Masters Preview Wednesday: Great Expectations

Tiger Woods throws his club after his shot from the 18th fairway lands in the gallery during the first round of the Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club Thursday April 9, 2009. RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF

Before you roll your eyes, yes that’s a photo of Tiger Woods.  And aside from the complete cluster that will be the Monday of his return, he will be feeling the pressure to “perform” at the Masters despite the distractions.  But as different as this time around will be, it will actually be more like recent years than you’d think.

Every year, The Masters Tournament is Tiger’s to lose.  Everyone still agrees he’s the best golfer, and he’s done very well here in the past.  So it stands to reason that he will eventually win again.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Tiger has not won in my three years covering the Masters.  Therefore my photographic perception of him is skewed toward a club tossing, tantrum throwing and ugly face making Tiger Woods.  Not the fist pumping, joyous outburst version I’ve heard about from colleagues.  Granted, every year he’s been pretty close, and if he were a guy like Shingo Katayama, he’d be happy for a good showing, and recognize that the golf course clearly beat him that day.  But ending up in the top 5 or 10 to Tiger just means he lost a little slower than those who finished behind him.  It’s win or lose for him, especially at the Augusta National.

Every April is Tiger Watch.  People are drawn to him for a multitude of reasons, and we’re there to capture that.

But no matter how you look at it, a good photo of Tiger celebrating victory will always trump a good photo of Tiger losing it on Masters Sunday.  Because nobody likes a loser.



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