Tiger’s best days are behind him
In recent months as his career has begun to slowly go upward, there has been something called the “Tiger Watch” on social media.
Tiger is, of course, golfer Tiger Woods.
Now, I don’t pretend to know a great deal about golf. It’s a sport I have dabbled (mostly dabbed) in for more than 40 years.
To me, golf is a “good walk spoiled,” in the words of Mark Twain.
But I do know a thing or two about human nature, and I’ve learned not to get carried away when an athlete talks about having learned from his mistakes and vowing to turn a leaf.
Tiger Woods should know all about mistakes, he made enough of them to ruin his marriage, and for a time, his golf career, with a series of misadventures.
As a young golfer, he was nearly perfect as he won a total of 14 major tournaments and wowed the golf world with his talent.
Unfortunately, he carried a certain attitude with him at the time. Haughty would be the best word that fit.
He also had a caddy for awhile who served as a gestapo-like guard.
The caddy would sometimes threaten fans who were making too much noise. And beware to photographers who were annoying his boss.
That might have worked back a century ago, but it didn’t gain Woods many new fans.
Thus, when his career began to slide due to injuries — and bad publicity — there were than a few people who weren’t unhappy about it.
The sponsors of the big PGA tournaments are pleased to have him back on the tour because he is undoubtedly a big draw on television.
Remember, sports fans as a whole, like to cheer against the bad guy, as much as they do for a popular player.
That’s why golfers like perennially cheerful Phil Mickelson is a crowd favorite everywhere they go. Nice guys don’t always finish last.
The big question left with Tiger Woods is whether he can win four more majors and tie the all-time Jack Nicklaus record of 18.
I don’t believe he will because there are just too many good young golfers on the tour today. Guys like Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar and the 2018 Open winner Francesco Molinari, and many others will be there to stand in his way.
And that won’t break my heart in the least bit.