Any kind words from me about Tiger Woods violates the cardinal rule of the First Wives Club, namely, that we side with each other. I have no idea what Woods’ Swedish ex-wife is like, but she faced a pretty bad public humiliation. I do not blame her for chasing him with a bat upon discovery that he had multiple mistresses.
Two years ago, we learned that Tiger Woods' perfect life, puritan work ethic and overall nice guy-ness were a total fraud. Last weekend, 749 days after his last win, Woods finally took home a trophy at the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament. And strangely, I'm sort of happy about it.
I know his horrible play the last two years had much to do with extensive injuries to his knee and Achilles heel. But, at some stage, watching his tremendous plummet into golf oblivion & until this weekend, Woods was ranked number 52 worldwide and his Chevron victory only gets him to number 21 & I began to think that the guy was spiraling out of control and that it was having an effect on the thing that mattered to him most: golf. And I liked that. Sure he had issues & he was a tightly wound player with a competitive and overbearing dad & but Woods was one of the few athletes who seemed better than the rest, and he was responsible for changing the image of a sport that has long been the favorite of older white guys. And he blew it all.
But then he kept losing. Sadly, pathetically, he looked like he was trying so hard. He became more and more sympathetic because, and only because, he just couldn’t win. The public got a perverse pleasure in the "will he or won't he" get the title aspects of each game.
Has he paid his dues? His ex-wife may not think so, but if one believes in punishment, surely there has to be ways to redemption. 749 days is a long time.
Now, Woods has a new jacket. I just can't help feeling a little tinge of guilt by liking the fact he is back.
Globe file photo: Tiger Woods tees off during the Australian Open last Friday.