Tiger Woods is the Lord of the Headlines
Apr 7, 2015, 8:49 PM | Updated: 8:49 pm
Tiger Woods is still dominating headlines but the golf world has moved on. In terms of production, this is a man that hasn’t been relevant in years but whatever he does cameras, microphones and interest follows him like TMZ on Travolta.
Tiger has been on a self-imposed exile of sorts. He withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open in the first week of February and has not played competitively since. He walked off the course at Torrey Pines — a course he has owned — complaining of a bad back. Last week Tiger jumped on the course at Augusta National to see where his game was. This week he has been all over the storied course and says he “Will play in the Masters.”
Although TV executives are more than pleased Woods will be in the tournament, he is no longer the future of golf. The 20-somethings are taking over and Woods is being reduced to a circus act. People love to stare and marvel at Eldrick and his public collapse — even after all these years. So many viewers this weekend are the same people that like to buy a soft pretzel at Fashion Square Mall, sit in the food court and watch Scottsdale’s finest walk across Shakespeare’s stage.
I admit there is an allure to Tiger’s tribulations but my fascination stems from a human being competing at the highest level and what confidence can do for a person — and/or the lack thereof.
Tiger continues to believe, publicly, but if you watch him instead of listen to him you notice quickly he is a shell of his former self, a conch is sounded but is no longer waived about as a sign of authority. Like Jack Merridew in Lord of the Flies, his authority has been usurped. He makes statements he hasn’t been able to back up, talks about how good he’s striping the ball and then shoots an 82 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, talks about his gluteus shutting off and then walks off Torrey Pines. And the young-guns on tour giggle, no longer enamored with his legend.
Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Day have joined Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and others as the future of golf, a position Tiger once held exclusively. And if you listen to the “future of golf” they say all the right things but one thing is clear: they no longer fear him and haven’t for a long time. Worse than this, hardcore golf fans, whom considers Tiger a pariah, would rather remember Tiger before hitting the fire hydrant.