Rick's List: Missing Tiger Woods edition

It’s Masters week and, yes, it feels weird that Tiger Woods is nowhere near Augusta. The cover of the current Sports Illustrated, in fact, has a shot of the Tige-Man from one of his immortal Masters victories — and it hit me that, while not everyone likes Tiger Woods, the absence of his grim countenance and that signature fist pump will be eerie.

Woods’ fist pump, of course, wasn’t a spontaneous gesture at any point in the golfer’s star-spangled career. It was actually designed by noted doo-wop singer Bowser!

As I remember it, in 2003, Woods reportedly hired the former Sha Na Na vocalist to “Come up with something I can do with my hands every time I sink a long putt or make a fine iron shot.”

“Can you give me a more specific example?” Bowser asked.

“Oh, let’s say I was in the rough off the 16th green in the final round of the Masters, like, two years from now. And I chip in after an incredible read and a serpentine ball path that defies the human capacity for belief. Later, I’ll beat Chris DeMarko in a playoff.”

“Got it.”

After weeks in a design studio, Bowser sent Woods the prototype for what he called “The Fistie” — but what most folks don’t know is that wasn’t Bowser’s first idea. Here is a list of Bowser-generated concepts considered but ultimately discarded by Woods before he saw “The Fistie.”

1. A trick sponsor-logo cap. With every successful shot, Woods could doff the cap and, from a secret hollow compartment, extract a hare.

2. A plastic mouth guard Woods could, Bowser said, “Dangle from your mouth and chew on one end of it.”

“But I don’t wear a mouth guard,” Woods said.

Bowser shrugged — and later sold the idea to Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry.

3. The Fistie, Part I - similar to the now-iconic pump, but differing in that Woods was supposed to slug himself in the jaw as hard as he could.

See you and your fist next year, El Tigre!


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