LACERDA: Out of the Woods

John LaCerda

A four-hour outing of peace and prosperity on the golf course should be a universally accepted remedy for stress and anxiety.

I’ve found that the best relationships with friends are built by these moments of sometimes pathetic athleticism and often, sheer stupidity.

Although my experiences with golf have been formed by early memories of my absurdity on the links, they were also impacted by dreams of a career in the PGA. The latter would later be squashed upon witnessing the talent of Tiger Woods.

Woods’ performance this weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational proves he is not just golf’s greatest athlete but possibly the world’s best.

Roger Federer dominates tennis, but I question his current play in comparison to the talent of Rafael Nadal. In cycling, Lance Armstrong epitomizes physical domination and mental endurance, but there are recent allegations against his supposed “honest” achievements. One could even extend the debate to the success of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in European soccer. While Lebron James demands respect in the NBA, I challenge his inability to win championships.

Regardless of accolades towards the previously mentioned athletes, Woods represents individual supremacy within a given sport. His records will shatter those of Jack Nicklaus in due time.

It is senseless to argue against such a statement; Woods has proved that he can return from an injury with ease, and even a little flare, as demonstrated by his last tournament-winning 15-foot putt.

I only discuss the issue because the Masters Tournament rapidly approaches, signaling the beginning of the golf season, a time offering intensity for some and elements of comedy for others.

Tiger, quite frankly, deserves to be the favorite. He has 14 major championships, 66 PGA tour events, has held the number one position in world rankings for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks. He was also the highest paid professional athlete in 2008.

Nine months since his last shot in a PGA tournament, Tiger has rebounded to match the largest comeback of his golf career.

While I relish in the continual success of such an athletic phenomenon, I also delight in the notion that the greens have opened as spring moves on. I recommend a trip to the greens as natural medication for those seeking pain relief. For those desiring a sense of newfound freedom, there is nothing better than braving the potentially reckless April weather and heading out for a round of golf.

Once the madness of college basketball ends after Villanova wins the national title, sports fans should enjoy the success of America’s finest athlete, Mr. Woods.

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John LaCerda is a junior English major from Medfield, Mass. He can be reached at [email protected]