Tod Leonard reminds us that Jim Mackay deserves plenty of credit for his work as Phil Mickelson's caddy, something we'd appreciate more if a certain announcer wasn't talking all over the Mackay-Mickelson conversations Sunday.
I guess I can see Steve Elling's point in praising Billy Payne's unexpected Tiger smackdown, even though I don't think he was the one to deliver the message.
One New York writer said Payne was a hypocrite, but he missed the bigger point. Unlike PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who has said nary a word condemning the destructive actions of his top breadwinner, Payne felt strongly enough about Woods' tabloid-filling actions to make a strong stand, knowing full well that ANGC's policies and history would again be called into question. For that, I give the club even more credit.
Mark Cannizzaro offers yet another example that the criticism of Tiger is growing more pointed by the day:
Mickelson's stock is decidedly up; Woods' stock is down.
Mickelson has everything right now; Woods has nothing but his money.
Mickelson is the most embraced figure in the sport; Woods has become toxic.
Mickelson has won two Masters since 2006; Woods has not won one since 2005.
Mickelson is revered; Woods is ridiculed.
Mickelson is wanted as a guest on all the late-night talk shows; Woods is the most popular butt of the jokes being told on the late-night talk shows.
Mickelson comes off as a real human being who cares as he looks people in the eyes, signs autographs and interacts with them; Woods comes off as unapproachable and enigmatic with a constant force-field of handlers surrounding him and keeping everyone at bay.
Mickelson is a big tipper, appreciative and generous with the millions of dollars he makes; Woods, the first billionaire in sports, is notoriously cheap.
So it seems cruel that Mickelson, who seemingly has everything in life, has been forced to struggle with cancer in his family.
Woods, on the other hand, would appear to have everything yet right now he seems to have nothing.
Elling also offered this in his all-Masters Up and Down column that also includes a funny Urban Meyer story:
In case you missed it, there was a telling incident -- actually, two of them -- on the same hole during the crucial moments of the final round that underscored all anybody needs to know about the mental wiring of the game's two greatest active players. Standing on the right side the 11th hole, a fan was hit hard in the left shoulder by Woods' sliced tee shot, leaving a large red mark. Woods wandered into the trees, never asked what had happened, and scraped out a par. Not 10 minutes later, Mickelson's tee shot hit a fan standing right next to the man Woods had plunked. Mickelson asked if anybody was hurt, and when he found the fan he had nicked, signed a golf glove and gave it to his unwitting victim. When asked if the fan said anything, Mickelson cracked, "Ouch?" Small wonder that the majority of the populace seemed to be rooting harder for Lefty on Sunday.
And Ron Kroichick joins the ever-expanding Tiger &^%$ list:
-- Quick conclusion based on Woods' first tournament in five months: He hasn't changed at all. He's still hot-tempered on the course and still a picture of narcissism off it.
One example: Saturday, after his third-round 70, he was asked if he could appreciate how cool a Masters this was becoming, given Watson and Couples and Mickelson's back-to-back eagles. The question was prefaced with, "I know you're preoccupied with your game, but ..."
Woods stared stoically ahead and replied, "There's a lot going on. I'm four back."
It's all about Tiger, all the time.
Preston Sparks follows up with the owner of the banner-flying business cited by the FAA at Augusta, who reveals he also got a call from the club.
Besides the FAA inspection, Miller said, "I had the Masters calling me personally begging what it would take to make the airplane to go away."
A club spokesman confirmed Tuesday that a call was made to Miller, requesting he not fly over anymore because the banners weren't in good taste.
Seems they got the plane back up and flying around Augusta yesterday with new banners.
Bill Simmons, who yesterday had visions of Billy Payne and Jim Nantz making out, interviews Nantz on his podcast and Nantz tells some great 1986 Masters stories. He also brings up the way Butler Cabin turns Nantz to "JELLO."