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Woods's only option was to step away

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Iain Carter | 11:00 UK time, Saturday, 12 December 2009

We supposed he would come back at the end of January, we speculated that it might be even sooner at the season opener in Hawaii or might he prefer Dubai in February?

But if you sat down and thought it through, thought about all that Tiger Woods's return to action would entail both publicly and privately, it was impossible to envisage him stepping back on to a tee in the foreseeable future.

This has been an astonishing fall from grace. From the height of his powers as one of the most dominant figures in all of sport to humiliation and contrition after a devastating fortnight of lurid claims and rumours about his private life.

And the world's top golfer has recognised that a return to the public eye cannot be considered at the moment. It has to be left on one side.

Broken windows, broken promises, broken hearts, broken marriage, broken man and a broken image; which does he fix first? It's a horrible mess and desperately sad.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods's previously squeaky-clean image has been tarnished

When Tiger Woods walks into a room you are instantly struck. It's not the immaculate turn-out, the athletic, confident walk and the flash of a brilliant smile that does it. It's the eyes.

They never waver, if he talks to you the eyes never wander (how ironic) they fix on you as if you are the only person in the room. There's nothing shifty. I first noticed it in 1997 in a packed press conference at the Congressional home of the US Open, his first major since winning his first Masters.

For my first question to the sport's newest icon - something about his caddie as I recall - I was standing at the back of a crowded press conference and his stare never left me from the moment the question was asked.

That way of going about his business has never changed in the dozen years since.

Now who can he look in the eye? This is his problem and it is why the rebuilding of his personal life is of such importance to his public side.

American commentators are calling this the first right move in a fortnight of public relations disasters. Perhaps it is the turning of a corner, but it is too early to say.

Events have been out of Woods' control. He has been forced from the "this situation is all my fault" of his first statement to the "those transgressions" confession to now the confirmation of "infidelity".

How humiliating for someone who until just over a fortnight ago was among the most visibly assured human beings on the planet. Now the sponsors who pay him millions seem to have stopped showing his image in association with their products on television.

He is the butt of internet jokes clogging inboxes across the globe, the subject of continued tabloid scrutiny. However much we might want the world to leave him and his family alone it won't happen until this thing has taken its full course.

As Woods tries to repair his marriage his strategists are seeking to mend his image. He has always operated with a close coterie of advisors and if any of those were party to his infidelity, it is almost impossible to envisage them remaining and his marriage surviving.

The two scenarios would seem mutually exclusive. But for Woods to lose some or all of that close-knit group would be a massive blow because they have been at the heart of his domination of the golfing world and commercial spin-offs.

For golf his downfall is also damaging. The PGA Tour was quick to express support for Woods' decision to take time out, but will be concerned at the prospect of trying to renew sponsor contracts next year with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of their biggest calling card.

The Open survived just fine when he missed Birkdale with his busted knee but how will his potential absence affect the 150th anniversary Championship at St Andrews, the venue where he's twice won the Claret Jug?

Yes the fans will still turn up, we may indeed get a more exciting Championship if he is not there given that his wins in 2000 and 2005 were utterly dominant. But it is right now that deals are being done on the credit-crunched corporate side and the Woods affair has done nothing for the price of packages.

The US Open at Pebble Beach will be similarly affected.

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Iain Carter speaks to the BBC News Channel

All of which, I suspect, is of little concern to Woods and his family at the moment. The American columnist Rick Reilly brilliantly summed up the last fortnight when he said the golfer was the first person to hit a hydrant and set himself on fire.

Now Woods has to douse those flames and by taking an indefinite break from the sport he has dominated for more than a decade he may at last have the hoses pointing in the right direction.

No-one knows when he will return to golf, least of all the player himself. Let's hope he can solve his family problems to sufficient extent to enable him to compete again in the not too distant future.

When this story first broke, when the Cadillac hit the tree and the initial rumours of serious injury were discounted most observers thought it would be business as usual soon enough.

Now we're at a stage where he can never go back to what we regarded as business as usual. When he does return he will be a different personality who is likely to have different priorities.

Fans might forgive but no one can forget the events of the last two weeks and with that he will have to come to terms.

I prefer to remember him for the way he bestrode the fairways at Hoylake and beat the field into submission with his brilliant golf just weeks after the death of his father in 2006.

