Tiger’s bush-league moment at Augusta — kicking a club in front of the world

April 06, 2012 | Drew Forrester

I’m a Tiger Woods fan.

He’s the greatest golfer I’ve ever seen.

I’m always half-rooting for him in every major championship because I’d love to see him get closer to the major title record (18) held by Jack Nicklaus.

That should summarize my feelings on Woods.  I have mad respect for his career record and the greatness he’s displayed since joining the PGA Tour in 1996.

But today, in the 2nd round of the 2012 Masters, Woods lost his temper and did something that’s totally unacceptable for a player of his accomplishments. He hit a bad shot and then furiously kicked his club like a 7-year old junior golfer who just duffed a shot.

RIGHT HERE is the video of what happened on Friday on the 16th tee.

It’s unprofessional, for starters.  And please, please, do NOT offer that tired excuse about how “every shot he hits is on TV” and all that other garbage that Tiger apologists like to run up the flagpole.

I’m a Tiger fan and I’m calling it bush-league.

Kicking a club like that is horrible style for any professional, but it’s so much worse when it comes from a 4-time champion of the event and a player that should be setting a good example, not a bad one.

I completely understand that Woods is held to a higher standard than most.  Sometimes that’s not fair.  Plenty of other players would have buckled under the various pressures that Tiger has endured (and created) over the last 16 years.  And yes, others who aren’t as prominent as Woods probably aren’t as scrutinized, either.

None of that matters, though, when you see what he did on the 16th tee in round 2.

I’d be saying this if the club-kicker would have been McIlroy or Kuchar or Garcia.

It just can’t happen.  And Woods knows it.

That ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi didn’t at least mention it in his post-round interview is almost as embarrassing as the fact that Woods himself didn’t apologize when the 4-letter network gave him his courtesy 3-minute Nike commercial after his round was finished.

Rinaldi did mention the word “frustration” when questioning Woods.  Tiger clearly didn’t have his “A game” on Friday.  In fact, he didn’t even have his B or C game.  It would have been easy for Tiger to weave a discussion about his poor play into a mea culpa by saying, “I was doing my best not to let it get to me, but as you saw at 16, I got frustrated after a poor tee shot and kicked my club, which was something I shouldn’t do.  I’ll offer an apology to the tournament officials here in a few minutes once I’m done with my media duties.”

Instead, Tiger talked about “staying patient” and “focused” and other buzzwords that didn’t come close to sounding like an apology for kicking his club.

In his post-round comments to the media gathered outside of Butler cabin, Woods was asked about “frustration on the 16th hole”, which gave him the perfect chance to apologize and say “That’s not the example I want to set.”  Instead, he talked golf-gibberish about a flared 9-iron and a bad 2nd shot at the 15th hole and never once came close to acknowledging the club-kicking incident.

When you’re the game’s most followed player and every set of eyes is on you, it requires an extra sense of professionalism.

Tiger didn’t have it on Friday.

In more ways than one.