JORDAN SPIETH (photo by world sports wallpaper)

Jordan Spieth ran away with the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club this weekend in grand fashion, winning by four strokes and never letting anyone come close to catching him. Now fans and golf analysts are referring to the Dallas resident as the savior of the game, a young man with prodigious talent. Handsome and humble! A star for a new generation!

Spieth’s 18-under par after 72 holes for a total score of 270 has only been matched by one other player — Tiger Woods.

Two decades ago, everybody was throwing similar accolades at Woods. He was going to save the game from obscurity and falling television ratings simply by being young, handsome, charismatic, and super-talented. Woods lived up to all those accolades. If he played in a tourney, ratings soared. He saved golf.


Then he got older and suffered injuries that affected his swing. He cheated on his wife and got divorced amid a worldwide media glare. He became combative with the media. Now people love to hate Woods. Golf fans want to see him fail. They want to deride him verbally and online. After all, why build up a iconic hero if you can’t tear him back down at the slightest evidence of a flawed character, even though all of us suffer from character flaws?

Adultery is a personal matter and shouldn’t concern fans. Getting old is a natural phenomenon. And who can blame Woods for refusing to speak to a news media machine that revels in mocking fallen heroes?

Most of this weekend’s attention was squarely on Spieth, thankfully. But Woods took a public relations bath yet again.

Woods was playing the ninth hole on his final round and attempted to hit a ball out of the woods when his club snagged a root and hurt his hand and wrist. The camera showed the swing in slow motion several times, and Woods cried out in pain, squeezed his hand, and walked toward the green with his wounded arm lying limp at his side for a few seconds before recovering.

After he finished the tournament, a TV reporter asked him what happened. Woods said he popped a bone out of its joint, put it back in himself, and continued playing. The reporter said, “Really? Wow. Okay.” And asked him nothing else about it. The way he said “Really wow okay” sounded like my old teachers when I would claim a dog ate my homework.

Later, a TV announcer said, well, uh, there are a lot of bones in a human hand so it’s possible a bone popped out of joint. He sounded like he was trying to be nice.

The Twitter world quickly mocked the claim. “What a dramatic chump,” one critic tweeted of Woods.

Numerous news media covered the story online, and the comments sections became a free-for-all for people to rip Woods. “Another excuse and lie for his poor playing,” somebody wrote, ignoring the fact that Woods finished in the Top 20 among the world’s greatest golfers.

Woods can’t even get injured without being ridiculed.

A word of warning to Spieth: Enjoy your fame and fortune while it lasts because that pack of dogs calling themselves fans will rip your face off once the honeymoon is over and you dare show yourself to be human.