That was the super-human Woods bouncing back from the biggest tragedy of his life to that point. The comeback from this, when and if it happens, will require the ordinary human side of the man to come to the fore if it is to be at all successful.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Woods will find that the public are, in general, a forgiving bunch. With better handling they would have started the process already. He hasn't killed anyone so is it isn't so hard to imagine him playing again in a few months, winning the Masters and being well placed to challenge for major championships as the season progresses on what are favourable courses for him. Winning will prove the best cure for what currently ails him.

  • Comment number 2.

    That's if he's ever allowed to leave the house alone again...

  • Comment number 3.

    i agree.
    if he needs some time to repair his family then fine.but its nobodys buisness but his and his wifes.
    i do accept that all things 'tiger' will never be the same again,but i dont agree that it should be that way.
    i thought nothing less of 'nick faldo' when he dumped 'another' wife for a 20 yrold in the mid 1990s.his buisness ,nothing to do with golf.
    although the tiger circus is a bit bigger than that,people should lay off him and get on with the golfing scene.lets hope hes back before 'the masters'.
    tiger,your still my hero.

  • Comment number 4.

    He has been in the media spotlight for practically all his life without a break and never had a chance to sow any wild oats.
    Moreover, he is a target for every spotlight hungry bar hopping good time girl and groupie. He was bound to crack-up sooner or later.
    Now, he will be the target of every bible thumping fundamentalist evreytime he swings a club.
    Perhaps he married too soon.
    If he can patch things up with the missus, perhaps he should do what Arnie did: Buy an aeroplane and take the wife and kids everywhere he plays!

  • Comment number 5.

    Mr Cater lets get a few things straight. Tiger will be back. He will surpass Jack’s 18 and set a record which will take some beating. The sponsors will come running back when he has resolved his personal life. Just ask Mr Beckham. Also they have not exactly gone anywhere. It is not the end of the earth. Tiger is human. He made a mistake. We all do. Instead of trying to beat a man whilst he is down try and offer words of support.

    This situation will probably make him a stronger and better man. He strayed of the fairway and will still be able to look you or anyone else squarely in the eye. Don't you worry about that.!

  • Comment number 6.

    Sitting down at his kitchen table and counting a pile of $10,000 notes will bring home to Mr Woods the falseness of fame. You cannot buy a genuine loving cuddle from someone who loves you for all the money in the world. People are the only things that matter and your relationships with them.
    I feel very sorry for Mr Woods and for those people close to him because he has been trapped by his success and been imprisoned in a glass cage probably for the rest of his life.

    I wonder how much he would be prepared to pay to be able to take himself and his family for a quiet meal in a normal resturant or pub without being harassed. Thank God I am a non-entity, it has its advantages!

  • Comment number 7.

    I just hope the price of razor blades comes down.

    7 quid for four - daylight robbery.

  • Comment number 8.

    Woods will be back and almost certainly just before The Masters. The game needs him too much. Pebble Beach and The Old Course are on the major rota this year and Woods simply must be there.

  • Comment number 9.

    Whatever happens, (the ifs & buts, will he / won't he return?, is this bad for golf etc.), why on earth are people going on about his own personal endorsement contracts? I mean who cares if Nike stick with him or not? He'll still be eons richer than vitually anyone reading this blog, and so will his family, forever & ever.

    Let's get real and talk about the golf.

    One thing least he must be sighing with relief that he won't have to endure the Ryder Cup next year!

  • Comment number 10.

    I must confess I used to find Tiger boring and and uncharming. I don't like it when one person dominates a sport as he has, it takes away too much of the interest in the sport for me.

    However, I cannot help but feel a degree of sympathy for him in all this and I find him a more interesting, human character now. He's only done what a staggeringly large percentage of the population do in having an affair and we don't know what's gone on in his home life to drive him to it.

    I find myself rather hoping that he'll bounce back sooner rather than later and I agree with others' comments that he will be forgiven by the public.

    There's just a bit too much of a holier-than-thou attitude towards Tiger and I'm willing to be that a large number of the people who are having a go at him have had affairs themselves.

  • Comment number 11.

    This is a load of utter tripe. That a man cheated on his wife does not equate 'a fall from grace'. Did Bill Clinton also fall from grace when he cheated on his wife?

    In my opinion, I don't know why people get married in the first place. Monogamy is a strange and outdated concept especially for the male and a large impracticable one. How many people remain faithful to one partner for 50-60 years? This must be why Jesus said 'he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone...

    We are all a bunch of hypocrites

  • Comment number 12.

    And all this ridiculous talk of 'fall from grace' seems to be Iain Carter's invention. How many men can come out and say they have never cheated on their wives?

  • Comment number 13.

