ice at the other team. Let’s call this an “unfriendly” rivalry.
The most amazing thing for me was watching Tiger warm up on the practice tee. He hit wedge shots to a green about 120 yards out. He hit that tiny little green nine out of ten times! The consistency was amazing. Of course, I’m also consistent- nine out of ten times I am in the wrong fairway. On the wrong course.
My favorite place to stand during the tournament was where the drives landed. Then you had a good look at their second shot. The Sherwood people had set up yardage markers on the ground: 280, 290, 300, 310, 320. Several times David Duvall would hit his drive and it would roll to the 290 or 300 mark. Then Tiger would hit his drive 300 on the fly and it would roll to 325. Kind of depressing to hit your drive 300 yards and some guy out drives you.
There were lights set up on 17 and 18 in case it got too dark. Actually, I prefer golfers finish in the dark. When I was twelve my brothers and I would play until you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. We’d hit the balls into the darkness and then try to find them. Here’s one! Oops, that’s a pine cone. Here’s one! No, that’s cow manure.
The fairways at Sherwood were beautiful and smooth. One fan observed that they were as smooth as the greens at his public course. He must have a nice public course. The greens on the course I play are bumpy and lumpy. When you putt, it looks like the ball has had too many drinks and is stumbling home from the bar.
I saw Earl Woods, Tiger’s dad, riding in a cart, following his son. Tiger rightfully gives a lot of credit to his dad for his success. Still, how would you like to have your dad following you around work all day?
My dad would sit at my desk:
“The phone is ringing! It doesn’t answer itself, you know!”
“You call this desk clean?”
“You aren’t going out on a sales call with those scuffed up shoes, are you?”
“Put some damn gas in the car for once. Do I look like Chevron to you?”
(c) Copyright 1999 Joe Ditzel