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July 02, 2008

An Asterisk for Tigerless Majors?

Posted at 3:33 PM by John Garrity | Categories: British Open, Paul Goydos, Tiger Woods

BETHESDA, MD. –- With Tiger Woods out for the season, some of my golf pundit pals argue that the winners of the upcoming British Open and PGA Championship won’t be true champions. They say there should be an asterisk by the winners’ names: “* Tiger Woods Not in Field.”

Paul Goydos was asked about that this afternoon at the AT&T National, and the popular journeyman had a glib rejoinder: “Then we need to put an asterisk next to all 18 of Jack’s majors, because Tiger didn’t play in any of those.”

I’m with Goydos, but I come at it from a slightly different angle. I say there should be no asterisk because whoever wins the next two majors will have beaten the same field that Tiger outclassed to win his 14 major championships –- i.e., everybody but Tiger. It would actually devalue Tiger’s accomplishments to say that another golfer isn’t worthy of respect when he beats the very same players under major-championship conditions.

In fact, you can make the specious argument that it is Tiger who deserves the asterisk when he wins. After all, he’s the only player in the field who doesn’t have to beat Tiger Woods to claim the prize.

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