You don’t have to be a devotee of golf to be fascinated by the travails and epic collapse of Tiger Woods as the sport’s most visible ambassador. Tiger is ranked
255 in the world as a golfer. That sentence is not a typo. Golf.com reported that Tiger, for the first time in his career, is not in the top 100 in world rankings. Losing on a regular basis in the last few years sucks if you are Tiger.
Tiger [pictured above] didn’t make the cut for the major tournaments this year. Not making the cut for the major championships is the equivalent of World Soccer Champs Germany not qualifying for the 2018 edition of the World Cup after being humiliated by Lichtenstein; it is the fastest sprinter of all time Usain Bolt coming fourth in his favorite 200-meter dash; and it is Pound for pound King Floyd Mayweather Jr going down after a haymaker in the first round from some amateur welterweight pugilist who is trying to make his nation’s Olympics team.
Tiger once ruled the roost as the premier golfer in the world for more than a decade. Golf was the lair Tiger built since 2000. That is no hyperbole. In his heyday, Tiger intimidated everybody. The maniacally focused, competitive Tiger on the green was a badass who took on all comers and made some opponents look like a bunch of amateurs. Tiger was Mr. invincible; he was a man who seemed for a long time to be playing among boys. The charismatic Tiger transformed the sport of golf like no one else in history.
He won 14 titles and was on pace to equal and surpass the great Jack Nicklaus’ career 18 major championships. Tiger made billions for sponsors and major corporations and was the first athlete to earn $1 billion. Yep, Tiger did surpass Michael Jordan as the number one shill for the likes of Nikes, Adidas, and Citibank. His presence on the tour brought millions of fans around the world that normally would not have paid any attention to the sport. Tiger inspired the youth of color, in particular, to take up the game that some might regard as elitist and boring.
Tiger doesn’t turn 40 until December, but already some analysts have written him off as a has-been because of his struggles with his game in the last few years. These days, Tiger’s shots aren’t falling where he wants them to. His once powerful, famed swing is now at best, mediocre, according to some in the golf commentariat. The dramatic downward trajectory of Tiger’s career and his public image started in 2009 after allegations of his infidelities exploded into the public consciousness. Tiger has one real vice: an addiction to sex with babes. The book on Tiger is that he doesn’t pound booze or take drugs. Nevertheless, Tiger makes up for being a teetotaler by bedding a bunch of gorgeous babes on a regular basis. That’s how he gets his kicks. Based on news accounts, Tiger digs beautiful dames of all sizes and shapes, from super-duper model types to waitresses with luscious lips in tight, seductive outfits.
Tiger’s ex-wife Elin Nordegren, the mother of his two kids and a former striking, Swedish model, gave him the heave-ho the moment she found out about his philandering. Tiger and Nordegren divorced in 2010. Earlier this year, Tiger’s former girlfriend, the skier world champ Lindsey Vonn dumped him for allegedly cheating on her. Tiger’s image has taken a beating because of his moral failings. Moralistic puritans of all kinds continue to get down on Tiger. The puritans continue to call him a fraud for masquerading as a family man and a great ambassador for golf while at the same time leading a double life as a moral degenerate. Tiger has lost tens of millions of dollars as advertisers and corporate sponsors kicked him like a bad habit.
But the fact of the matter is, had Tiger been winning on the golf course, his extra-curricular activities would not have been fodder for critics to the asinine level it is right now. Fans and corporate sponsors love winners who don’t let issues in their personal lives affect their performance as athletes. Tiger is not the first athlete or public figure to be accused of cheating on his dame. Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant was accused of rape by a young woman in the state of Colorado when he was just 24 years old more than a decade ago. That serious case of sexual assault could have derailed Kobe’s career before it started.
However, once the case was settled out of court, Kobe did not let the incident affect his performance on the floor. The fellow nicknamed the black mamba would go on to win multiple championships with the Lakers. San Antonio Spurs floor generalissimo Tony Parker was once married to a drop-dead gorgeous actress named Eva Longoria and allegedly cheated on her. That affair put paid to the couple’s marriage. If the split affected Parker emotionally, fans did not notice in his style of playing. Chelsea FC talented captain John Terry also allegedly cheated on his wife with a former teammate’s babe.
Look, call good old Terry a moral reprobate if you want, but you can’t say being humiliated in public for getting some love on the side has had an impact on his leadership and hustling on the pitch since the incident went down several years ago.
Some analysts have said Tiger will never win another major championship again after a seven-year drought. These pundits said golf’s future is now firmly in the hands of young, hard-charging stars like Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcilroy, Dustin Johnson, and newly crowned PGA champ Jayson day. Nevertheless, not every golf aficionado has given up on Tiger. Golf experts like Gary Van Sickle of Sports Illustrated argue that Tiger’s struggles on the course have nothing to do with the injuries he has suffered over the years. His physical game is actually getting better, according to Van Sickle. Tiger was in serious contention for the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina almost three weeks ago before losing out in the final round.
So Tiger could potentially win another major tournament if he is able to put the off the course stuff behind him. After all, his hero Nicklaus won his last major championship at the age of 46. Although he is ranked 255, Tiger is still the biggest draw in golf, bar none. No one should count out this son of a tough former marine father to make a comeback in the future.
By Bayo Akinnagbe