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With Tiger Woods not playing golf, hopefully we will not hear a rowdy shout of "get in the hole" when the ball is struck from a tee hundreds of yards from the green.
Today, there is increasingly a whole new breed of golf spectators who were accustomed to contact sports such as football. They react to golf tournaments as they would a football game, especially those individuals who crave attention to themselves.
Tiger is the world champion player and has developed a large following. His fans identify with him as do those in other sports. Some are tournament neophytes and do not understand appropriate behavior for a golf tournament. Included in these are rowdies who shout "you the man!" and "get in the hole!"
Tiger Woods has been taught to play to win, and win he does. He plays all-out physically and emotionally to win the tournament. When he scores a winning putt, especially in a close game with his adrenalin high, he celebrates in a taunting unsportsmanlike fist in the air manner.
To some spectators he is the football player who just broke through the line for a touchdown which activated their football-style behavior. It will be interesting to see if Tiger’s self-imposed absence from the game will affect his and his fans’ tournament behavior.
Lee S. Bowers