Maybe I’m on the wrong side of this issue, but I’m glad Tiger Woods gets mad when he plays poorly. It makes me feel good knowing that his only smiles come after rare good shots and those smiles are only recognizing the mockery his current game is making of his former game.

Maybe I’m on the wrong side of this issue, but I’m glad Tiger Woods gets mad when he plays poorly.

It makes me feel good knowing that his only smiles come after rare good shots and those smiles are only recognizing the mockery his current game is making of his former game.

I like people that expect the best of themselves and don’t accept lame excuses and give themselves participation trophies.

That drive is what propelled Woods to be the best in the world.

Since 1986, only 16 men have been No.1 in the World Golf Rankings.

Only a couple have held onto that ranking for more than a few weeks or months at a time. When Woods burst onto the scene, he became one of those battling for the top spot until 1999 when he took over the No. 1 ranking for the seventh time. He held onto the title for more than five years before Vijay Singh wrestled it away from him. The two knocked each other off a few times during that season, but Woods put Singh and everyone else in his rearview mirror and grabbed the No. 1 ranking for another five years.

His personal life and recurring injuries are threatening to bring his golf skills down to those of a normal human now.

He doesn’t have the same killer instinct. His demons won that battle.

Thanks to multiple knee, Achilles tendon and other nagging injuries, his skills have diminished. Of course, he won a tournament just a few weeks ago, but Woods expects to win every time he enters a tournament.

That’s what I like about him.

So when he misses a shot, he gets mad. Sure, he could control those emotions better and not throw clubs and kick them like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

But I prefer that display of sportsmanship to the young European golfers who are pleased to take advantage of their talent just to cruise through life and enjoy the fact that Woods’ popularity raised prize money to the point where they can finish in the top 20 a few times each year and be filthy rich.

Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, two golfers thought to have the talent to be “the next Tiger Woods,” made me sick Saturday.

Both were in contention to win The Masters. Both played terribly. Neither one cared.

On the 12th hole, they both made their first birdie of the day to balance out a bevy of bogeys. In a moment of levity, they exchanged a hug on the green.

They felt awfully cute.

“We needed to feel a little love from someone out there,” McIlroy said. “It was a nice moment in a round filled with not-too-good moments.”

Said Garcia: “It would have been better if it were our girlfriends, but that was the best we could get at the moment.”

Isn’t it fun to make a mockery of a sport that made you both millionaires?

Skip Bayless, an analyst for ESPN said, “Rory has as much talent as Tiger ever did. But still doubt he has nearly as much drive, killer instinct or mental toughness as young Tiger.”

Golf isn’t everything. It doesn’t have to be. But I think their attitudes are incredibly unhealthy and I hope neither of my sons ever finds failure entertaining.

There is value in effort.

My son Blake has never been any superstar athlete. But he is only 8. He has time to grow and develop. But he tries. He doesn’t always succeed. But he always tries.

Phil Mickelson has won more than his share of tournaments and I have always loved his attitude. He knows that he has a great life with a lovely wife and kids and more money than they can spend.

But when his chance to win this week’s tournament exploded on No. 4 Sunday, he was bothered. He has won this tournament three times. He wanted a fourth but he cost himself that chance.

After the round he remarked on the shot that cost him the tournament and talked about trying to fight back from it all day. He didn’t giggle and hug his playing partner and go home and count his winnings.

McIlroy sent a tweet Monday that captured the wisdom of his youth.

After leading last year only to choke away his chance at the Masters on Sunday and losing a similar chance this year on Saturday, the 22-year old said, “Well that wasn't my best weekend ever! Still a few more chances to get my hands on a green jacket.”

Maybe, maybe not.

It was at about this age that Woods had his first knee surgery. This kid is one swing away from a back, knee, or shoulder injury that could limit the way he plays forever.

I guess as someone who only wishes I had the chance to play that way on that stage, it is offensive when that chance is taken for granted by someone else. Consolation is something someone else gives to you.

When you make your own excuses, you merely accept failure. No one can be perfect, but we are all better for trying to be.

Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.