- Associated Press - Saturday, April 7, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA. (AP) - Tiger Woods‘ latest temper tantrum did not go over well with some fans at the Masters.

Woods caused a scene with his boorish behavior at buttoned-down Augusta National on Friday, scowling, cursing, tossing clubs. He even went so far as to give one a swift kick after his shot on the 16th tee landed in the bunker.

“It’s not what you want to see,” said Charles Hatcher III, who was at the course on Saturday with his 11-year-old son, Charles IV, and his father, Charles Sr. “Golf is a gentleman’s game, and you should treat it as such.”

Especially at Augusta.


The home of the Masters oozes decorum. Members wear their green jackets no matter how high the temperatures climb; there are no garish video boards or corporate logos to take away from the simple beauty of the shrubs and the Georgia pines. “Patrons” know their golf and their history, and show a proper appreciation for both.

“I’m not making excuses, trust me. What he’s been through _ largely brought on by himself _ and not playing up to expectations, and the expectations he puts on himself, it’s hard sometimes to keep your emotions in check,” said two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange, working as a broadcaster at the Masters. “With that said, you have to be somewhat aware of the stage you’re on.

“This isn’t Bay Hill or even some other tournament event,” Strange said. “This is the Masters.”

Expectations that Woods would win a fifth green jacket skyrocketed two weeks ago when he won at Bay Hill _ his first PGA Tour victory in 30 months. But his chances began imploding with a flurry of wayward tee shots, blocked approaches and missed putts from close range.

As his game melted down, so did he. He cursed the bad shots or took mock swings in anger _ sometimes doing both. He hung his head or looked skyward with exasperation after the missed putts. He flipped clubs and, after that poor tee shot on 16, booted his 9-iron about 15 yards.

Diego Maradona would have been proud. Ben Hogan, not so much.

“Am I conscious of it? No,” Woods said after Saturday’s round, in which he limited himself to glares and one angry toss. “Certainly I’m frustrated at times. I apologize if I offend anybody by that. But I’ve hit some bad shots. It’s certainly frustrating at times not to hit the ball where you need to hit it.”

This was hardly the first glimpse of Woods‘ temper. It’s easy to gauge his level of frustration at any tournament by reading his lips after a bad shot or two. Last year at Augusta National he cursed so much CBS would have been justified if it had used a “parental discretion is advised” disclaimer.

Fans, however, expected to behold a new, improved Woods when he returned from the sex scandal that cost him his marriage and nearly two years of a magnificent career, promising to respect the game and the fans who pay dearly to watch him play.

“You couldn’t even think of Jack (Nicklaus) doing something like this,” Jon Hayden said. “It’s egregious.”

Hatcher said he still recalls hearing Arnold Palmer tell the story of losing his temper during a tournament early in his career, and his father being so horrified he threatened to never let his son play again.

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