Enough about Tiger—it’s time to talk parity

Another major championship in golf is over following this past weekend’s U.S. Open, and once again people are talking about how it’s such a shock that Tiger Woods didn’t win it all.
Enough.
Yes, we all know that Tiger was once “the man” when it came to the world of golf, and that no one was even close when it came to competing with him in the four biggest events on the calendar year.
But when he hasn’t won one of the majors (the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship) in four full calendar years, maybe it’s time the narrative finally changed.
So instead of talking about the former king of the links, let’s talk instead about how it has become nearly impossible to choose a major winner since June, 2008, when Woods last won the U.S. Open.
Sure, there are the household names who have finished in first place at the end of a weekend, such as Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy. But there also have been the names that no one—and I mean no one—could have predicted to win an event, like Y.E. Yang or this past weekend’s winner, Webb Simpson.
Perhaps I’m in the minority in this way of thinking, but isn’t a sport better off when you don’t know who is going to win each time out?
In North America, the sporting climate is one in which parity is talked about over everything else, with every fan of every team in the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA believing their team could have a chance to win it all.
As has already been well-documented by the N.Y. Giants and the L.A. Kings this year, all you have to do is make it into the playoffs in order to win a Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup.
That same statement applies to the world of golf, as well.
You could be doing absolutely nothing on the PGA Tour throughout the entire season. But if you are able to qualify for one of the four majors, all you have to do is play steady golf the first three days to find yourself in contention come Sunday.
I suppose the argument can be made that golf is much better off when Tiger is in the hunt or winning tournaments on a regular basis, which can be seen in television ratings and overall mainstream interest.
But after a while, wouldn’t you find someone winning over and over and over again to be very boring?
Look at NASCAR, for instance. Prior to last season, Jimmie Johnson had won five-straight Sprint Cup titles yet despite his run of success, he was hated by the majority of fans.
Nevertheless, when the eyes of the golf world turn to Lytham, England next month for the British Open, I’m already convinced all of the talk will be about how Tiger is “in great shape” and is “back into winning form.”
And all the while, the man who will be hosting the Claret Jug more than likely will be flying under the radar the entire time.
• • •
During Sunday’s Manitoba Marathon in Winnipeg, there was a local father-and-son connection who made their way around over the 42-km course.
Lorne Ricard, who completed the Boston Marathon for a second time back in April, ran the event with his son, Rick, which made this year’s Father’s Day a special one.
“It’s certainly something that I will remember for a very long time,” enthused Lorne, who is 57.
“We ran together for about the first half of the race, but then after a little bit, I started to pull away from him a little bit,” he joked.
Lorne, who ran in the men’s 55-59 age category, finished third in his class with a time of 3:20:13.
Rick, running in the 25-29 age category, finished 14th for his division with a time of 3:40:10.

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