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Woods craves control and privacy as much as trophies

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Iain Carter | 10:37 UK time, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Tiger Woods was once again centre of attention. He always is at any golf tournament. On this occasion it seemed magnified, the dial was on max. Chinese crowds, the sponsors, the organisers and the media all wanted their piece of arguably the world's most recognisable sportsman.

And what is that like for the superstar at the centre of it all?

When he was asked Woods gave perhaps his most telling answer of the week he spent at this month's WGC Champions tournament in Shanghai. Just five words summed up his feelings. "I have never liked it," he said.

Hardly revelatory because we know Woods loathes sharing his life with anyone other than those nearest and dearest. His yacht is named "Privacy" in case we were in any doubt.

He is a master of evasion in the interview room. Woods has lived his adult life in the glare of publicity. It is why his every move is micro-managed, why he is so careful with every public utterance, why the burly bodyguards follow his every step.

This is sport's first self-made billionaire. Within his substantial sphere he has presidential influence and is treated as royalty.

The world's top golfer has his own tried and trusted methods to deal with the attention he generates and it all comes down to controlling the situation.

It means making little or no eye contact with anyone other than his caddie and playing partners when he is on the course. This is perhaps best illustrated as he walks to the range ahead of a round.

woods595.jpg
Woods looks to the sky during October's Presidents Cup

At Hazeltine ahead of the third round of this year's USPGA in August, I well remember his march to the practice area. Fans were screaming support, demanding autographs or just a wave of acknowledgment. Woods stared straight ahead as he strode hands in pockets, seemingly oblivious to the commotion.

This went on for fully 100 yards. One was left to conclude that this was a man in a bubble of fierce concentration ahead of a massively important round. Nothing could disturb him and as a bi-product he was building further his aura of invincibility.

Then something very interesting happened. Woods arrived at his allotted spot on the range and the mask disintegrated into a huge smile. There was his mate Freddie Couples. A high five, a shared joke, a laugh and a giggle and a jibe followed to the big-hitting Alvaro Quiros who was the opposite side of Woods slot.

Was he really in a bubble of concentration as he made his way to the range? Probably, but the objective was merely to deflect the hysteria that was being directed Woods' way and to do nothing that might encourage it further.

Control is the key to all that Woods does. Control of the golf ball on the course, control of the circus he generates off it. Who knows what happens when he is behind the walls of his exclusive gated community in Orlando's Isleworth Estate because that is how he needs it to be.

Anything pertaining to his private life tends to be carefully managed through his website. For example take this answer to a question about how difficult it is for him to be away from his family when travelling to tournaments in a recent Q and A session on the site.

Woods said: "You're exactly right. Now, it's very difficult to leave Elin and the children, and I'm sure it's only going to get tougher. Once Sam and Charlie start school, it won't be easy to take them out of class for a week-long trip. A veteran pro once said it's tough to leave them as babies, but once they ask you not to go, it breaks your heart. That's something I'll always remember."

So this car crash in the middle of the night outside his home takes Woods into the sort of territory he loathes. So much of it is out of his control.

He will not be able to prevent the inevitable questions over what he was doing and where he was going on a Friday at 2.25 am. He will have little say over police accounts of what happened making their way into the public domain and will have to deal with a media army stationed outside his home.

The incident will dominate the Chevron World Challenge at Thousand Oaks, Los Angeles due to start on Thursday, which is his own tournament with proceeds benefiting the Tiger Woods Foundation. Think about it, LA - if ever there was a place where they know how to run with a huge showbiz story.

In the past year it has been noticeable that Woods has become ever more ill at ease in the public eye. This blog has noted the on-course tantrums, the club throwing at the Open and his morose demeanour during his early Monday morning practice at Turnberry.

For someone who seemingly has it all - a beautiful wife, a young family, fantastic wealth and exceptional talent there seems little in the way of obvious happiness.

Of course, this may be down to the fact that we only see one portion of the 33-year-old's life but it is more than apparent that the trademark smile is not a frequent as it once was and that he seems ever more irritable.

There was the club that went (accidentally) bouncing into the crowd during the Australian Masters last week after a different form of poor driving.

