The ballad of Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods' victory at the PGA Championship was a sure thing. I knew it. You knew it. We all knew it.
But then he lost. It was a shock that brought to mind the surprising failure of another superstar from the past: Ernest Thayer's mighty Casey.
"Tiger at the Tee"
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Hazeltine crowd that day;
Tiger led by two, with but one more round to play,
And then when Padraig took an eight, and more did much the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
While a struggling few got up to go in deep, intense despair,
Some others stayed right in their seats, sensing something in the air.
They thought, "If only one could make a move, I probably would not flee
I'd like to see them challenge Woods -- however unlikely."
But Westwood preceded Tiger, as did also McIlroy,
And the former was a loser, while the latter was a boy.
So upon that stricken multitude came thoughts of boring play,
For there seemed but little chance of catching Tiger on that day.
Then Yang uncorked a booming drive to the wonderment of all,
And next up was his eagle, a perfect chipping of the ball.
And when the pin was lifted, and they saw what had occurred,
There was Y.E. safe in first ... and Tiger nearing third.
Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
How would Tiger come right back? They couldn't quite yet tell.
They clapped their hands together and yelled with utter glee.
For Tiger, mighty Tiger, was coming to the tee.
There was ease in Tiger's manner as he took his usual stance;
There was pride in Tiger's bearing and a swoosh upon his pants.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly touched his cap,
No fan there in the crowd could doubt that he would close the gap.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he put his tee into the dirt.
Five thousand tongues applauded when he adjusted his red shirt.
While Yang hit his drive a ways, to a place where he could score,
Tiger hit his all that way -- and some twenty yards or more.
And now again the small, white sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Tiger stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
But close by the sturdy flag, the stubborn ball it sped --
"$@!%&*^ @%^&," said Tiger. "Get down!" his caddy said.
From the bleachers full of people, there went up a muffled roar,
They were waiting for the comeback, and they could hardly wait much more.
"Catch him! Catch that Yang!" shouted someone on the stand;
(Although he soon piped down, lest he get beat by Stevie's hand.)
With a bit of golfing charity, Yang left his next putt short;
But Tiger did not capitalize with his usual deft retort.
And so one hole was left to play and Tiger swung with might,
But Yang erased away all hope: His approach went nice and tight.
"Yang!" cried the surprised thousands, and then they yelled out "Y.E.!"
There walked a disappointed Tiger, a sight few hardly ever see.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain.
And they knew that Tiger wouldn't let one get away again.
So the match was all but finished, it had slipped from Tiger's grip.
You couldn't help excuse him if he let some curse words slip.
And now Yang confirmed it as his putt fell out of sight.
And the gathered crowd was shocked to see Woods fall without a fight.
Oh, somewhere in South Korea the sun is shining bright,
A band is playing somewhere, and there the hearts are light,
And in Seoul the men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there was no joy for Tiger as he meekly putted out.
DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.