Tiger Woods's return at the Masters is fitting, because it's the mentality at that all-male club that drove him to cheat on his wife with an endless parade of floozies. That's Martha Burk's take on it, anyway.
You remember Hootie Johnson's nemesis, don't you? And her 2003 protests at the Masters for barring women from holding membership? (Augusta eventually changed their rules, and women are now on the waiting list, which is standard membership application policy.)
She's left golf alone in recent years, but now that something barely tangentially related to women has come up, a Daily News scribe sought her out. And Tiger's serial infidelity isn't just one man's problem, or one marriage's. Oh no. It's been nurtured by golf's old boys' club.
I think this is a safe haven for him," Burk says. "They're all chauvinists themselves. It's a perfect fit. He'll be welcomed. These people have a fundamental disregard for women. What produced Tiger Woods as we now know him goes back a long way. He played a lot of golf at a Houston club, Lochinvar, that didn't let women in."
And that's why he's spent the past few years dipping his wick in any guttertrash that crossed his path.
But don't blame Burk; everyone involved with this is having a hard time keeping things in perspective. Witness journeyman golfer Jay Williams's quote in this Times Magazine story: "I kind of liken it to a terrorist attack on our sport. I just don't think golf will ever get back to where it was."
11/27: never forget.