His ragged performance on the front nine of the final round in Shanghai
had some observers muttering speculation that "there must be something wrong at the moment." It may just have been his game but it was seriously out of character and so far below his usual standard of golf, just as it was when he missed the cut at Turnberry.

I was with one leading player this week, someone who knows how to win majors, who commented that he "wouldn't want Tiger's life at any price". He added that the only place you can have a proper conversation with him is in the privacy of the locker room - that's when he can be one of the boys.

"He doesn't know what it's like to go to a shopping mall," the player added.

Now Woods' celebrity has veered off on a different course with the lack of control he seems to have shown at the wheel of his Cadillac.

Woods and his advisors will be desperate to assume command of the story and keep details to the barest minimum making their way into the public domain.

He will regard failure to do so as a serious impediment to his progress in establishing himself as the greatest golfer ever to play the game. He finds it tough enough to live life as a dominant figure on the back pages, how he will hate being front page news.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I must make the comment that this is a relatively minor traffic incident, anything more serious would have been public knowledge far sooner than this story actually did (around 14 hours after the event, by my reckoning). This was because the FHP did not feel it necessary to reveal the incident until the media asked. In my view, the rest of whatever may happen in the inquiry into what happened should stay behind closed doors, and privacy respected. Our culture of celebrity obsession has led the world to where it is now, a world where a young woman dying of cancer has obituaries printed and issued for retail before she's even died. Where rolling news has become obsessed with "breaking news", so much so that it will push a story out onto air before there's even a chance to verify sources, or to check authenticity. Tiger only wanted to be famous for playing golf, and initially that was how it went, but as his fame and commercial viability grew, he became more and more in the public eye which was inevitable given his huge sponsorship contracts. Perhaps the way for Tiger to return to relative obscurity would be to retire from golf, as sad as that may sound, and relinquish all his sponsorship commitments. If he really feels as bad as we think about being in the public eye, then that may be his next move.

    So I would suggest to the American press, that if they don't want to lose one of their greatest icons, and a true hero to everymen everywhere, then back off and let him have privacy. No more rubbish like the stories that happened last night. When I first heard about the accident, my first thought was, "Oh no, he's really badly hurt and may never play again!" but an hour later it turns out he has nothing more than cuts and bruises. It's a sad indictment of the mass hysteria caused by overexaggerated reporting...and that overexaggeration is because of the competition to be the first to get the big story. Whilst that's always been the case, at least in the past (before 24-hour news and the internet) there was still time to have stories checked and facts corroborated. No journalist seems to care about this any more.

  • Comment number 2.

    Google Tiger if you want to find out what really happened. The BBC would probably delete it if I posted it here.

  • Comment number 3.

    No wonder Tiger shuns the media attention with this constant 'pyschological' comment and focus. Let's face it most of us would have difficulty dealing with such scenarios - and guess what without the media/marketing factor he wouldn't be on the pedestal he's been put on - not forgetting that if he was really boring you wouldn't have much to write about! Yes he may be a stroppy so and so from time to time and relatively hopeless in team style events, but I'd like to see you Iain being a constant centre of attention.

    And while I'm at it what possessed you to write the following: "The incident raises a lot questions, namely why did it take 12 hours for news of the crash to be in the public domain?" What business is it of yours or anyone else's for that matter?! Anyone would think that his well being was the be all and end all. I wish you and the rest of the media would get a sense of proportion and address more important issues with appropriate coverage.

    Oh and before you make any retort mentioning either 'it's your responsibility as a journalist' or that somehow I must be wrong and I have misunderstood, think carefully about how the media is protrayed and how much sway you have ususally having the last word....

  • Comment number 4.

    leave the guy alone.
    just a huge article of negatives and knitpickin.
    move over to the tabloids mr carter.,there is enough nonsense being written about tigers personal life at the moment without so called 'serious' sports journolists getting involved!

  • Comment number 5.

    Mr Carter it is your profession and articles like this which Tiger Woods despises. I would be willing to bet most drivers at some point have crashed a car in an accident, however minor, and this is no different. I admit it happened under suspicious circumstances, ie it took place at 2.30am in the morning, but until a report is released it is for none of us to speculate, as we know nothing. I think this incident should serve as a warning to us all regarding the publicity of Tiger and how dangerous this could turn out to be. All we can base any kind of guessing game on is Tiger's performances and demeanour on the course, and as of recently these have clearly not been Tiger-like. I fear greatly for the world number one and hope he can sort any problems he may have out, as to lose such a talent from the world of golf because of the media would be one of the saddest stories in the history of sport.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hmmm it seems a number of us are somewhat disappointed with your approach Iain!

