Masters Manipulation

Mock Tiger Woods for Bootyism, get grounded by the FAA

Mock Tiger Woods for Bootyism, get grounded by the FAA

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Tiger Woods arrives at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday. Courtesy of AP

Well, Tiger Woods' caddie Steve Williams didn't have to shoot that meddlesome prankster of a plane down with a portable rocket launcher.

The FAA did it for Tiger — and the overlords of Augusta National in green jackets.

The plane flying the banner "Tiger: Did you mean Bootyism?" as it circled over Augusta (visible from The Masters' course) was grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration over a minor repair issue. A disputed minor repair issue. FAA flight safety inspectors issued the order after meeting with the pilot of the mysterious single-engine Cessna. The advertising agency that hired the plane refuses to say who commissioned the banner. (There's only about three dozen mistresses to choose from!)

Still, the issue here isn't the hiring, but rather this Tiger and Masters' convenient grounding. The advertising agency (Air America Aerial Ads) claims that the only safety issue that's been cited was a seatbelt that didn't comply with FAA standards.

Doesn't everyone know that the grounding is worse than the crime? Or in this case, the slight humiliation.

Tiger followed up his first-round 68 with a second-round 70. He's only two shots back of British co-leaders Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood heading into the weekend, tied with his usual punching-bag Phil Mickelson at 6-under.

And all, anyone's talking about first is the Bootyism plane.