Tiger had a birdie in his pocket, unless he jerked it over the flock of genuine American coots and dunked it into the designer pond in front of the green. All he had to do was lay it up, pitch the ball close and sink his short putt. That was the safe play. That was what he should have done.
Tiger took a wood out of his bag.
The gallery erupted.
It had been a long time since any golf gallery cheered someone for removing a club from his bag. The ovation was not about redemption or about inspiration. It was not about the metaphysical maundering of theological dilettantes. It was about courage and risk and athletic daring. Its ultimate source was irrelevant, but I do not believe this golden moment was foreordained by God while Earl Woods was stumbling around Indochina trying not to get his ass shot off. To believe that would be to diminish God.