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Paula Duffy

Paula Duffy

Posted February 24, 2009 | 10:35 AM (EST)

Follow the Roar Gets Your Juices Flowing for Tiger's Return


If you are a Tiger fanatic like me, or you just want to learn what it is like to physically follow the man who seemingly props up the PGA Tour, you are in for a treat.

Bob Smiley, a television writer, contributor to espn.com's golf coverage and all-around great guy has written the definitive account of Tiger's incredible 2008 season.

Follow the Roar: Tailing Tiger For All 604 Holes of His Most Spectacular Season certainly delivers what is promised. And more.

Smiley's attitude about Woods wasn't one of fawning fan. In fact he used to root for others to knock Tiger off his perch. But at the age of 30, with a stalled career and starting to lose hope for his own golf game, Smiley decided to see if Tiger had something to teach him.

What he produced is nothing short of a wonder. Smiley gives golf fans enough detail and insight into every shot Tiger hit between January and June 2008 to make us happy.

But he also provides a funny travelogue that takes us around the U.S. as well as to the United Arab Emirates, as he relates his experiences traveling in less than first class-style.

Although he held a press pass from ESPN, he got no special privileges from tournament officials and he certainly never got closer to Tiger than any fan who is lucky enough to stand right at the rope line.

He had to stretch his less than enormous book advance and convince his wife that his absence from her and his two young children would all be worth it...someday.

Smiley doesn't spare any detail about his foibles, his family's opinion of his book project and his prospects in life. That charming thread runs through the pages as he chronicles the turn-around in his feelings about Tiger Woods and the profound wonder he felt as the golfer's worldwide tournament winning streak wore on.

The author convinces us of the righteousness of the Tiger apologists and provides the most stirring account of the U.S. Open that saw Tiger rise to new levels of mental toughness and physical prowess.

If you want to relive the glory of the 2008 season or just learn how one individual can concentrate on the task at hand without deviating from a plan (and I mean Smiley here, not just Tiger) then Follow The Roar is just what the doctor ordered.