Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shockingly, Tiger Gently Washes Away As Barnes Reaches New Heights

Yet, spectators in the gallery surrounded Tiger Woods, obsessed with the world’s greatest athlete. But Mr. Woods isn’t the world’s greatest athlete we are accustomed seeing.

If many think this year’s U.S. Open is electrifying, well I assume its meritorious thinking it’s a wonderful tableau, with Tiger’s and Phil Mickelson’s subpar play on the fairway.

Rain delays battered grip, but part of playing on the beautiful greens are dealing with the elements. Reportedly, folks were standing in the gallery, dealing with Tiger’s surprising washout. Ever since, the rain-out on the first day of competition, he never formed into propriety, and collected more bogeys like someone collecting mementos.

Thus far, there are no extraordinary interludes like a year ago at Torrey Pines, when Woods appeased our souls with a memorable and thrilling win over Rocco Mediate in an inconceivable spectacle.

Without sunshine overseeing Tiger’s pursuit of 15 major titles, heavy rains slowly has washed out his title optimism.

But much sunshine beams for the surprising arrival of a 28-year old. He goes by the name Ricky Barnes, a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, and is relishing his greatest experience in his lifetime. He wears a painter’s hat on the soggy course of Bethpage Black and is grasping his greatest professional tournament, advancing pass only two cuts in a major tournament. In the third round, Barnes played as if he was near home, and back on Arizona’s campus, where he emerged into golf’s biggest scene. And he played as if he was at Arizona National.

Yes folks, those were the days when trouble was abound the professional tour of golf.

Oh yes! Those were the days.

Alright, so he’s six-years late in his career, but it’s never too late for Barnes to capture his first major title, nearing his first if everything goes solid in the final round, which resumes Monday morning. Six years ago, it wasn’t noticeable ranking Barnes among the greatest of golfers, but now he’s soaring and living up to expectations through 54 holes.

In the start of the fourth round, mental lapses hurt Barnes’ six stroke lead, still becoming the fourth player to reach double-digits under par. That is a minus 11, following darken skies, sounds of horns and suspended play, of which he had to finish another impressive day with an even-par 70 and a one-shot lead of Lucas Glover.

Fortunately, darkness interrupted and hindered further damage of heinous bumbles. It avoided obviously another eerie shot off the tee and a costly bogey. More important, he’s atop the leaderboard with the final day left to decide and vindicate if he’s the worthy one of the Open.

Aside from, Barnes’ inspiring stories, the more inspiring and noteworthy tale was supposed to be Tiger vs. Phil, an America ritual that defines golf’s mystique. In majors, Eldrick Tiger Woods will be embraced for some memorable wins, but now it seems uncertain.

In the year of his rebirth, after missing eight-months recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, he was expected to have a dominant year. There was no other player out there who could defeat him in a major event, well, that’s a different result, as Woods trails seven strokes with 11 holes remaining.

Not at all does he look as if he’s the greatest golfer on the plant, and not at all has he worn a smile instead scowling in disgust that nothing is falling into place. These days, Woods mystique is gradually deflowering into a ghastly misfortune.

And these days he’s not fascinating us with stupendous bombs across the greens or rolling in you-kidding-me shots. So, will Tiger storm back into contention? I personally doubt it. He’s playing as if he’s an amateur or the way Barnes stumbled in the minor-league Nationwide Tour.

For much of the day, Tiger missed putts, which isn’t enough qualifying as the Open’s champ. I assume the pressure is on, needing a hell of a turnaround to defend a title that looks lifeless, though momentum could shift into someone else’s possession on the final day.

But Tiger’s status seems demolished, frustrating and shocking as Barnes seems untouchable, emotional and shockingly winnable. Even though Tiger was spirited, deep inside his heart somewhere are jitters and frustration. He’s refusing to express his anguish state of mind, unflappable and confident that he could recover from his feeble days.

But he knows it’s now or never, and that he’s on the verge of missing out on capturing his 15thtitle. So, that gives us leeway to embrace Barnes, who’s still seeking his first major title. While Tiger is abounding for trouble, it allows us to step away from the plants dominant creature that doesn’t have dominant or measurable form to gut out a title in Farmingdale. So, once it’s done, the masses will shake their heads, blink their eyes and open their mouths wide curious to know what the hell happened to Tiger.

It would feel funny, knowing Tiger went a complete year without winning a major title. I never saw this coming, the man admired for dominating golf greater than any other golfer on this plant. Or I never saw Barnes emerging on Tiger’s miss opportune year.

Maybe the rain is affecting Tiger. He was drenched, needing an umbrella to stay dry and played the first two rounds in the rain. Either way, that is, excuses will not solve woes. But surviving in the elements brings out a true champion.

Folks, Tiger just don’t have enough, when Barnes has more poise remaining than anyone else still surviving in thunderstorms.