I'm a golf fan to the same extent as I'm a cycling fan.
I don't cycle much and I don't play nearly as much golf as I used to and I don't generally follow either sport much during the year, but when the golf majors and the cycling grand tours start, I become the biggest fan of both of those sports. The Ryder Cup is another great golf event that I never miss.
I reckon I've watched every golf major since the late 1970s . . . and when I say every one, I mean every one. The closest I came to missing one was in 2012 when I was in France in July that year following the Tour de France (ironically also the year that I missed a few stages of the Tour de France for the one and only time I can remember when I was actually in the country watching the Tour live) when Ernie Els won his second British Open, but I did manage to find a little pub in Paris that showed the final round so when I say every golf major, I really do mean every one . . . at least since 1978 and few before then.
But something has changed for me when it comes to golf.
In all those years of watching golf majors, I've supported the South Africans and if there weren't any South Africans in contention then I've supported the European Ryder Cup players like Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia (for some reason I've always had a soft spot for the Spaniards in golf just as I've supported Germans in Formula 1) and more recently Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari.
When Tiger Woods came along, I was - like everyone else who follows golf - in awe of his abilty and his iron will to win but I still used to support Ernie and the Europeans and I'd hope they would beat Tiger.
That's what's changed.
Since Tiger's fall from grace and his many injuries, I have been willing him to get back to his best and start winning majors again and now that the "old" Tiger is back (older in years as well as the old will to win admittedly) when I watch majors I am supporting Tiger to the exclusion of everyone else.
Normally I'd watch a major hoping for the Yanks to screw up, find the bunkers and miss putts (Jordan Spieth being a notable exception) while pulling for the South Africans and European Ryder Cup players. Now I'm watching the US Masters 3rd round and when anyone other than Tiger is on view I'm hoping they hook it out of bounds, duff the chip or leave the putt short . . . and when Tiger's on screen I'm on my knees hoping he hits it straight or nails the putt.
Things have changed for me and I am williing Tiger to win another major more passionately then I ever used to will Ernie or anyone else to win.
I can't explain it but I feel it.
Come on Tiger!!!
2 behind Finau as I type this, hitting it straight and nailing the big putts.
I can't begin to tell you how much I want Tiger to win . . . and if he doesn't, I will be supporting him with equal passion and hope in the British Open, the US Open and the PGA.
Come on Tiger!!!