Where Have You
Gone, Tiger Woods?
The No. 1 player in the world, arguably the greatest golfer
of all time, needs to resurface sooner rather than later.
On the Chinese Zodiac calendar, most
of 2010 is “The Year of the Tiger.” That
calendar year starts Feb. 14 (coincidentally
Valentine’s Day), perhaps the perfect time
for a certain golfer still in hiding to show
his face, tee it up and get back to the business of doing what he does best.
According to the Web site Chinesezo-
diac.com, “the Tiger symbolizes such
character traits as bravery, competitive-
ness and unpredictability. … They don’t
worry about the outcome because they
always know they’ll land on their feet. …
Don’t let their calm appearance fool you;
Tigers will pounce when they feel it is
For Tiger Woods, it seems more nec-
essary with each passing day for him to
leap back into a sport he has dominated
for the last two decades and try to begin
distancing himself from the slimy scandal
of serial infidelity of his very own making,
aided and abetted by who knows how many
enablers on or off his payroll.
The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu once
said that a journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single step. Sooner or later,
Woods surely will have to end his so-called
“indefinite” hiatus from the game, put
one spiked shoe in front of the other and
head toward the first tee, no matter how
painful that first step — and many more
thereafter — surely will be.
Wherever Woods plays in the beginning, and perhaps for the foreseeable future, the cry of “you da man” from behind
the gallery ropes almost certainly will be
replaced by “you da moron,” not to mention catty calls of “Cheetah” and perhaps
far worse from the swirling masses.
And yet, sooner rather than later obviously would be a more preferable timetable for his return to a sport that is not
even close to the same without him, despite Tim Finchem’s see-no-evil optimism.
Never mind the loss of some of his own
top sponsors and the others that Woods’
absence will hurt — the PGA Tour, its
network and cable television partners,
viewers at home, spectators on the course,
tournament sponsors and the charities
When will the No. 1 player in the world,
arguably the greatest golfer of all time,
resurface? Only he knows for sure, and
perhaps even Woods hasn’t made up his
mind. He should — immediately. And
none of the above is meant to advance any
notion that it’s time to forgive and forget.
For one, Woods certainly doesn’t need my
forgiveness, or yours. His wife and family
are another story, a private story for all of
them to sort out.
As for forgetting, from the day he steps
back inside the ropes, it’s enough to say
that we should always remember that
Woods was not the man, the husband, the
father, the paragon of sports perfection we
all once admired. He still has a chance to
become the greatest player of all time.
Far be it from anyone in the media to
advise Woods on anything. But wouldn’t
Augusta National offer Woods the softest
landing possible, not to mention a venue
that so obviously suits his game? The
Lords of The Masters surely would envel-
op Woods in a cocoon of soothing green
jackets. They can control the tabloid and
Web site riff-raff by simply denying them
access through the press gate and into
the media center. Woods probably would
ly bare his soul for a welcome change
and just get it all over with?
The Lords of The Masters surely
would envelop Woods in a cocoon of
soothing green jackets.
never have to leave the grounds. Surely
a proper cabin on the property could be
found for the week.
Toon-a-ment officials can warn
already reverential spectators that of-
fensive comments from the galleries will
result in the loss of a precious ticket.
They can tell always-compliant CBS to
go easy on the sleazy and emphasize the
play of their four-time champion, or else
risk losing the future rights to a tradi-
tion like no other. They can even begin
Woods’ first press conference — assum-
ing they’ll even put him on the pre-tour-
nament interview schedule — by insist-
ing on golf questions only. But wouldn’t
it make far more sense for him to simply
face some of the early chin music, brief-
man who still hears voices from his often-
dwindling galleries, said of Woods that
“I think the mystique is gone. I think the
mysterious nature of the guy is gone … It
gives us more opportunity to find ways of
winning these events now, and I’m think-
ing of myself as well as my peers.”
Think again, Monty. It’s the Year of the
Tiger, and don’t ever forget this is a totally
different breed of cat, in every way. l