Police footage presents Tiger Woods failing sobriety exam before arrest
For Woods, 2017 has so far seen his withdrawal from a tournament in Dubai after simply 18 pits because of trauma, the release of an endearing volume which marks the 20 th anniversary of his maiden win of The Masters by a dozen strokes and now the various kinds of shame that has raised anxieties for his future. It is still merely June.
Im a friend of Tigers and I feel bad for him, said Jack Nicklaus, the only human to have won more major championships than Woods. I think that hes fighting. And I wish him well. I hope he gets out of it and I hope he plays golf again. He needs a lot of support from a lot of people and Ill be one of them.
To understand why Woodss horribly diminished state he scarcely plays golf now, let alone challenges in competition is so significant, is to understand what he was when their own lives was easy.
Born Eldrick Tont Woods in California in 1975, his golfing talent was detected at an early age. In a athletic blighted by racism, Woods has spoken of the discrimination he encountered in his youth and the motivation that it dedicated him. He also had a severe stutter as small children. Despite it all, he became so successful that he broke several records.
Having become the only player in history to win the United States Amateur Championship three years in a row, Woods easily joined the professional ranks. He claimed eight of his majors between 1997 and 2002, with 2000 considering Woods win three of golfs four pavilion events and the US Open by the age of 25. His spell as world No 1 included holding the position for 281 weeks in a row. Woods wore a cloak of invincibility which meant his very presence spooked fellow competitors. There is a obliging occurrence for him being the finest golfer of all time.
By the end of 2016, Woods had collected $110 m (8 5m) in prize money. Career earnings, meanwhile, have been estimated at about $1.5 bn, rendering him one of the highest-paid sportspeople in history. Woods would regularly command seven-figure appearance fees and, since turning professional in 1996, has retained sponsorship from Nike thought to be worth at least $20 m per year. Woods was the epitome of athleticism and the polar opposite of every negative stereotype associated with golf. He built golf more appealing, as reflected by a massive growth in television ratings.
He brought so many new people to the game, says Chubby Chandler, head of the International Sports Management group, which is highly influential in golf. Quite simply he was better than anybody else and he already had a brand where reference is turned pro because everyone had heard about him. He lived up to it.
Nike were clever. They didnt sign him to sell golf clubs, they signed him to sell trainers by virtue of their logo being so prominent on the golf course.
In 2012, when we arranged a tournament in Turkey, we were told at a session we had to have Tiger Woods playing. I said he would be too expensive. They replied that 10 -1 5% of people in Turkey would have heard of Tiger Woods but nobody there would have heard of any other golfer. They needed Tiger.
A lot has changed in the five years since. If he comes back and plays again, he has to be reasonable, says Chandler. He cant be as bad as he has been playing. I dont want to see him embarrass himself. When he played that one round in Dubai, I said to the tournament director, We might just have seen his last round ever.
Phil Mickelson has been one of Woodss great contenders over the years. The ageing process might have softened their reciprocal distaste, but it is still interesting that Mickelson speaks for his fellow professionals when enunciating what Woods delivered for them.
When I won the Tucson Open in 1991 the wins cheque was $180,000, Mickelson said. I remember believing in the mid-9 0s, I wonder if some day well play for a million dollar first-place cheque? I dont know, likely not in my lifetime, but I hope we do. Now we do each week and thats because of Tiger.
Woods learned so much from his late father, Earl, including a distrust of the media which has only eased in recent times. His ferocious competitive edge, one not matched usually even in the upper echelons of athletic, often attained Woods rude and inconsiderate of others.
his ex-wife was caught out by such an attitude. After one tournament success Elin suggested a night of celebration. Woods bluntly rejected the idea, saying: Honey, this[ winning] is what we do. An obsession with pushing his body to its limits foresee Woods undertake Navy Seal training. A outcome of a physically violent golf swing was multiple knee surgeries before his back problems ensued. Timbers has always been deeply secretive; he would argue through necessity.
Earl Woodss death impacted severely on his son. When Tiger won the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in 2006, two months after the loss of his father, a first ever insight into
personal trauma seemed as the champion burst into tears on the final green.
At the same event three years later, whisperings abounded considering Woods and his extramarital antics. If those rumours circulated without verification, within four months, Woodss reputation was in tatters after the scale of his affairs became known. Before it emerged, Woods crashed his auto into a water hydrant outside his home, in an uncanny parallel with recent events.
Woods has reflected on regret that will last a lifetime with regards the collapse of his wedding. I convinced myself that normal rules didnt apply, Woods said. I never was just thinking about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought merely about myself. Woods remains, by widespread acknowledgement, a doting father to Sam and Charlie.
Woods incentivised a generation of players, many of whom are now the worlds best, to get into golf.
Rory McIlroy idolised Timbers from his childhood home in Northern Ireland, and hoped he would go even part of the way to imitating the Californian. Now a multiple major champion, Woods inspired him to dedicate the practice hours necessary for his own lucrative career.
As if to prove Woodss reach, a youngster in rural Queensland by the name of Jason Day pursued precisely the same dream on precisely the same basis. I read a volume about Tiger and that inspired me, says Day , now the world No 3. Years subsequently I had the gallantry to eventually go up and speak to him you have to understand he had the Tiger aura.
Even before events of recent days, McIlroy said: I never believed Id say this but I feel sorry for Tiger. The sympathy was on account of recurring failure to recover from his back problems. Patently there is a physical combat there but there has to be a mental fight as well, McIlroy added.
The most plausible hypothesi regarding the demise of Woodss game is that when he realised he wasnt infallible, that element of doubt hemorrhaged into every component of their own lives. From 2009 when reports of his affairs hit the front pages the rules applied. It was questionable how and where Woods would gain contentment when he couldnt play golf at his earlier level. This isnt an individual with plenty of other components within his life.
Woods appears a lost, sorry soul. The odds on him featuring again on entry lists for golf tournaments have never been longer. If that is sad devoted his contribution to this athletic as well as the pleasure he afforded others there is a far more meaningful, human element to this bleak equation.
Tiger Woods hoists the Bell Canadian Open trophy after winning the PGA event in Oakville, Ontario in September 2000. Photograph: Andrew Wallace/ Reuters
Born: 30 December 1975
Career : A child golfing prodigy, as taught by his ex-military parent, Woods took the professional athletic by cyclone. He won his first major championship aged 21 and racked up another 13 while transgressing a series of records for golfing accomplishment. A total of 79 wins on the PGA Tour remains the second highest of all time. High point : Success at the 2000 US Open, by a record 15 shots. Low point : In the early hours of Monday morning, Woods was arrested in Florida after being discovered asleep at the wheel of his car. He was charged with driving under the influence, having slurred words and being incapable of strolling in a straight line.
He says: Compete remains my favourite word, and likely always will. My mothers told me it was OK in order to be allowed to fail, as long as I dedicated it everything I had. I have given it everything I have.
They say: His domination at a time when youre bringing more and more good players along was incredible. I always refer to it kind of like Michael Jordan in the NBA. I have to put Tiger down as probably the greatest player ever to play. – Tim Finchem, former head of the PGA Tour.