    I think he should jump back into the water as soon as possible. If he played in the first event, sure there would be huge media attention, but there it is going to grow and grow until he does come back. He can't ease himself back in no matter where he plays first. Get out thee and get it over with.
    From a financial point of view, I doubt if he really needs all the endorsements. He has the "trophy" wife (she would not look out of place as a WAG)already.
    Soon the media circus will move on to the next victim.

  • Comment number 14.

    oh how i love us sports fans. Here, we have tabloids throwing complete rubbish at Tiger Woods "Tiger is a cheater, his career is ruined" bla bla bla. Every comment i've seen so far, everyone has completely ignored those idiotic journalists and put gave their support to Woods. These allegations will not put him down forever, because he is a good man at heart. Let him take some time out, sort out his family life, and then dominate the sport once again.

  • Comment number 15.

    I pity Tiger! Almost from the time of his first steps he has been groomed to play golf.He has only been told how wonderful he his.His self-esteem has been fertised to a point where he must think he can do no wrong.We have read inumerable articles on how he was brought up by his Dad to play golf. And it has been a spectacular success, he is the best golfer ever,his self belief is simply awesome.
    But ultimatly there is a price to pay,and Tiger is now paying.This fall from grace has happened to other child prodegies,whose childhoods have been obliterated.Tiger has never had the chance to make mistakes, get it wrong,be anything less than perfect. I really pity Tiger as he has never known how tough life can be-until now.

  • Comment number 16.

    Its not like anyone else has ever cheated on their spouses (even in golf - Nick Faldo at one time?). The difference here is all the others are not able to play golf at Tiger's level.

    I think we're focusing too much on the wrong issues here, I watch Tiger because he plays so well not because I care what does off course (so long as its not illegal).

    I don't want to have another year w/o Tiger, especially when 2010 is the year of the tiger!

  • Comment number 17.

    Seriously, who complained about what?

  • Comment number 18.

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm not sure if I'd give up golf and spend more time at home if, for example, my wife smacked me in the mouth with a putter. Come to think of it, I'd probably play a lot more.

  • Comment number 20.

    Lets face it, Tiger has revolutionised Golf. If it weren't for him, professional golfers would not enjoy the trappings that they do. Whilst you can never condone his behaviour, he has put golf on the map more than any other player... I sincerely hope he is not out of the game for too long, and I hope he can put this entire situation behind him as soon as possible. In pure golfing terms he is still and always will be a legend!

  • Comment number 21.

    Every one does mistakes.It is just because he is a high profile sports celebrity his actions are coming under close scrutiny.Since we have already spoiled his carrer and marriage the least we can do now is to leave him alone to sort things out by himself.On his part he has taken the very correct first step to be out of the public gaze which shows that he still loves his family and we all should respect his move and support him to settle down more respectfully.

  • Comment number 22.

    11. At 12:30pm on 12 Dec 2009, Dapsy wrote:
    This is a load of utter tripe. That a man cheated on his wife does not equate 'a fall from grace'. Did Bill Clinton also fall from grace when he cheated on his wife?

    It's a bit of a differant situation that what is going on with Tiger in that with Clinton you had an entire political party (The Republicans) trying to take advantage of the scandel by making a political power play. It was disgraceful. They tried to distract the American people from serious issue that affected this country at the time. But that's a completely seperate conversation. Clinton eventually rebounded and had one of the highest approval ratings upon leaving office.

    As for tiger, I think that he has to take time away from Golf to save his marriage. I heard rumors that Elin has told Tiger that he has to quite golf entirely if he wants to remain married to her. He put himself in this position and now he has to repair the damage he has done. I wish him luck in doing that.

    This morning I was tuning in to SportsCenter and believe it or not Rick Riley was co-anchoring the show. When they got to the story on Tiger, Riley actually praised him for his decision to walk away by calling it the first good decision he's made in the two weeks since the story broke. NOw I don't normally like Riley, because he comes accross on television as being self possessed and arogent. But for this one time he is actually right. Tiger has to step away from Golf to save his marriage, if it can be saved. Tiger has put himself in such a possiont that if she says no more competative golf, ever he will have no chioce but to retire. At this point, i wouldn't blame her if she actually gave him such an ultimatum.

  • Comment number 23.

    "...he is a good man at heart."
    Good job he's not a bad man then.

    "How many men can come out and say they have never cheated on their wives?"
    More than you seem to think.

    "How many people remain faithful to one partner for 50-60 years?"
    He doesn't appear to have been faithful at all.

    "He hasn't killed anyone..."
    Is that a fact?

