That's a Lot Like Putting Cart Before the Marriage

I was driving into work Monday listening to the Jay Mariotti radio show on KMPC, and he was recapping an interview he had done earlier in the day with Earl Woods, Tiger's father.

Earl was the first one to put a golf club in Tiger's hands, Tiger is the best golfer in the world, and I'd like to hit the ball like Tiger.

So when Mariotti quoted Earl as saying:

"A wife can be a deterrent to a good game of golf," I don't want to say my first thought was divorce, but now I understand.

I shot a 107 Sunday, lost eight golf balls, including a mulligan, and generally made a fool of myself just because I'm married.

For the longest time I thought the problem was my swing, but it's pretty clear now--after being married for 28 years--I never had a chance to shoot par.

Why do they bother having you say "for better or for worse" when everyone knows the impact it's going to have.

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TIGER BROKE up with his girlfriend of two years, Joanna Jagoda, before she could become an official deterrent. I guess that's what the experts mean when they say this guy works on every aspect of his game.

I wrote a column a while back wondering if Tiger could be as good as he is now--if he were married and woke up one finishing Sunday to find his wife had forgotten to wash his red shirts.

I didn't give any thought to my marriage or golf game because I'd accepted the fact that if I wanted a clean shirt to play golf, I would have to do the laundry. I might have to do her laundry too, just to get permission to play.

Earl Woods, however, got me to thinking when he said he wanted his son to wait until he's more than 30 years old before getting married. I got married when I was 22, and until this moment, I never understood why I always seem to hit the ball out of bounds.

"The level Tiger is at," Earl told TV Guide in its June 9 issue, "the finite little problems that [come with marriage] would destroy him."

If the finite little problems that come with being married can destroy someone as awesome as Tiger, it's pretty amazing I lost only eight balls.

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A GOLF match to include Woods, David Duval, Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb is in the works for July 30 at Big Horn Golf Club in Palm Desert.

Last year Sergio Garcia defeated Woods head-to-head at Big Horn, but this year the plan is to have all the golfers meet on the first tee and then flip a coin to see which woman is matched with which man. Each twosome will then alternate shots during the nationally televised nighttime competition.

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R.D. HUBBARD, who owns Big Horn, did not testify in the Raiders-NFL lawsuit in a Los Angeles Superior Court much to the surprise of several jurors--who voted against the Raiders because they did not hear from him.

Hubbard, in charge of Hollywood Park when the Raiders were here, had put together a stadium deal and was on the verge of conducting a news conference to announce a completed deal when Al Davis took off for Oakland.

"I was never called to testify," Hubbard said. "I was very surprised the Raiders didn't call me. There is no question in my mind the NFL interfered with the stadium deal at Hollywood Park."

The NFL believes Hubbard was not called because there was concern on the Raiders' side that he might contradict some of Davis' testimony.

Davis not telling the truth is just hard to believe.

IF YOU'RE Alex Rodriguez--would you rather have the $252 million, or maybe play in a World Series for Seattle?

Holy Scott Boras, what a stupid question.

I HAVEN'T been paying attention--are the Kings still in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

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THE NEW Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers are positioning themselves to make a run at L.A., although it's hard to tell how sincere their interests might be.

Louisiana sweetened the stadium pot Monday after a USA Today story Friday suggested that Saints' owner Thomas Benson might be L.A.-bound if he doesn't get a $450-million stadium in time for the 2006 season.

NFL insiders believe the Saints will eventually seal a deal to remain in the New Orleans area, leaving the Chargers to use the L.A. area.

First, the Chargers must get their own fans excited again about their team, which means winning more than one game. Under current ownership--that could be quite a challenge.

The team, however, went hard at free agency this year and if the Chargers improve on the field, rumblings will begin about a move to Orange County. They almost certainly will exercise the escape clause from their Qualcomm Stadium lease to throw a scare at everyone in San Diego.

And those people scare easily.

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I CAN see Jerry Rice, feeling much better about himself after playing golf with Raider Coach Jon Gruden and announcing he will continue his athletic career as a professional golfer.

But hanging around to play more football, as a wide receiver who appears to be moving in slow motion at age 38, is ridiculous.

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F.P. SANTANGELO went one for three for the Sacramento River Cats in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday to improve his batting average to .190.

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REDSKIN COACH Marty Schottenheimer says he may wait weeks to decide if the team will keep Deion Sanders on its roster, while Sanders says, "I don't trust him as far as I can throw him."

Anyone who has seen Sanders play baseball knows how far that is.

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TODAY'S LAST WORD comes in an e-mail from Trey:

"Look out. Once upon a time a guy named Goliath was real confident against an opponent named David."

Tell me David's last name is Stern, and then I might believe the Lakers could be in a fix.

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T.J. Simers can reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com

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