Tiger, This Time You've Gone Too Far

June 25, 2000

Tiger, please stay seated during the presentation. Besides, the
more you move, the more the ropes will burn. Now, all of us in
this room want to say a few heartfelt words to you.

Uncle. Give. We quit.

We admit it: You play golf better than anybody who ever lived.
Nobody--not even J.W. Nicklaus--had this much game, brains,
heart, touch, power and fire under one hat. You may not end up
dominating as long as he did, but he was never at this level.
Period.

You're absolutely killing golf. Every tournament you play is
about as fair as the volcano versus Pompeii. Every tournament
you don't play becomes the Pensacola Moose Lodge 2-Ball. The
network guys are dying. Televising a Tigerless tournament is
like broadcasting a consolation jayvee game. Or Tuesday morning
at the Laundromat.

You're torturing the other players, too. You win the Masters by
12? Not possible. You win the U.S. Open by 15 at Pebble Beach?
Unthinkable. Your next major--three weeks from now--is the
British Open at St. Andrews, where you'll be able to drive all
the par-4s, many of the par-5s and half of Edinburgh.

No, nuh-uh, nope. From now on, Tiger, we're going to even things
up a little bit. By this we mean specifically:

Leg irons. These'll cut that pretzel follow-through of yours down
a little. You averaged 305 yards a drive on Saturday at Pebble.
Either leg irons, or we break out the Gillooly stick.

That little trick you do, bouncing the ball on the face of your
wedge and then hitting it? You'll have to do that on all your
drives from now on, O.K.? You may lose some distance, but think
how good you'll get at it!

New tees. You will be slightly farther back than everybody else,
but it'll be nothing you can't handle. On the 17th at St.
Andrews, for instance, you'll hit from the 15th tee. At Troon.

We're also going to change your tee times a little. Don't worry,
you still get 1:40--only at night now. Let's see how those new
LASIK eyes of yours read rye in the dark, slugger.

We've also taken the liberty of replacing your entire staff with
some choices of ours. Ready backstage?

O.K.! Meet your new swing doctor, Jim Furyk! Sure, Furyk's swing
looks like an ampersand, but he's certain you'll be used to it by
the Senior tour.

Meet your new sports psychologist, Long John Daly! He's no good
at giving advice, but with any luck you'll be addicted to M&Ms,
Winstons and Jack Daniel's by August, and it won't matter.

Your new accountant? Roberto De Vicenzo! True, he sucks at math,
but he makes a wonderful sangria!

Your new love interest? It's former Tour wife Deborah Couples! As
you can see by the Yogi Berra hug you're getting, she has lots of
energy and a terrific vertical leap. Unfortunately, she has a
very expensive new hobby: house collecting.

Now, there'll be some rule changes you need to memorize.

For you only, there's the USGA's strict new three-club limit, our
choice on the three. Let's see you shoot 272 with a driver, a
seven-iron and a Hebrew National wiener, kid!

You may have a little trouble adjusting to the new two-shot
cussing penalty, too. That's per word, by the way, so you know
that little Redd Foxx blue streak you strung together last
Saturday on the 18th tee box? That would've cost you six shots.
Might be a new ad campaign in it, though: JUST F---ING DO IT.

Speaking of which, your new agent, Ivana Trump, has canceled all
your endorsement deals and signed you to some new ones. Your
clothing contract now is with Woolrich (nice and toasty for the
Southern-states swing!). Your ball is the new ultraspin featherie
from Nerf. Your shoe deal is with EZ Spirit high heels. (Hey, the
spikeless movement is dead anyway.)

Look, we had to do something to even things up. Nobody since
Wayne Gretzky has dominated a sport like this. Good men are
turning into puddles at your feet, like snowmen in Phoenix. David
Duval just mumbles. You've left Ernie Els in second place three
times this year. Besides, we've got six warehouses full of those
TIGER VS. SERGIO T-shirts we need to start moving.

So let's untie you and get you started with your new physical
trainer, your old friend Fluff! He's immediately putting you on
his 25-crunches-a-day program.

True, he means Nestle Crunches, but they work for him.

COLOR PHOTO: DANA FINEMAN/SYGMA

You're going to have new tees. On the 17th at St. Andrews,
you'll hit from the 15th tee. At Troon.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)