Actually, it doesn’t appear like Tom Watson is a big fan of Tiger Woods in general. It might even be fair to say Watson feels Tiger has sullied the pristine image of golf. Back in February, he called for Tiger to “clean up his act” and “show more respect for the game” — which apparently Tiger has taken to heart and pledged to improve.
Asked at last week’s Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am for his thoughts on Tiger’s performance at The Masters, Watson replied, “Tiger, he’s a great player, that’s what he is, a great player. Phil’s victory was special and emotional, real feel-good. It certainly was a counterbalance to the rest of the week with all the Tiger mania that was going on.”
In other words, Tiger is a great golfer, but a terrible human being. Specifically, Watson was appalled at the extra security detail flanking Tiger’s side:
It’s a shame to see Woods out on the [practice] putting green with I don’t know how many security people around – 30, 40, 50 – on the green. That’s not golf. That’s not the way we project ourselves.
Yes, you read that right — “project.” (At first glance I thought it was a typo and he meant “protect.”) Basically, in the most respectful (read: passive aggressive) way possible, Watson wasn’t keen on the sideshow Tiger’s comeback presented. (Image is everything!) Now I wasn’t there, but I’ll take a huge leap and say “30, 40, 50” might be a slight exaggeration. Perhaps it’s the nice way of saying he’s not a Tiger fan and the added muscle further distracted from the sanctity of what’s supposed to be pure and sacred at The Masters.