Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Why Tiger Woods should stay away from the Masters

Tiger Woods. Photo / AP
Tiger Woods. Photo / AP

Brr, brrr..., brrr, brr.. . "Hello."

"Tiger, it's Steve; yer old mate Stevie Williams. I know it's been a long time and there were a few issues between us and whomever was between your sheets but this is a new chapter.

"Adam's on a bit of a hot streak so he's in good nick besides I'm only caddying for him occasionally these days.

"How about we have a reunion ticket around Augusta. It might be as popular as Trump south of the border but we were the business, we were the billboard for the green jacket drama.

"Let's give 'em a taste of the old one-two. Not that double whack you gave the fire-hydrant but those epic strikes you made on the back nine when we were under the other pump.

"Mate, if you're up for it-sorry ready to smoke it-sorry just ready, let's go tee it up for the 80th Masters."

Listen to the Tee Time Show with Kent Johns and Phil Tataurangi

That sort of conversation is as likely as Arnold Palmer fronting up for the ceremonial tee off at Augusta with old adversaries Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

Palmer has said no dice this year and I hope Woods says the same.

If he turns up and takes his place in the field as a former champion after eight months out of the game because of multiple back surgery, it will be a circus.

Television networks will wet themselves about crowds flocking to get a glimpse of Tiger and the golfing ghouls they will satisfy with concentrated coverage of the 14 times major winner.

That's where the Masters hits a glitch for me. Parading former champions, lauding their achievements and recognizing their place in the game is fine.

However the bulk of the coverage should be on those whose games are pushing the sport to new ceilings, players whose feats thrust them into the headlines rather than the novelty shows of past champions.

Tiger in his pomp, you betcha. Tiger after several months of concentrated practice in his special indoor Florida practice room, no thanks. I don't like watching fading stars decline even further in public.

Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Scott and others are the men pushing their games and the sport to new levels. They play with a fierce and unrelenting energy Woods brought to golf when he was fit.

Maybe the networks can offer a Woods feed on one of their multiple channels then we can make our own decisions.

- NZ Herald

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