    PS note to BBC editorial:
    While you have a great deal of what many of us might call 'balanced' reporting and reporters, why do you persist to tolerate such crass, argumentative comments from such belligerent characters? While debate is healthy, I wonder if it is done deliberately to raise our combined hackles! By the way, in case you're wondering why I used the plural 'characters' please include Alan Green & Richard Bacon - all frustrated athletes/sportsmen perhaps?

  • Comment number 7.

    I read this article when it first came out and listened to 5live last night when Mr Carter summarised the days story. I couldn't fail to notice and think that the coverage was shamfully inadequate and simply pandered to the supposed "mass pubic view" that the media must take nowadays. I notice that the majority of comments so far have a similar view point to mine and rightly criticise the way this story has been delt with. I see nothing in this event in which we can yet criticise Tiger Woods. Media hysteria, and poor reporting has overblown the incident as far as I can see. As for trying to insinuate that driving a car at 2.30am is somehow "dodgy", I fail to see the logic in this, and is just a shameful attempt at character assassination, the like of which seems to be the norm nowadays. Simpler to pander to the lowest common denominator, than actually do some hard work and avoid the cliches. From the BBC's chief golf correspondant, indeed any BBC correspondant I expect better.

    Until full details are released then I see no point in speculating and trying to develop baseless rumor. Of course the police must investigate. An incident such as this warrents a basic procedural investigation. But to imply this is due to some " suspect activity" on Mr Woods part, disgusts me. I wouldn't be suprised that as a very busy man travelling by night is simply an easier way to avoid the media circus that will try to form and follow the poor man. But of course, commonsense and impartiality doesn't sell.

  • Comment number 8.

    I have a reply from Iain Carter to your comments.

    I sought to be extremely responsible and give an account of my experience of what Tiger's life is like and how he appears to have changed.

    Whether it's only a minor accident or not the fact is that he is making headlines on the front pages rather than the back pages and that is something that I believe he will be very uncomfortable with.

    I was trying to offer an insight into this and that was the main point of the article.

    Iain Carter

  • Comment number 9.

    Has everyone forgot .. "The price of fame" ........ The public has made him a billionaire, he seems to have forgotten that .. if noone went to see him then he would not be so special. And he should remember that little fact and give a little more of himself .. .. Nicklaus never threw his clubs around .. and Watson never ignored his fans .. What is wrong with the guy > >

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    I find it funny that people who are in the public eye only complain about the media when things are not going as they would like, i cant remember when arny, jack, gary or tom complained about the media in fact they all seemed to conduct themselves a lot better than todays so called superstars.

    Getting back to the main story, why would someones wife who had heard a crash go and pick a golf club up to go to his/her aid would'nt a medical kit would have been better.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    It's not the first time that Tiger has driven into a tree.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    Mrs Woods appears to be quite useful with a golf club herself.

  • Comment number 19.

    It sounds mighty suspicious to me...
    Why break the back window with a golf club?
    How did she hear the crash?
    Does Tiger Woods have a house that close to the road?
    Why the lacerations to his face?
    Driving at 2.30 in the morning?
    Perhaps, as Shakespeare said:
    "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

  • Comment number 20.

    This is a ridiculous NON-STORY!; I cannot believe that almost two days after this very minor incident it is still 'headline' news on the bbc website! BBC do yourselves a favour and DROP IT!!! The only reason that the media have jumped all over this is because of the sad nature of people to want to bring down anyone or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable about their own lack of fulfillment. To the sad sad people who have got a buzz out of this story; get a life. Woods is (for the most part) an unbelievable role model who brings joy to the masses. This guy has inspired people all over the world to be active and the work he has done for charity at such a young age is unbelievable. Carter, to waste our time writing non sense such as Woods being in a seemingly 'bad mood' at a Turnberry practise round this year is ridiculous; who in the world doesn't have a bad or moody day at the office; give the guy a break and find something more useful to write about; why not write another 'is this montys year' article.......ridiculous.

  • Comment number 21.