    "Tiger is human. He made a mistake. We all do."
    He made more than a mistake.

    He got paid mega-millions of Dollars through advertising deals for his once stellar image, which you and I pay for whether we like it or not.
    By accepting that money, he has a duty of care, not only to himself and his family, but also to mine and yours.
    He has been accepting that money on false pretences and therefore deserves to be knocked off his pedestal.
    I, for one, prefer golf tournaments he is not participating in. The Tiger Woods show has been going on too long and it will be nice to see the other players on screen for a change.

  • Comment number 24.

    Its false to say he's being paid millions because of his image. It first and foremost because he is a fantastic golfer, image takes a back seat. A bit of notoriety helps as well, it is unnatural to expect anyone to be perfect 'even if he is paid millions'.

    The whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Men cheat on their wives all the time. Fact.

    Some of the comments I've seen so far are unbelievably hypocritical. He will only 'fall from grace' if his golf is poor which it isnt.

    If I were him, I would probably feature in a comedy making fun of myself and even profit from the notoriety. It has been done before.

    So he cheated on his wife? Big deal!

    John F. Kennedy also cheated on his wife, did he 'fall from grace'?

  • Comment number 25.

    yo-yo - you really believe he got sponsorship money because of his squeaky clean image? He got sponsored because for a long time he was the best golfer out there and through sponsorship, the companies concerned sold more of their product. When he comes back and continues to win, his sponsors will continue to pay him

    You must live a sheltered life if you believe otherwise

  • Comment number 26.

    mistakes exist, forgiveness exists but the beauty of it all is that forgiveness is present to help heal the hurting. Tiger has made a mistake, we all therefore should forgive him and pray that he finds the courage to make changes and build up his lovely family.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm sorry I neglected to state the bleeding obvious. That he can play "lucky" golf, seemed a bit redundant.

  • Comment number 28.

    it is strange that in a country where sex is not a taboo , where a child is exposed to sex the moment it exits the womb,where almost everyone is openly or secretly an infidel including priests , the public tries to crucify any one caught out committing adultry. if a systematic investigation into every citizen's private life is carried out by any government or western society who tries to seem mounted on high moral pedestal,the sheer hypocracy of being surprised every now and then will be exposed.
    to start with i would i suggest , investigation should be started into lives of every single media personnel who are vying with each other to dig into tiger's personal life , expose it on tv or print media or anywhere. it is time to expose "holier than thou" attitude of these lechers who unnecessarily ruin the life or careers of high visibility public figures.
    My request to entire media community is to please not to crucify another Christ yet again – Christ of World Sports. It seems you guys can stoop to abysmal depths to earn money. You guys are indeed a disgrace to society. Do you guys have any heart or soul ,for that matter ? STOP IT !!! THE WORLD NEEDS TIGER WOODS BUT CERTAILY CAN LIVE LIVE WITHOUT YOU .

  • Comment number 29.

    No mention of the wronged party in all these postings. Or the children who are going to grow up knowing that there hitherto squeaky-clean dad is only human after all. Let's hope Mrs Woods takes him for all she can get and lives happily ever after leaving the aptly named Tiger to continue his serial sexual shenanigans. Oh yes, and there's a game in here somewhere. I would not be at all bothered if Woods never struck a ball again. Even if he wins more majors than the incomparable Jack Nicklaus he will never surpass that guy's achievements, especially when you consider the top flight golfers Nicklaus had to beat to reach his record.The names roll off the tongue: Palmer, Player, Trevino, Watson, Miller. The players of the last decade are pygmies by comparison.

  • Comment number 30.

    So sad to see Tiger go!

    All because of his wife?

    We do not know the whole truth, but nobody can really believe that his wife had no part to play in driving him to find solace with those other women.

    Tiger is a free person, as long as he abides the law, he can do as he likes anyway.

  • Comment number 31.

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

  • Comment number 32.

    If he had been a known playboy, in a different bed every night, no-one would have turned a hair. This would not be news. If it had come out that he had had one affair, it would be a 15-minute wonder, sad for the wife, but it happens. It's the fact that - and let's not just say "he had an affair" or "he made a mistake" - he has been constantly promiscuous. That he has been utterly promiscous and unfaithful is the concern of him and his family (this affects more than just his wife). However, a large amount of the millions and millions he makes on his product endorsements is based on his self-promoted squeaky clean image, which has been shown to be a total lie - playboy lifestyle and family man image don't match. Whether you think you buy a product because he endorses it or not, the people who buy his image think you do and pay him accordingly.
    Yes, nobody's perfect - but he was paid for the whole thing - brilliant golf AND brilliant image. Enough, you'd have thought, to enable him to keep his trousers on. Yes, we all slip occasionally - once or twice. This isn't once or twice. Marrying a beautiful blonde now looks like a cynical move to further promote the lie.
    A man who was promoted as the perfect family man around the world has been shown to be nothing of the sort - and that is a fall from grace.

