Farewell to the Greatest of All Time (GOAT)

Tiger is the GOAT.

Just like Michael Jordan is for basketball. Just like Maradona is for football (sorry, Pele), just like Usain Bolt is for track and field, just like Federer is for tennis.

And sad as it is, the curtain drops.

I recall when Michael Jordan called it quits (the first time, let’s forget about the disastrous comeback ok) – I was really into basketball and I wasn’t bad at it. I represented my school, so can’t be that bad. I had a really good jumpshot and I played good defense, but I was horrible at decision making. So I kinda made the team but never really played because I never listened to the coach. Anyway – I HATED the Chicago Bulls. I hated them. They were too good. I mean, if you see Jordan scrambling down court, with Pippen at his side – my God, it’s like watching Leonardo Da Vinci paint the Last Supper. It wasn’t basketball. It was art. And for some weird reason, I hated the fact that they were so good that everyone was an underdog to them. Even when Utah Jazz faced them back in the 97 finals – everyone thought John Stockton and Karl Malone had a chance. None. They were like schoolboys. We pitied the Utah Jazz. They weren’t just outplayed, they were put in a Baby Bjorn by Michael Jordan and carried around with shit in their diapers.

So when Jordan said, I was done, I am playing baseball – we were like, great! Finally!

But guess what – we started to miss him horribly. Nobody came close to Jordan. And credit to Kobe and kudos to Duncan – nobody ever has come to replace Jordan. He is the GOAT of basketball.

And now Tiger.

When Tiger started, everyone thought he would open the door to more diversity in Golf. Back then, golf was played by a bunch of fat, out of shape and useless, racist white people like Fuzzy Zoeller. Tiger was the Great Black Hope. I am not racist. I am using the term from boxing “Great White Hope” – which is technically somewhat racist, as it refers to any white boxers that can beat a guy called Jack Johnson (who was African American).

But now, the end of an era is here. And we are still stuck with a bunch of white people except that they are not out of shape and probably no longer racist. Has golf progressed over the years?

Yes, I think golf has reached out to many young generation, and the only reason – I use ONLY, not ‘one of the main’ – is Tiger Woods. Like Jordan, Tiger transcended the game of golf. He became bigger than the game. Unlike Palmer, Player, Nicklaus or anyone before then, Tiger represented golf to the world, not just to the elite. And I picked up the game because of him. Because golf was cool. Now golf is no longer cool. Jogging is cool. Cycling is cool. Golf is a waste of time for many of the upcoming generation.

When Tiger opted out of the next two tournaments, we knew the end is here. Sure, he might play a few more majors here and there, but as painful as it is (and those who follow Gilagolf knows I am a rabid fan of Tiger’s) – I have to admit – enjoy this moment. We will never see another golfer like Tiger ever again, so in this twillight of an amazing career, we bid ode to the Greatest of All Time. We will miss that Sunday Red and those fist pumps. We will miss the amazing shots that seemingly are magnetised to the hole. We will miss those ridiculous chip shots that can only happen in movies. We will miss those domination of other players, that destroyed Ernie, Vijay, Retief, Phil’s legacy by them always playing second fiddle. We will miss the super-humanity of one person playing this game that we are all tragically addicted to.

Goodbye, Mr Woods.

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