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I ask: What if Woods hadn't taken a two-stroke penalty

There are only two ways people look at the best golfer in the game’s history, Tiger Woods. They love him or they hate him. And I’d say those feelings are split right down the middle.

There are only two ways people look at the best golfer in the game’s history, Tiger Woods.

They love him or they hate him. And I’d say those feelings are split right down the middle.

This is a man who resurrected a game people like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had built to great heights in years gone by, but a game that was losing its grip on the golfing public.

Then he put himself in a horrendous situation with his personal life being exposed, in part, because of the fame he had worked so hard to achieve.

Earlier this month, it was Tiger in the spotlight once again trying to win back the respect he had lost with his misdeeds of before. He had a chance to win the prestigious Masters golf championship once again.

And, once again, all eyes were on Tiger.

He had a chance to win yet another Major and get closer to one day beating, or at least tying, the record held by Nicklaus at 18. And, while the tournament is 72 holes long, it was one shot that spelled his doom. And the shot looked perfect.

He hit his approach shot thinking birdie and being right in the hunt for the final two days of the affair. The flight of the ball looked perfect and was so perfect it hit the flagstick and then rolled into a water hazard.

After a drop, he ended up with a bogey on the hole. But, more important, he was later hit with a two-shot penalty for dropping his ball illegally.

The cameras never left him, but his chances at that time did.

He was criticized in many areas for not withdrawing from the tournament because he ended up admitting he broke a rule, but officials allowed him to continue play.

In the department of what-ifs, I ask this question: What if Tiger had just landed near that hole and one-putted for his expected birdie? Would he have gone on to win the tournament and, by doing so, win back many of the fans who are on his negative side today?

Of course, we will never know now. But I’m suggesting a birdie would have made what turned into a dramatic ending with Adam Scott of Australia beating Angel Cabrera of Argentina in a playoff into a made-for-a-movie finish.

Tiger Woods is still the No. 1 name in professional golf today, no matter what side you are on in the public voting, if you will. A Woods, Scott and Cabrera run to the wire and maybe a playoff would have rocked the game as we know it.

He remains the face of golf whether you love him or hate him.

Going through my joke files the other day I stumbled onto a series of quotes from kids and how they look at the world around them. The question to the class was how do you decide who to marry?

Ten-year-old Alan wrote: “You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.”

Another question was about the right age to get married and, Camille, also a 10-year-old, declared that, “23 is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.”

In answer to the question: How can a stranger tell if two people are married? Eight-year-old Derrick wrote: “You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.”

On hearing the question, what do you think your mom and dad have in common? Lori, who is 8, answered: “Both don’t want any more kids.”

Eight-year-old Lynn was asked what most people do on a date. After some thought she answered: “Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.” Isn’t that cute?

But 10-year-old Martin answered the same question with: “On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.”

When asked if it is better to be single or married? Anita, who is 9, said: “It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.” You see, they can be wise at a young age.

The next question was: How would the world be different if people didn’t get married? Eight-year-old Kelvin answered: “There would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?”

When seven-year-old Pam was asked when it was okay to kiss someone? She said: “When they’re rich.”

We saved the best for the last with the question being how would you make a marriage work? Ricky, who is a scholarly 10 years old, replied: “Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.”

Kids can be funny and honest at the same time.