Tiger Will Never Be The Same

This weekend at the US Open Phil Mickelson once again has an opportunity to overtake Tiger Woods as No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career. However, even if Phil Mickelson or anyone else on the tour for that matter does not take away the No. 1 from Tiger Woods in the years to come, we will not be seeing the Tiger of old ever again.

The perception by fans and media of Tiger Woods has been forever changed after the infamous marital infidelities that were exposed near the end of 2009. Subsequently, he took an indefinite lay off from golf. In March, Tiger announced that he would be playing in the 2010 edition of the Masters where he finished 4th place despite the long absence from competitive play. It was at this moment after the 2010 Masters when I realized we would never see the Tiger Woods that the golf world fell in love ever since he burst onto the scene with his first major victory at the 1997 Masters.

Immediately after his final round at Augusta this year Tiger Woods was interviewed and expressed his disappointment with his 4th place finish. However, during the interview Tiger was not just disappointed, he was obviously angry. This was a Tiger Woods that I had never seen before. You knew that he wanted to come back and show the world that he was still the games most dominate player despite not playing for a significant period of time. I’ve always loved Tiger Woods and mainly because on the course he was the most genuine player out there. He is not your typical golf personality as he is never afraid to show his emotions, whether it be joy or frustration. To the media though, Tiger Woods was arguably the most boring sports interview out there. Never one to stir up controversy during an interview. During this interview after his final round at the masters however, Tiger did not attempt to conceal his feelings. This was a man who had lost a reputation that he had worked his whole life for. A man who felt that he didn’t even have the one thing that made him truly great. This man we saw that day was the real Tiger Woods.

Throughout Tiger Wood’s entire personal ordeal he was my still my favourite golfer. I figured that he let his superstardom get to his head, which it did. A superstar that is really horny. I was cheering for Tiger during the 2010 Masters. I am not condoning anything that he did because what he did was horrible, but I kept giving Tiger the benefit of the doubt. I wanted the golfer back that I had been cheering for since I was a little kid. Not anymore. It may sound stupid but that one interview, which I can’t find, pushed me over the edge. For me, half of liking a player has to do with his personality and I can’t cheer for an athlete that is a flat out jerk. I don’t care how great a player you are I am never ever going to root for guys like Kobe Bryant and Terrell Owens.

Tiger will never be the same to me in that regards, but for the rest of you, Tiger will never be the same golfer either. Gone are the days of “Tiger Slams” and 12 stroke victories and they aren’t coming back. First of all, Woods is just not as good a player as he was just a few years ago. At the 2009 PGA Championship Tiger blowing a lead after 54 holes at a major for the first time in his career to virtually unknown Y.E. Yang. I think at this point we can all agree that Tiger isn’t one to choke. Unlike so many other golfers, Tiger doesn’t choke, he loses. And it’s fact that Tiger is losing more and more as the years go by. Tiger is constantly being out-driven by his partner, and he does not come out of the thick stuff with the strength and force that he used to have. I think we all sometimes forgot that Tiger is getting older. He will be 35 years old in December and obviously with age comes deterioration in play. Well I guess that’s not always the case in golf. Phil Mickelson is arguably playing the best golf his career as he is going to be 40 years old on Wednesday. Generally though you are going to see players decline as they get older.

I do believe that Tiger Woods will eventually break Jack Nicklaus’ major record of 18. Woods is currently at 14. However, it looks as though it is going to be majors scattered over a number of years. It is not going to be as fun watching golf without Tiger being his same old self on the course. By no means has there been a player in any sport who was as fun to watch dominate as Tiger Woods was. It will be sorely missed. As a person, I will never see Tiger Woods as the same entertaining character. I’m not sure about you guys, but I’m only going to be seeing a troubled, unpleasant jerk.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, I’m now on twitter! Follow me at http://www.twitter.com/paintstheblack

About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

12 Responses to Tiger Will Never Be The Same

  1. woodjared says:

    Chris, I like this. Good writing. Thanks for checking out my blog, too. I’ll try to follow you. Thanks for the comment.

  2. woodjared says:

    Chris, I tend to agree with you. I have a hard time cheering for jerks. On the other hand, although most athletes probably fall into the jerk category, I have to admit I might not be the best to start throwing stones. And if we chose not to cheer for jerks, we might have to stop watching much of the team sports we regularly enjoy.

    Granted, Tiger’s indiscretions are big ones committed over a long period of time, but I love a comeback. I think Tiger has a nice comeback in him, but it might not be too soon. It also won’t likely be with the ferocity we’ve seen before. But I think he’s got some great golf left in him.

  3. Chris,
    I partially agree with you and I partially don’t. I agree that Tiger Woods will never ever be the same golfer he was prior to the “scandal”. This is just too big of a mess to simply put every little detail (the mistresses, his wife, his kids, the car accident, the interviews) behind him. He might go on to win many more majors and beat Nicklaus’ record, but, honestly, I’m not counting on it.