    WaistitovertheLine......Very true.

  • Comment number 22.

    A shameful attempt at defaming Tigers name, the way the media have reported this story is pathetic, making a mountain out of molehill with insinuations about sinister goings on. Sky news paticular yesterday reporting the story with such glee as if they wanted it to be more serious! Also the person say the public have made him a billionaire utter rubbish, the guys god given ability did that for him, the money he makes are from big endorsements and tournaments which he acheived off/from his success on the golf course. Leave the guy alone, why do we have such an obsession with hoping to see the greats fall?

  • Comment number 23.

    Another poor blog and another cheap shot at Tiger. Possibly the greatest sportsman in the world, a man who has raised millions of pounds for charity... but you know what, he just doesn't smile enough. Pathetic.

  • Comment number 24.

    Well I've been quite willing to have a pop at Carter and Tiger in the past but i'm going to come down on Carter's side here. Dealt with something that is in the news (as opposed to news-worthy) with some good insight you're not going to get in something like The Sun which ran Tiger as a front page story, yet never got past the mildly suggestive. An example of friendly journalism methinx so Carter should actually get a bit of credit there because no matter what most people on here think the usual gutter journalism has found a chink in the armour of Fort Woods. Clearly something is going on with Tiger though and I do hope to see him break Jack's record as it has been magnificent to watch such sporting achievement in my lifetime but he does need to find his smile.

  • Comment number 25.

    Yeah the guy would have a chance of winning a couple of golf tournaments and the support of a few fans if he...smiled :-s ....it always makes me laugh when people criticise how tiger goes about his business when he performs to a level that no one has ever even got close to....yes you would prefer him to smile rather than scoul but the golf course is the guy's office; he's focused on taking home the trophy not being a comedian, and guess what, it IS usually him that takes the 'W'.

  • Comment number 26.

    Be glad, very glad, that this forum is moderated. If you want to see what it's like in an unmoderated forum filled with bozos who have no respect for common decency, the same kind who demand the right to scream obscenities and spill beer down your back at football matches, just go to www.wtop.com and read the comments that have been posted about the reportage on Tiger.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    Such is the price of selling yourself as a brand. You covet attention to sell things and then wonder why that attention remains.

  • Comment number 29.

    This will run & run & be the biggest sporting story of the year - what is interesting is what is not being reported, such as: who actually made the 911 call?

  • Comment number 30.

    ElRafa .. you are not seeing the big picture. No matter how much ability Tiger has he would not make more than tournament prize money if people did not hang off his every word, slavishly buy the stuff he endorses and slog round golf courses to gape in awe at his aforementioned "god given talent". It is Joe Public that makes him mega rich by watching him .. and he is repaying them with comments such as when he was asked why he likes scuba diving .. "Because the fish don't ask for autographs".
    Also anyone with half a brain can figure that his wife was not smashing in the back of the truck to get him out after he had driven into a tree .. haha .. that excuse has to be the funniest thing I've heard in years .. And if the man does not talk to the press then people will think what they like .. The price of fame ..... he has certainly been paid a fair price !

  • Comment number 31.

    Re Tiger Woods - what other black man in the USA would be able to put off talking to the police for two days ? Obama, perhaps ?

  • Comment number 32.

    Typical media, jumping on the bandwagon. Let's wait till the truth comes out, if it does. Certainly sounds more like a domestic.

    Re some points made above. Hardly the word's greatest sportsman is he? He's got incredibly rich from hitting a ball round the golfcourse. Same as racing a car, playing football and even overpaid actors. All need some talent and a lot of luck.
    As for charity, an awful lot of people give to charity but don't make a song and dance. Becks not only gives money, but his time and his name to charity events but gets a lot of bad press.

    And, I totally agree with canutesquare.

    If that had been even a Prem footballer they'd have beaten the door down by now. How dare he put them off till he's ready! They should have been at the hospital waiting for him. Probably waiting for "Hello" maagzine to call.

    And as for biggest sporting story of the year! Why? American golfer, had row with wife, forgot to put on seat belt, crashed car outside, now okay - that's it until we hear further. Hardly as exciting, for me anyway, as Spurs beating Wigan last week 9-1. Some need to get a life. Next week's chip wrappers methinks.

  • Comment number 33.