  • Comment number 33.

    AJAY:"Since we have already spoiled his carrer and marriage"

    Poor babe had no role in this?

  • Comment number 34.

    No it is not a fall from grace. If you accept that John F Kennedy also fell from grace when he had his many mistresses then maybe we might agree

  • Comment number 35.

    Poor article IMO from Iain Carter.

    Tiger Woods is just the latest whose shenanigans have been outed. Nike, whose whole golf division is built on Woods, Gilette et al will ride out the storm until it blows over, as it inevitably will.
    Expect Woods to be teeing it up at Augusta in April where he may well again be the same surly, graceless winner he always is.
    I don't give a stuff (pardon the pun) about his private life but he does nothing for the game of golf and its etiquette and traditions. He might well go on to become the all-time major winner ; so what ? That won't make him the greatest ever golfer. I just wish he was more like Walter Hagen. I wonder if Mr Carter has heard about him ?

  • Comment number 36.

    Overall this matter has been blown out of proportion - so the press can have something to write about and have a field day.

    Men cheat on their wives all the time.

    A woman has been known to claim that David Beckham had an affair with her as well. Bill Clinton, JFK and a host of others too numerous to mention cheated on their wives.

    Get over it!

  • Comment number 37.

    RE 29,

    Nickaluas had his own controversy in his career and I think that it was probably somewhat more questionable morally than tigers alledged picadillos. Nickalaus once committed to playing in a tournament in South Africa while Apartied was still in force and somehow couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. At the time the Golden Bear couldn't seem to understand what the big deal was in supporting a regime that oppressed the majority of its citizens and denied them their rights based on the color of their skin. That in my mind is somewhat more questionable that what Tiger has done, which involves SEX.

  • Comment number 38.

    Bowing out is the wisest damage control step for him and I salute his fortitude and determination. Tiger is a famous young man. That is what fame does to young men with tons of androgens. Attention should be turned to these people who are now touting dating him as a badge of honor. What is their motive? They knew he was married all along.

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    For goodness sake, from what I recall, JFK didn't get a sponsorship deal from Nike, et al.

  • Comment number 41.

    Woods got himself into the woods and he has to get himself out. Men (great and small alike) often think that trust and feelings of women and mothers of their children are to be played with like playing with balls. Golf and many other sport has often been a vehicle for many broken homes and hearts. Now the world is looking on to see how this great master masters the task of mending. Those rules and etiquette on the course are probably replaced by some others now set by the woman who scored a hole in one on the rear window of the cadillac. The press male dominated and public ignore these feelings and talk instead of money, sport and image. Elin is now teeing off. And I hope that she closes on par.

  • Comment number 42.

    So what he didnt get a sponsorship from Nike? He is touted as one of the 'great' presidents the US ever had. This is much more valuable than any Nike (or any other) sponsorship.

    So you agree then that JFK was not that great because he cheated on his wife or why is another Tiger being measured differently?

    I know we are all jealous of his fame and fortune but the truth is he hasnt committed a crime.

    He has done what we all do.

    Get over it!

  • Comment number 43.

    peteholly wrote:

    "Woods will be back and almost certainly just before The Masters. The game needs him too much. Pebble Beach and The Old Course are on the major rota this year and Woods simply must be there".

    This is just not the point. It's not whether the game needs him too much but rather, does Woods need the game?

  • Comment number 44.

    Taxi for Dapsy.

  • Comment number 45.

    Do you know what, i wont be forgiving him, because i dont give too hoots in the first place... its his life.. he plays top golf, what he does in his own time has nothing to do with me,you or anyone. its not as if any off us on here dont know someone who has done something simular (including crashing a car). Also its not as if the guy (unlike politicians) has been preaching to everyone about family life etc.

    the media lifts them up, then drops them from a far up as they can.. and its all to sell papers.. shame on us all for supporting this kind of rubbish..private life should be private no matter who you are.

  • Comment number 46.

    who cares whether you forgive him or not? he doesnt need your forgiveness and you're not God! (thank goodness!)

  • Comment number 47.

