AUGUSTA, GA (RNN) – If we're really lucky, Sunday at the Masters will come down to a showdown between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy after they've made their way through the field of golfers and hostesses to the top of the leader board.
There couldn't be a more perfect final pairing to determine the outcome of the tournament. Maybe Ginni Rometty can caddy for them.
The first of the four golf Majors begins Thursday in Augusta, GA, with a slew of storylines – as many from off the course as on it. Commentators Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo should have plenty to whisper about.
Tiger remains arguably the biggest star in sports, so you're off to a good start there.
Then you've got him on the comeback trail – inasmuch as you can come back from an "addiction" to groupies and adult film actresses that got your now ex-wife to "allegedly" chase you out of your Florida home with a golf club causing you to crash into a tree on Thanksgiving break, destroying your marriage and your carefully manicured public persona faster than you could say, "What the Eldrick is going on here?"
Woods, who is now a couple of years removed from the sex rehab clinic in Hattiesburg, MS, (they don't have one of those in Orlando? Tampa? Miami?), injuries to his knee and ankle and that commercial, seems to have found his missing golf game.
With a recent win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational under his belt, he looks primed to take back his spot as the best golfer in the world.
Rory's story begins at last year's Masters. The 22-year-old held a four-shot lead on the final day but had a terrible run down the stretch to fall out of contention.
Words like "collapse" and "meltdown" have been used to describe the unraveling, which has been compared to Greg Norman's all-time Masters self-immolation on the final round of 1996 when he blew a 6-shot lead.
Undeterred by his performance at Augusta, Rory went on to have a record-breaking win at the U.S. Open and reached No. 1 in the rankings briefly. He used his newfound fame and success to quite publicly trade his girlfriend in for tennis star Caroline Wozniaki.
Perhaps Billy Payne could chime in on McIlroy's personal life, the way he did on Tiger's in 2010.
Payne, who is the chairman of the "No Girls Allowed" Augusta National Golf Club, called upon his expertise in relationships with the fair sex to tell Tiger how to treat women.
"As he now says himself, he forgot in the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibility," said the kettle to the pot. "It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here; it is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids."
The refusal of the men-only club to allow women as members has become a popular topic once again, thanks to Rometty, the new CEO of IBM. Nine years after Martha Burk unsuccessfully led the initial charge, the head of one of the event's sponsors has not been invited to join, unlike every other top officer for the sponsor companies before her.
Payne avoided the topic in his opening statements Wednesday. When asked whether Rometty would be asked to join the club, he replied it would be discussed in "private deliberations of the members."
Women are allowed to golf there as guests though, so that's something ...
After all, this is a club that only allowed black men to join in 1990, so they can't be expected to acknowledge equal rights along with the rest of us.
But wait! Did the PGA take a bold stand for women by removing the Masters from the official list of majors, ignoring its existence and not counting the money earned or results as official winnings?
Um, no. That didn't happen either.
It is moments like these when I think to myself, "Where have you gone, Al Czervik? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you."
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