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At Augusta, Tiger is the man, but that doesn't mean SPOKESman

By Shane Sharp, Contributor

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bo knew everything. Tiger knows women, and that's even more than everything. Having problems in your relationship boys? Drop Tiger an e-mail. Need to know why "yes" means "no" and "no" means "yes?" Or why flowers and a gift certificate to Pottery Barn won't necessarily pave the way for you watching 12 straight hours of football?

Talk to Tiger.

How, you ask, do I track down one of sports' most elusive figures?

Tune in to "Tiger Talk." It airs right after Oprah, so mail in your questions and set your VCR.

OK, so there's no Tiger Talk. But there could be soon. The New York Times, one of the nation's most respected newspapers, ran an editorial Monday saying Woods should skip the Masters next year, citing that, "A tournament without Mr. Woods would send a powerful message that discrimination isn't good for the golfing business.."

So there you have it: Mr. Woods is slated to become the spokesMAN for womankind. So is a sensitive talk show such a stretch?

After all, Woods did say, after much hounding from the media and the liberal powers that be, that Augusta National should admit its first female member. He also went on to say that the prestigious club had a right to set up its membership however it wanted.

Evidentially, the Times, Martha Burk and Jesse Jackson have chosen to ignore the second part of Wood's not-so-complex compound sentence.

Of course, it is easy to see how they could do this. Woods is the perfect spokesperson for feminism in millennium 2K. He's a free-wheeling bachelor with supermodel at his side. He's a frequent patron of Las Vegas casinos and swank nightclubs around the globe. In his spare time, when he's supposedly off the record, he enjoys a few cold ones, a good cigar and the occasional dirty joke.

The dude is oozing Seneca Falls.

The Times editorial went on to say that if Augusta National "can brazenly discriminate against women, that means others can choose not to support Mr. (Hootie) Johnson's golfing fraternity. That includes more enlightened members of the club, CBS Sports, which televises the Masters, and the players, especially Tiger Woods."

Especially Tiger Woods.

Because it would be ridiculous for Phil Mickelson - with his beautiful wife, two darling little girls, politician's smile and national appeal - to step forward and take a stance on the issue. Or how about Tom Lehman and his beautiful wife and darling little girls rise up and take on the old boys of Augusta? Ludicrous.

Or how about any of the other "married with children" and "up with the plight of the woman" players on the PGA Tour? There are only, like, 125 of them. Maniacal.

Burk and Johnson can fight their fight - if nothing else, it is a stimulating social dialogue. Big wig members at Augusta can choose their corners - if nothing else, it is fun to see what side America's most powerful people pick.

But leave Tiger out of it. Just because the man owns the Masters doesn't mean he has to defend its host. That job should fall to the Mickelsons and Lehmans of the PGA Tour.

Shane SharpShane Sharp, Contributor

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of TravelGolf.com from 1997 to 2003.

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