    Despite the fact that he didn’t do anything illegal, I’m still disturbed and angry when it comes to anything regarding Tiger. I feel rejected. A couple years ago, I had to write a paper about a person (not someone in my family) that I admired and I chose Tiger. He was not really my favorite golfer (I’m a fan of South African golfers. Why? Beats me.) but I respected him because, like you said, no other sport had someone like Tiger. Now, I feel betrayed.

    Wait, I feel betrayed? I wonder how his wife feels…?


    P.S. Oh, and btw, well written article, Chris!

  4. dyslecix says:

    Look Michael Jordan was no saint….If the mass Hollywood driven media, and the internet were alive in his era, we wouldn’t be talking about Tiger the way we do today. Jordan would have already set the standard….Enjoy your favorite athletes accomplishments on the field of play, because very few of them live a stellar off field life (like many of us in are own lives).

    Thanks for dropping by Doin-work the other day, the three of us will be stopping by here regularly.

  5. Seth Davis says:

    I took a quick look at your blog great stuff Chris, I think we are on the same level.

    Feel free to shamelessly plug bigrips.wordpress.com I’ll do the same for you

    Beat LA

  6. Hi Chris,

    You write well. I can certainly provide you with some commentary on golf and MLB, as these are my areas of expertise. I’d like to get to know a little bit more about you and your blog.

    As for my blog, I am looking to expand it in a major way in the next month. Keep looking. I see it as a sports, entertainment, and leisure website targeted at a mostly male ages 18-30 demographic. Check it out. http://www.howiGit.wordpress.com.

  7. RCandCess says:

    Ei Chris,

    Nice posts, I should say. Thanks also for dropping by my blog site. I suggest read more of Sekou Smith’s hangtime blog, as well as those written by Fran Blinebury. They have good posts, especially NBA buzz.

    God bless more on your blogging!

  8. 1Ouye says:

    Hey Chris,
    Funny you found a my tech site, but you found a tech guy that is into sports too. I read your post and for the most part agree with you.

    In sports winning in dramatic fashion tends to bring people back to you or hate you more I guess. I think Tiger will eventually pull most people back to the “he turned a new leaf and matured column” People change etc. I cheered for Barry Bonds all those years that he was a jerk and loved what he did for my Giants. Everyone can hate, but that guy was an entertainer and so is Tiger. They entertain and that is what sports is all about.

  9. Benjamin Wendell says:

    Interesting post. I’m not quite willing yet to admit that the Tiger of old is gone forever. Let’s see what happens this week.

  10. judebautista says:

    Hi Chris! it’s me again. there’s nothing i can really dispute with your blog on Tiger. But i think dyslecix is on track when he wrote: “Enjoy your favorite athletes accomplishments on the field of play, because very few of them live a stellar off field life (like many of us in are own lives).” When you look at MJ flying off the ground and seem to float on the air and capture six NBA rings with as many MVP awards, we tend to think he’s not human. Tiger’s like that too, when he was this very young golfer beating so many experienced pros we were AWED. And IT IS TRUE, that what they’re doing is beyond what any ONE of us will ever do on the court or the golf course. That’s why when they make mistakes just like any ordinary human will most often also commit our perceptions of them are totally shattered. We don’t THINK of them as human but they are. i can imagine myself getting pissed if i was interviewed after a very disappointing loss. i’m not excusing Tiger’s behavior in ANY of the things that he’s done. but we also shouldn’t rush to judge them more than we do ourselves.
    Thank you for this blog and hope to see everyone at /judebautista.wordpress.com/

  11. Good blog, Chris. Well thought through and well written.

    I agree with you about Tiger, but I would take it a step further: Even before the layoff this year AND before the knee problems the years before that, Tiger was never going to dominate the way he did in the beginning of his career.

    This is not because he’s a worse golfer. He always gets jided when he says he’s a better golfer now than he was then, but I do agree with his assessment.

    The reason he’s not able to dominate the same way is that the rest of the field has caught up with him to a degree. Tiger set new standards for golf fitness, golf strength, and general workrate. Now, his competition is more fit, stronger, and work harder than they did 10 years ago. The “flatbelly” golfer is not more the norm than the exception, and someone who defies this definition is thought of as a throw-back.

  12. Good article, I like the content of your blog. I think you’ve got some great points of discussion, and it’s tough to put them together in a manner that holds the reader’s interest. Well done.

    As for Woods, time will tell whether or not he’s changed. Right now, he still comes across as the same entitled, arrogant superstar that he swore he would no longer be. Last week at the US Open, he blamed the “awful” greens for his horrible putting performance on Thursday. Then Sunday evening, he even threw his caddie in his crosshairs by suggesting that Williams gave him bad advice on a few occasions, mental mistakes that he claims cost him the US Open.

    Maybe Woods is deflecting the criticism and blame for his dreadful performance on Sunday to maintain some of his confidence, in the same manner that a great putter who just blew a three footer for birdie tamps down a make-believe spike mark.

    But the old Tiger never made excuses for playing badly. So in that aspect he’s already changed, and not necessarily for the better.

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