    I really don't understand all the hate on Carter over this. It's an extremely big story for golf. Woods is the richest sportsman on the planet and dominates the sport. And the story itself is highly suspicious - #19 Poetic Wolf summed it up nicely.

    Everybody loves Tiger and obviously we can't make a full judgment until the full story is finally out, but until that point, we should be suspicious. I really hope this isn't what it appears to look like, for Tiger's sake, but it doesn't look good.

  • Comment number 34.

    Good column Iain - always appreciate your insight even if many posters here seem to think you are writing about their mother or something. Personally, great golfer thought Tiger Woods is, he has always seemed to me to be seriously lacking in the human qualities that make rounded and appealing characters. I appreciate that this is mainly because he has spent his life in the spotlight, but other than the single-minded pursuit of wealth and sporting titles, there isn't much to him. Sort of a golfing and corporate shilling automaton. I may be completely wrong but it's the impression he gives. That's why few people love him the same way that they love Phil Mickelson or John Daly. Both of those two wear their hearts on their sleeves and are much easier to relate to for most of us. I can appreciate Tiger's skill and dedication, and wonder at his talent, but many of us also like our sportsmen to be loveable. And that is one thing he certainly isn't.

  • Comment number 35.

    Great stuff this. As ever us normals want our stars to be perfect. But they are not. And when they slip up, we love it even more. Being a true star is not easy. Just look at what fame did to Micheal Jackson. Hopefully this is just a slip up from Tiger. And he should also be thankfull that Buick is no longer his sponsor. He drove another make of car, wasn't he?

  • Comment number 36.

    I wouldn't get too carried away with what you find on google - The National Enquirer makes the Daily Star seem like the Guardian!!

    Ian W on bhalf of Iain - I think most of us got the point of the article. I'd hope so anyway....

  • Comment number 37.

    It's none of our business, but try telling the media that who stand to make a fortune off what evers happened even if Tiger was sleep walking.
    Bottem line is the police should not make it public just like a Doctor or a Priest wouldn't.
    I've never understood why you can open up the papers and find out minor offenses by the public such as DUI's. That knowledge is of no use to me.
    The law needs to change the laws. The only time media should be putting stuff out there is if it's going to aid the police.
    This is pure gossip, leaving a poor reflecting on our ever non-evolving primates.

  • Comment number 38.

    Very disapointed but not totally surprised by Iain Carter's biased commentary on this non-incident. In the last few days, this story has fluctuated from Woods being seriously injured in a car crash to all sorts of crass speculation about his private live. His wellbeing doesn't seem to figure in any of the reporting I have seen or heard.
    If the world's number one golfer chooses to maintain control over his private live, then that it his prerogative and none of our business. As a golf fan, I tune in to watch him play golf, not high-five the galleries. He is who he is and the likes of Mr Carter should get used to the fact that he is an imperfect human being like any of us who just happens to play breathtaking golf most of the time.

  • Comment number 39.

    I don't agree that Iain Cater has been biased on this occasion. My husband and I had been commenting for a while at how miserable Mr Woods had been looking and how he just ignored his fans (admittedly a lot of them are ignorant idiots who just seem to want to scream and shout at him but that's the Yanks for you) at tournaments. I think Iain's blog is very interesting and informative.
    As far as the incident is concerned, if Mr Woods had spoken to the police straight away, this might just have passed under the radar, but he didn't and as far as I am aware, he still hasn't and if that's not preferential treatment, then what is? There are just so many unanswered questions here - what was he doing driving his car at 2.25am? Why didn't his neighbour know who he was (listen to the police tape)? Why smash the back window of the 4x4 (not a small vehicle, it must be said) to get someone out of the driver's seat? If he wasn't badly hurt, why smash the window to get him out in the first place? Until we hear the full story (and not an edited version) people wil continue to speculate and Tiger can moan as much as he likes about it not being fair.

  • Comment number 40.

    How does Tiger Woods crashing his car at 2.25am or any other time of the day affect or impact your everyday activities?? Get a life!
    So many unanswered questions? from whom?
    As far as talking to the police, you will find that he doesnot have to. He has provided them with the required documents under state law.
    My issue with the coverage of this non-incident is that it seems to centre around his private life and whether an argument with his wife had preceded the crash. What has that got to do with any of us?

