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Not out of the Woods

eldrich woods, Golf, the Masters, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Eldrich

"I'm trying as hard as I can, and sometimes things don't go your way, and that's the way things go." --Eldrich Woods

After winning his first major championship following eleven straight winless majors, Eldrich Woods appears to be on the cusp of another run. Things are starting to go his way. But, he's not there yet and we should enjoy it while it lasts.

In spite of Eldrich Woods' amazing career thus far, I am not a fan. This is not to say that I don't enjoy watching him swing, not at all; I, quite simply, don't like him as a man. Eldrich Woods is dynamic only from the tee at number one to the green at 18; outside of golf there is nothing intriguing about the man himself. In addition to being the master at Augusta, he is also the master of every boring sports cliche ever spoken. In other words, Eldrich is about as candid as a mafia informant with lockjaw.

Eldrich has never used his celebrity status, the bully pulpit so to speak, to do a whole lot of good for anyone. His motivation, or so it seems, is simply money--money and records. When was the last time you heard Eldrich Woods throw his name behind a serious social issue? (Keep in mind that we aren't talking about Allen Iverson here, Eldrich is a graduate of Stanford University.)

I will make it easy on you, never.

Since Eldrich has become the greatest golfer in the world, he has never once stuck his neck out for anyone or anything. That is, unless you consider appearing at a golf clinic every once in a while. Memo to you, Eldrich, our kids in the inner-city don't need golf; they are in need of proper housing, healthcare and education. Act on that, my friend, or at the very least speak on it. Eldrich has been the least compelling of the "superstars" in sports in this generation, of this I have no doubt.

Asking Eldrich anything, golf related or not, will earn for the questioner a few fleeting moments of idle chatter about swing changes and 'A' games. Never once have I heard Eldrich answer a question with an original answer, one that could not have been written prior to its posing. This is how a typical Eldrich Woods press conference sounds:

Anonymous Golf Digest Reporter: Eldrich, how well did the course here at Augusta set up for you? And, how did the rain affect your game?

Eldrich Woods: I like the setup here; I think it fits my game well enough for me to be successful. I didn't quite have my 'A' game, and it just wasn’t good enough. The rain? Well, rain is a part of golf. I think the rain puts grass in a good position to grow. (Close-up on Colgate smile)

Frank Nobilo, Golf Channel: Eldrich, do you think the changes you have made to your swing over the past couple years might enable you to make a run at the Grand Slam like you did after you made the changes to your swing in 2000?

Eldrich Woods: I like my swing right now; I think it will put me in the best position to be successful in tournament play. I don't have my 'A' swing just yet, but it's still probably a B+. (Close-up on Colgate smile)

David Feherty, CBS Sports: Eldrich, should a top ten finish at the Master's in such dramatic fashion be enough for you to retain your world number one ranking?

Eldrich Woods: I'll let those who make the world rankings worry about that. I like my game right now; I think it has improved enough to put me in a good position to be successful in the world rankings. (Close-up on Colgate smile)

Johnny Miller, NBC Sports: Eldrich, how do you reconcile in your mind the love you have for the Masters and Augusta National when you consider how exclusionary the Club continues to be toward minorities and women?

Eldrich Woods: I don't agree with your characterization. I saw a black man working the ball tent on the driving range all week. I was showing him and his kids some of the swing changes I had been working on. It really put me in a good position to verbalize some of the changes in my swing. (Close-up of chagrin on face transitioning to Colgate smile)

Johnny Miller, NBC Sports: Eldrich, could that “black” man have been Vijay Singh?

Eldrich: No comment.

Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated: Eldrich, you seemed a little less than comfortable having to dress Phil Mickelson in a green jacket earlier today. Is there still a little animosity between the two of you?

Eldrich Woods: You know, Rick, Phil's a great player and a great Masters champion. Our involvement in the PGA Tour has put us in a great position to be acquainted with one another. We have a great relationship.

Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated: Well, why the obvious awkwardness at the ceremony today?

Eldrich: I already answered your question. Thanks guys. (Exits)

In other words, no substance, no candor, no humor, no affability and no endearing qualities; Eldrich's personality is simply non-existent. Add all of that up and we have ourselves the equivalent of a day spent watching paint dry. And, if that weren't enough, Eldrich actually has the inherent ability to make even golf boring.

When he was at his best, Sundays at major tournaments were nothing more than coronations--the tournament having already been decided the day prior. Eldrich would simply tee off with an iron, play to the fat portion of the green and two-putt for par. I certainly don't blame him for wanting to win tournaments, but boring is still boring. Soon, as Eldrich's golf game again resurrects itself, golf fans will be privy to more of the same. And to think, for there was a time when I thought we were finally out of the Woods.
Published: 2006-04-11
Author: Jared Field

About the author or the publisher
I am a graduate student with a BA in Political Science. I am currently about halfway done with my MA degree in Social Science at the University of Michigan in Flint. In my free time, I operate a web-based basketball publication in my home state for which I have received press credentials.

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