I used to really look forward to writing about Tiger Woods.
His sustained dominance for the first decade-and-a-bit of his professional career was a pleasure to both watch and cover.
Not so these days. Now, writing about Tiger is like reporting on the clean-up after the party. Perhaps that stands to reason. After the thrills, the spills – right? More than anything, though, it’s a sure sign of how good the party was that anybody cares what happened when the lights went up.
Tiger Woods has never been an 'other good golfer'. That's what makes his downfall so compelling.
Not everybody does care, of course. I get that. “Why are you still writing about Tiger?” they protest. “There are lots of other good golfers, you know.” Yes, I know. But Tiger has never been an ‘other good golfer’. That’s what makes his downfall so compelling. Sad. Surprising. Even a little bewildering. But, above all, compelling.
This Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Woods’ most recent competitive round, back surgery having sidelined him ever since. The subsequent 12 months have been like watching a house of cards collapsing in slow motion.
Maybe we're just waiting for Tiger Woods to have his "Nicklaus at Augusta in '84 moment".
You see it start to wobble and lean but, even as the first few cards give way, part of you remains convinced that the structure will hold. You know better, of course. You know such an outcome is improbable. Impossible, even. Still, you’ve become accustomed to seeing the boundaries of ‘impossible’ stretched, scaled and redefined by ‘incredible’ that you anticipate another moment of dumbfounding brilliance.
So, maybe that’s where we’re now at with Tiger Woods. Maybe we’re just waiting for the final act, his “Nicklaus at Augusta in ’86” moment, the moment we’ll reflect upon when he walks – as now seems customary – across the Swilcan Bridge for the final time.
Then again, maybe that’s just me, determinedly trying to convince myself that more of Tiger's brilliance is yet to come. That the house of cards is made of stronger stuff. That there’s another party to go to. That there’s one more story to look forward to writing.
Alexandre Dumas, the great French writer, once declared: “All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope.”
In that case, consider me waiting and hoping. That’s all any of us can do. The rest is up to Tiger.
With any luck, the next 12 months will be significantly better than the last.
Just last Sunday, the first Olympic golf gold medallist in 112 years was crowned and, wouldn’t you just know it, he was British. Something to celebrate, right? Well, for most people. But how many tweets do you think the BBC’s prolific tweeter sports editor Dan Roan posted about Rose’ success?
Look, it’s not for me to tell other people how to do their job – far less the BBC Sports ed – but this seems a remarkable oversight by someone who has been all over these Games like a rash. Then again, I shouldn't really be surprised. This is the same guy who had nothing to say when, in April, Danny Willett became the first English winner of the Masters in 20 years. Which begs the question: what's your problem with golf, Dan?
Still on the Olympics, how fantastic (if a little surreal) was it to see Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar on the podium in Rio?
It was such a good moment… which could have been ever so slightly better.
Their respective medals were presented by Craig Reedie, the current chairman of the World Anti-Doping Association, who just so happened to wear an R&A tie to the proceedings.
How does having Craig Reedie, the chairman of WADA, presenting the medals grow the game?
The R&A, of course, was largely responsible for golf’s return to the Games, its former chief executive Peter Dawson now serving as the president of the International Golf Federation, which, in tandem with the International Olympic Committee, helped to deliver the Rio contest.
For years, the R&A has trumpeted the “grow the game” message. In fact, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to describe it as the unofficial motto of Olympic golf.
So answer me this: how does having Reedie - indeed, any 'very important person' - presenting the medals grow the game? Instead, why not have young Brazilian golfers doing the honours? You know, pass the torch and all that? Plant the foundations for a legacy? Grow the game? An opportunity missed.
This week, I have been… wondering what the hell is going on with the European Senior Tour? In 2006, its schedule comprised 19 events, beginning in March and finishing in November. A decade on, it has just 13 tournaments, three of which are majors. More alarmingly, the first regular event of the season got underway on June 3 – five months and 21 days after the 2015 season concluded. That surely cannot be sustainable. Worrying times, for sure.
Back to Rio. The Paralympic Games begin in just under a month's time. Unlike the Olympics, golf won't be a part of the programme. Another opportunity missed. #growthegame
And finally... the first round of the women's Olympic golf competition was sadly blighted by seriously slow play. Some groups took up to five-and-a-half hours to complete their rounds. That's for a three-ball.
Not good enough, I'm afraid. I ran the London Marathon quicker... and that was with a dodgy ankle.
Something for the heads of the ladies' game to think about.
Michael McEwan / The Cut Line
Log-on every Friday morning to read The Cut Line, a weekly blog by bunkered's Michael McEwan.