  • Comment number 41.

    What a bunch of garbage!!!! Difficult year...my backside....6 PGA wins, over $21,000,000 in golf earnings.
    He owes you and I nothing!!! Attempts to make this more than it is...typical "fleet street". Carter...get a life.

  • Comment number 42.

    I read every one of Carters blog, and, quite simply he is not very good.This is just another example in a long line of tosh. You can almost taste the joy in the fact that Tiger's shine is not as bright. I don't really care. About the accident, his personal life, whatever, I don't care. What I do care about is the BBC continuing to put up with Carter. He loves the good ol boys on the European Tour who use him as their unofficial PR boy. There is never any criticism directed towards them, never any suggestion about their private life, just good old sucking up. Just never bite the hand that feed's, pay's for hotel's flights etc around the world. The problem with Tiger is that he doesn't need the cosy world of back scratching, which Carter lives and dies for. Where is the objective check and balance of the press when it comes to reporting on golf. Can someone please, please (yes I am begging) send Carter away to another sport? He is just wasting my money. There are stories out there. About money, about how the sport is organised, about human failing. All we here from Mr Sycophant is that the Tour is great, they are all marvelous and we are all having a great time. Er, apart from Tiger, who doesn't really trust the press, doesn't need people like Carter. Carter knows this. Even having the most prestigious broadcaster in the world behind you doesn't work. Which is why Carter is just cheap, cheap, cheap having a shot like this when he would just never ever dare have a pop on the European Tour establishment. Please Mr BBC can we have a proper golf correspondant for the sport we all love. Amateur hour must be over by now.

  • Comment number 43.

    Great article.

    To see a funny parody of the crash check this out it's only 9 seconds long: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo_qPs87GIc

  • Comment number 44.

    whatever happened on friday is tiger's business not the worlds. we dont have the right to know.
    the way tiger has been treated by the media is absolutely scandalous and just typical of them. it doesnt come as a surprise though, for 2 reasons. firstly he's the biggest sportsman on the planet and until now has managed to keep his priavte life private and secondly the media dont like tiger because tiger detests them (and no wonder). the whole media game is the worst profession in the world, they make their money off the backs of others. its not just tiger who detests them!

    carter - totally unprofessional, irresonsible but unsurprising journalism!

    long live tiger woods!!

  • Comment number 45.

    Didn't think I'd be the story here, but given some of the comments here's how it was for me: Friday evening relaxing watching recording of Gavin and Stacey, phone goes - it's the office. "Don't go anywhere, reports saying Tiger Woods seriously injured in a car crash." Within the hour through sources I was able to confirm that the injuries weren't serious and was among the first to report the fact on Radio Five Live and BBC News Channel.
    Next morning woken by the guys on this site, we decide it would be worth a piece to say what the life of Tiger Woods is like these days - after all he's on every front page at this stage and it is clear there is a great deal of mystery over what has happened. Licence fee payers pay for me to travel the golfing world to tell them what happens, so probably a good idea to do that. I didn't pry into his personal life at all - didn't want to and couldn't anyway because I don't know anything about it. But I could say what happens when he's at golf tournaments, what he's like when I walk inside the ropes with him and when I talk to him in interviews and in press conferences. So I did in this piece. Was I critical? I really don't think so, if anything I was sympathising with the unique pressures on this great players shoulders, that's why I started with that quote from China. Have I been critical of him in the past? Yes because his pr doesn't match up with most of the other greats of the game past or present. I think that's important, others might not. Did people assume this was another critical piece without examining the detail of the piece? Who knows?
    More significantly, Tiger's now pulled out of his own tournament which is a huge blow for all concerned and I know this will hurt him a great deal.
    Of course it is his perogative to say nothing publicly about this incident, but it remains a huge story - even more so now people who bought tickets to see him and benefit his Foundation will now not get the chance to watch him in action.
    Personally, I wish him a speedy recovery and sincerely hope that he is right when he says the rumours surrounding his private life are without any foundation.
    I love watching him play the game of golf. I'm sure he will add to his fourteen majors and beat Jack Nicklaus's record of eighteen too - but I have to say that this incident and its inevitable fallout will not help that process. He will continue to be the source of great interest to vast numbers of people for the rest of his life and I will continue to write about him as fairly and honestly as I can.

