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The Masters: Not this year, Tiger

By Tim Dahlberg
Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Ga. ó The graphic was about as jarring as Shingo Katayama’s outfit, at least to those who believe golf lives and dies with just one player. Give CBS some credit for journalistic integrity for putting it on, but if anyone needed a reminder that there might be better things to do on Easter Sunday than sit in front of the television and watch the Masters, there it was for all to see.
So spend a little extra time at church. Take the kids out to hunt for some eggs. Put a glaze on the ham.
Anyone of a handful of players could end up with the green jacket sometime early Sunday evening, but this much is sure.
Tiger Woods is done.
History tells us that, as CBS so bravely acknowledged during its Saturday telecast when it ran the graphic showing Woods has never won a major championship when trailing after three rounds. That surely didn’t please advertisers desperate for the ratings a Woods run would bring, but the truth is the world’s greatest player isn’t the world’s greatest charger.
He plays defense in tough conditions on tough courses, and hasn’t done badly for himself by doing so. But while defense wins championships, it won’t win this Masters for Woods.
Not from seven shots behind. Not with nine players ahead of him, and eight others tied.
Not when there are guys in the lead who know a little bit about winning themselves.
The green jackets who run Augusta National tried to salvage a bit of magic for the final round by pairing Woods with his alleged rival, Phil Mickelson, who earlier in the week said he would love to battle it out with Woods on Sunday. But unless they decide to play winner-take-all for each other’s private jets or Mickelson goes after Woods’ caddie for calling him names a few months ago, the twosome will be little more than a sideshow to the real action taking place behind them.
That should please the purists, who believe the course should be the star.

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