AT one time, The game Golf was as synonymous to Tiger Woods as Rock and roll was with Elvis Presley in the mid-20th Century. He ruled the sport in the early and middle parts of the millennium. He was branded as ‘THE KING OF THE COURSE’. One would not be faulted for Tiger Woods being the only golfer known.
And with this found success came the quick rise to prominence. And with him being thrown in the spotlight gave way to the excess wealth, endorsement deals, huge fan base, praise and women. Simply put, The man had the world at the feet. But the 14-time major champion has seen an astonishing fall of grace.
The flame was lowered in November 2009 when it was revealed he was involved in countless affairs outside his marriage to Swede beauty queen Elin Nordegren. He admitted to this and came out and apologised. He later checked into a sex addiction facility but that did little to stop his numerous and bumper endorsement deals from being terminated. And this event put ‘THE TIGER’ brand in free-fall and set the tone for more trouble. The year 2010 was no better with niggling injuries slowing his game down and the announcement of divorce to his Swedish model wife at the end of the first half of the year. There were unconfirmed claims he later checked out of the sex addiction facility by the close of the year. The following year promised positive vibes but Tiger’s body had other ideas. Countless injuries hit the once flawless golfer and the long-serving world No 1 dropped to a lonely No 58. He could once hit a birdie with his eyes closed but his swing and body were in another place.
But there was something to smile about at the end of the year as he won the Chevron tournament. The year 2012 saw a further dip in form. But the following year, The Tiger enjoyed some form of a short-lived resurgence. He regained the No 1 spot and started dating again. The woman in question this time around was Ski racer Lindsey Vonn. Wood won another tournament that same year. The following year though was in summary about breaking ties and withdrawals from tournaments as he did away with swing coach Sean Foley and pulled out of the PGA Championship. The year 2015 was another Tiger might want to erase from memory in a hurry as he was ranked a shocking No 104 in the world which was his lowest since the start of his professional career. He later split from his new flame Lindsey Vonn. He underwent more surgeries due to his injuries by the end of the year. Also missing more game time which meant he was slipping further down the ranks like a Granny in skates. Then came 2016 and the story got no sweeter to put it mildly. Well he was downright rubbish to be brutally honest. Flimsy excuses like not “being in the right frame of mind” meant he just kept on withdrawing from tournaments. But one cannot eat his own cake and have it so he faced the ramifications and dropped out of the first 500 places. He returned to competitive golf at the end of the year. This year begun with more trips to the hospital to be put under the knife. And in May of this year, he was arrested for DUI ( driving under the influence)and falling asleep behind the wheel but later claimed prescription drugs were at fault. He was later checked in Rehab.
He will surely go down as one of the greats but he might be remembered for all the wrong reasons also. And his recent mug shot sums up his fall from grace, One can only wish him well in Rehab and hope the Tiger roars again.
MY TWO CENTS.