  • Comment number 46.

    So I ask on behalf of us all:

    Tiger, Tiger, turning right
    From your driveway in the night,
    What immortal hand or club
    Did wreck thy shiny SUV?

  • Comment number 47.

    I do agree with the comments made about leaving Tiger alone etc. Having said that I do wonder if from his point of view the wall of silence will backfire in the end. there is no way this will blow over - the media will ask questions whenever he comes back into the public arena and I can't help thinking that a brief statement as to the facts - especially if all is well - would dilute things. Yes it is his own business and yes he is entitled to a personal life etc BUT (and there is a but people) when the world knows your business and the public knows your family situation etc and you discuss it - even if very briefly in Tigers case - the public will speculate and wonder if all is well. I'm not saying we have a right to know, but the fans that love and respect him so much will naturally be concerned and wonder what is going on. I just can't help thinking that a brief statement as to the circumstances would help quell speculation. Tiger does crave control and privacy - that is true and his right - however, I'm afraid this crash has resulted in him loosing that grip for the foreseeable future and so he ought to consider accepting that and dealing with it and then rebuild his wall of privacy in time. Difficult, yes, but the wall was damaged by his own dramatic actions and no one else was involved so it is for him to deal with. Just not sure he is going about it in the best way for himself and the future, thats all.

  • Comment number 48.


    ok, time to set a couple things straight. first of all the neighborhood where tiger lives won't have paparazzi running rampant. it's uber private and not possible. speaking of, the people who live there are other famous sportsmen, musicians, and the like who look out for each other. it's a holiday week and everyone is home. the fellas are playin- sharing stories, toys, and kicking back. maybe he comes home late and mrs woods is upset about the children or the false story from down under? who knows? maybe tiger doesn't want to deal and knows his friends are still up so heads back out? maybe she's not so happy and chases him w/ a golf club. whatever. ever lived in sweden? the live, love, and play hard. temperments can cause heated exchanges. lots of fights. it was fun- i certainly enjoyed their passion. but whatever scenario did play out we will NEVER know. tiger camp will seal up tighter than a replaced space shuttle tile. and that's how it should be. we only get what they WANT us to know. it's none of our business. tiger is real, not a robot. good, now you know...

  • Comment number 49.

    Tiger Woods is the greatest sportsman on the planet! So what if he's had a domestic? Tiger has had 8 months out of the game then comes back to win over 10million in prize money and people are questioning his mental state because he thows a few clubs!!! And why does he have to smile all the time? He dedicates his whole life to winning golf tournaments, there are so many people on here who obviousley dont play golf or not to any decent standard! Mickelson is the most annoying guy on tour! Stupid big smile and a fat belly!! Just because tiger is super fit and more like an athlete sunday hackers cant relate to him!! Try spending a few days practicing as hard as tiger does and you will appreciate how great he is!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 50.

    When I first heard the breaking news on CNN, I thought, o no, there goes our Golden Goose. Tiger has elevated a great game to global recognition, the growth of golf in developing countries is exceptional and much of this is thanks to Tiger. It is through this that all who work in the golf industry will survive on long term.

    The issue raises some good points and does make us think about how we treat our stars and how it affects them. I honestly believe that TW is a nice guy, the sort that you could have a beer with and a few laughs. I agree that this year he just hasn't seemed like that sort of person and the media attention is getting to him. Not so much on the golf course though, his record this year has been sensational outside of the majors. Tiger wants Jack's record but it won't be easy, modern media is just one of the barriers he will have to overcome. He may be wise to rethink his strategy on that front and go on the charm offensive.

  • Comment number 51.

    Having been to every Open for the past 25 years, i can see where iain Carter is coming from. Golf divides into players who are loved (Seve, Arnie...whose autograph i got in 1987!) and those who are respected(Faldo,Hogan etc). The problem for me with Tiger is that when he started out, people wanted to love him but quickly he surrounded himself with bodyguards, an objectionable caddy and retreated from the public gaze. I well remember in 2002 seeing him walk from clubhouse to practice ground, with hundreds of kids begging for an autograph, without breaking his stare. I thought here is someone who has transcended sport...fans are totally unimportant and to be ignored. what he forgets is that though only a tiny proportion of his income comes from "gate receipts", without some spectator interest, golfers would be on a par with other minority sports. So i do believe he should give some respect to the galleries, however annoying he finds them.

