The year is 1956. American philosophy student Michael is traveling en route to India when he decides to stop at Links of Burningbush in Scotland for one last round of golf before giving up the game for good.
As a Tiger Woods fan (with a morbid fondness for campy made-for-TV biopics) I made it a point to catch this one on Fox Family channel. While watching (during the many boring, repetitious or mawkish bits) I was reading a profile of the real Tiger in the current New Yorker magazine. But that only accentuated the film's faults. The first half or more was actually not as bad as it could have been. The acting, particularly by Keith David and Freda Foh Shen as Earl and Tida, was quite competent, and care seemed to have been taken to portray accurately the discovery and development of the child Tiger's remarkable talents. The boy playing Tiger up to age 13, Gary Le Roi Gray, bore a remarkable resemblance to Tiger and got all the moves right.
The film fell apart, however, as soon as Khalil Kain came on the scene as the older Tiger, starting with his time at Stanford. The actor now bore absolutely no resemblance to Tiger Woods as we know him: his looks, his build, his demeanor, his attitude, his speech -- all were totally lacking in even the remotest resemblance to one of the best known people in America today. What could the casting people have been thinking? You could stand on a street corner in any American city and within a few minutes find someone who looks and acts more like Tiger Woods than this guy. (The scenes at Stanford were also almost unwatchable, looking like outtakes from the tackiest TV high school drama.) This lack of verisimilitude was all the more jarring given what had gone on in the dutiful and well-intentioned first half of the film. Quite frankly, at this point, I switched off. I wasn't up for the doubtless sappy, soppy ending anyway, and I really could not bear to look at the impostor playing Tiger -- a callow, wimpy, whiny, pale unsmiling youth, posing as a tall, handsome, strongly built and profoundly athletic man with a world-famous toothy smile (and, yeah, okay, a bit of a puffed-up personality) whom everyone in the world recognizes. In the end (or at least at the point where I bailed out) this film was an embarrassment.
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