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Tiger’s threat looms large

other Updated: Jun 18, 2010 02:17 IST
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A chilly breeze swept through Pebble Beach on Wednesday, prompting players to put on sweaters and doing little to calm their fears that the seaside course will get so fast it will almost be unplayable in the US Open.

It wasn't a lot warmer in the media tent the day before, where Tiger Woods drew a standing room-only crowd of writers for the ritual dance that both he and they seem to be finding increasingly distasteful.

Questions about the state of his game and his personal life were dismissed with his usual vagueness.

"None of your business," Woods said when asked about his marriage.

It is, of course, because Woods himself made it some of everybody’s business. He was the one who tried to stop the hemorrhaging of his public image with a national television address about his affairs, and he was the one who vowed publicly not just to become a better husband but a better man.

There would be a new Tiger, he promised us all, and soon the world would see him for what he really is. The world is still waiting.

Woods tees off late Thursday in an Open that should tell us a lot about whether he can regain his edge on the golf course. He proclaims his game in good shape and seems more concerned with trying to win on Sunday than trying to make the cut on Friday. Indeed, his game may be better. Who knows, may be his marriage is, too, despite the plentiful rumors that say a very costly divorce is as imminent as it is inevitable.

But where is the better man he promised?

Not at Pebble Beach this week, apparently. If anything, the old Woods swagger seems to be back, along with the old Woods attitude. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for golf fans. Most are sick of hearing about Woods’ private life and salivate just at the thought of him playing down the back nine on Sunday at Pebble with the Open on the line.