    His attitude has resulted in many spectators turning against him (as witnessed by cheers in front of the big screen as he laboured at Turnberry) and more support for his nemesis, Phil Mickelson, who seems to know how to "work a crowd".

    You may think with my user name that this is a bit rich, given that Bob D is not prone to giving much of himself to the world...but it is different. Dylan's wealth stems almost totally from his creativity. He was booed extensively during his finest period ..and yet carried on. For artists, all we need is their work but for sportsmen, i think the public is entitled to a little more. To me, Dylan is the greatest living American....and i wouldn't put Tiger anyway on the list (he's certainly no Muhammed Ali)

    So lay off Iain Carter, carry on, Tiger, behind your high fence, privacy etc, win your tournaments in a joyless fashion (oh for a bit of Seve passion!)..but Arnold Palmer will almost be greater to me because he signed my autograph book.

  • Comment number 52.

    the problem mr. carter is for some reason, you, the media think they have some god given right to know every single detail about everyone. the simple fact is, you, the media don't. to be fair yours is the only piece that doesn't say ridiculous things like '5 questions that need to be answered'. he's a golfer, report on the golf, whether his pr is any good or not is totally irrelevant, if you don't like his demeanour/answers quit, get a job in a call centre or something...

    married man in argument with wife...shocka..!

  • Comment number 53.

    The virulent criticism of Iain Carter's article is totally out of order; if he hadn't written it, there would have been even more comments asking why not.

    Of course people are going to be interested in Tiger Woods.

    Of course they've got a right to know if he breaks the law.

    And of course they're going to be interested in the timing of this somewhat implausible incident coinciding with speculation, given fuel by his silence, about his private life.

    Now we have the unseemly site of a sponsor ponying up millions for a tournament that the host (plus the defending champion as it happens) is missing for the second straight year.

    Wouldn't this have been interesting if it had occurred, say, the first week of April??

    Keep us informed, Mr.Carter, it's your job. But balance the Tiger coverage with reports from Q-School x 2, and the inequities of world ranking points awarded for the Chevron sham.

  • Comment number 54.

    I'm glad to see several comments in support of Iain Carter, who as I said in my previous posts always writes an interesting and informative column. If you don't like it, no-one is (I assume) forcing you to read it or comment on it.
    As for Tiger, like any other sporting celebrity, the deal is that your private life becomes fair game once you behave badly. What, did he think that his wouldn't be? It's nothing new - see Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Boris Becker, Gazza... the list is endless and as old as sport itself. Like it or not, that's the way the world is - Tiger knows that and should perhaps have thought about that before getting involved with other women and being silly enough to send them text messages and voicemails. Allegedly while his wife was pregnant I would add, and although The National Enquirer may be a rag they do get things right sometimes. Just ask John Edwards.
    Tiger will win again and we'll all forgive him his private life messes, which if anything make him more human. That is if he is man enough to actually hold his hand up and confess, like others have done, rather than retreating further into silence. He should hold his hand up - the man makes adverts about being a role model for God's sake.
    Iain Carter could hardly have not written something about it, and I think he handled it in a very even-handed, fair manner, as any journalist should.
    Good article on this whole thing at Esquire - link below. But for those of you who think that Tiger's private life is a non-issue, don't read it because you might cry.
    http://www.esquire.com/print-this/tiger-woods-accident-updates-legacy-120109

  • Comment number 55.

    Who would be a hero ?

  • Comment number 56.

    Can't this all just be summed up with 'Tiger drove into the woods once too often and ended up signing for a 164 in the FPD Clubhouse'?

    Beyond that, it's between him, his wife and any relevant third parties.

    Isn't it?

  • Comment number 57.

    Well i'm glad i wasn't the only one who doesn't think Carter should get a hard time on this issue.

    I do wonder how much you do know about his 'transgressions' though...must have been something on the grapevine. Not that i'd have expected you to go with it but anyways....

  • Comment number 58.

    Is Woods just another 'star' that craves privacy but all the time wants to stay in the public eye. i.e.Princess Di;Michael Jackson,Andre Agasse...

 

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