Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tiger Woods, a Byron Nelson he will never be.

Recently I have been catching up on American Chopper (the show about Orange County Choppers, which has since ended after 6 seasons) via Netflix, and I came across the episodes where they built the three identical bikes for the Byron Nelson Golf Classic.  Every year I try to catch at least the last two rounds of this tournament that is tied to his foundation (which, by the way, is their only fund raiser the entire year) that benefits students at the Byron Nelson High School in Trophy Club, Texas.

Upon watching these episodes it struck me that not only will Tiger Woods never match the player, he will also never match the person who was Byron Nelson.  Lord Byron, which is a reference to a poem of an english nobleman with that name (a compliment made by a golf commentator due to Nelson's gentlemanly conduct), still holds the record for most consecutive wins in a single season (11) as well as a total number of wins in a single season (18).  Both of these records were obtained in the same year (1945).

What is even more remarkable is that his professional golf career only lasted 14 years (from 1932 to 1946).  After that he devoted his life to serving his community and setup a scholarship fund for students in his community.  Nelson also stayed an active supporter and promoter of the game of golf, as is evident with the tournament in his name, as well as the golf school in his name.

After the scandal broke last year regarding Tiger's infidelity it became apparent that the honor and respect he showed on the golf course was only reserved for that part of his life.  He obviously did not regard this marriage or family life as highly as his professional career, to his seemingly ultimate detriment.  Since then many of his sponsors have dropped him and he is now separated from his wife.

My purpose for posting this is not to promote some sort of hate for Tiger Woods, as hating anyone is a waste of time.  My purpose is more of a challenge to Mr. Woods to aspire to above this self-induced scandal and find a role model in whose footsteps he may follow.  Of course there is the ultimate Role Model, but should he find himself falling short, as anyone will, he can always find a plethora of other humans to pick from.  Byron Nelson being one of them.

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