Not too long ago I was welcoming Tiger back from knee surgery and rehab on this blog. Now that he’s gone again as a result of his own actions I feel compelled to comment even though the situation doesn’t concern me at all. As a golfer, and a Tiger fan, I’m disappointed that he’ll be out of competition for some period of time in order to get his affairs straight (pun intended, sorry). I’m not, however, disappointed in his behavior. Not because I don’t think what he did was wrong, but because that’s taking something personally that doesn’t effect me personally. Elin and the rest of their family have the right to be disappointed in him, but the rest of us don’t. I’m disappointed that he may not get any closer to Jack’s record 17 major tournament victories this year, or ever. I’d really like to be able to tell my children about the sheer dominance of Tiger and how none of the golfers of their era could hold a candle to him. All I’m losing if he doesn’t beat Jack’s record is the ability to needle my progeny about the inadequacy of golfers their own age on some far future date. Hmmm, doesn’t sound so important when I put it that way, huh?
As a husband and father myself I think that what he did was a violation of his own personal promises to his family. I know it’s hard when your wife is preoccupied with the young children and you can’t get the grown-up time you need, but it’s a question of honoring your obligations. I know Tiger was brought up to keep his promises and to care about those around him. His history up to this point is full of examples of this. I’m sure it created quite a bit of cognitive dissonance to break his word but the drive to cheat must have been very strong, or the opportunities exceedingly plentiful, for whatever reason. I find it hard to condemn him for this particular fault though because I don’t know if I’d have been able to keep my word in a similar situation with similar opportunities. It’s impossible to say, besides it’s not good to get in the habit of condemning people. I hope he’s able to salvage at least a relationship with his children out of this debacle because that’s what’s really important in his situation. No doubt the healing process will be long for their family and I wish them luck. In any case, it’s their private business, and none of ours.
As for coming back to golf… I hope he comes back sooner rather than later, say before the Masters, but that’s just because I may one day have some grandchildren to razz.