    Possibly the best golfer ever has been humbled and humiliated.
    Shame on you judgmental 'holier than thou' paparazzi media clowns.
    I will miss watching Woods play golf.

  • Comment number 48.

    also 39 @rthorne.. isnt the church the most successful business and control system of all time... looks like you been suckered in.

    crakcpot relegion on a sports blog... un b leave a bull!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    It would appear that the one thing Eldrick Woods has done for the glorious game of golf, is attract the the wrong crowd :p

  • Comment number 50.

    There's rumours going around that Elin wants Tiger to retire from Golf completely if she's going to stay with him, now there's a lot of supposed news stories and it's hard to believe each one, but if that rumour is true, I'm sorry.......

    Tiger should divorce her on the spot.

    His dream since he could walk was becoming the greatest Golfer to of ever played the game and as I said, if the rumour is true, that she is using emotional blackmail, and thats not on.

    Tiger has made a mistake, but he hasn't broken he law, he hasn't used performance enhancing supplements, he hasn't marked his scorecard wrong on purpose to win, he has had an affair, something close to 50% of couples have done.

  • Comment number 51.

    Hey Tiger dear!,

    Have been following ur successes over d yr.'n' have d conviction dat u are great sports man.
    One thing u hv to realize is the "Even Great Men Make Mistakes"...I hv read ur remoseful comments and appology to both your fans and ur family.

    So I jst try to encourage you, please since you've realized ur mistake, don't let the it hunt you or get you depressed...'Remember the Woman in the Bible caught in the act of adultery...Jesus told them..."Anyone amongst you that have not sinned should cast the first stone"...No one could, then Jesus turned to the woman and said...Wonam where are thy acusers?..."Go and Sin No More"...I believe its still the same today...I believe you've actually repented, so get your acts together and forge ahead with life!

    So many great men have sometime fallen in the past, but the only difference is being able to get yourself together, rise and continue life journey.

    So it is well with your Soul Broda!

  • Comment number 52.

    I admire Woods for his talent. I would be rather suspicious if he didn't have a lover or two taking into account his stature as the most iconic sportsman of the last ten years. It doesn't surprise me at all the way the public and press have rushed to attack and judge him. He should shrug it off, smile and ask people what they would have done in his situation. Or simply go on as if nothing had happened. His golf will rescue him. How dare strangers tell him how to live.

  • Comment number 53.

    I'm hoping Tiger and his wife can work this problem out and remain as a loving family. To me, it takes courage to give up a sport he loves so dearly to resolve his current situation. Course he realizes he has done wrong and many people of his age have fallen from grace because of extra martial situations. He will always be remembered as the best golfer.
    Sadly, the media violated his personal rights under the Fifth & Fourteenth amendment to the Constitution as he is entitled to his right to privacy.

  • Comment number 54.

    ClinicalHitman says "he has had an affair, something close to 50% of couples have done".
    Yup, just your average Joe. Everyone makes a mistake or two. Or three. Or - how many are we up to, 14 x however many times the poor little human babe slipped? Gosh, that wife of his must have been evil to force a nice boy like that to make so many mistakes. Shame the poor lamb has been so badly manipulated, all those evil women out there forcing him to have sex and his wife forcing him to look elsewhere.
    Alternatively, mebbe he's a glutton who likes steak and hamburger and anything else on a plate.
    Either way, the sponsorship deal is NOT just for him being a sportsman, it's a package. Nice guy and good sportsman is what they pay for. They write clauses in the contracts that allow them to pull out if that image is tarnished.

  • Comment number 55.

    I think that people and golfers in particular are relishing the fact that the likes of NIKE and Gillette and Accenture will be the real ones that will suffer financially with the Tiger Woods situation. Woods is a very very wealthy man by any standards but these multi national corporations have invested millions and millions in the Woods "image" - which has now crumbled. They will move away from him as quickly and as cleanly as they can. It is amazing that many people will now permanently associate Tiger Woods with the last 2 weeks fiasco and NIKE etc will not want to be tainted with that image. NIKE for instance were never Golf manufacturers and they just jumped on the Woods bandwagon - did any serious amateur golfer ever buy NIKE golf clubs .. I dont know anyone at all who ever did. It is Callaway or Taylor Made or Ping that real golfers buy .. I suspect from what I am hearing from friends is that a lot of lady golfers who buy lots of NIKE clothing will not do so again. This is where NIKE etc will really suffer. Who will want the NIKE swoosh on their jumper or golf bag. Tiger had it all and he just blew it.

  • Comment number 56.

    So you're all just jealous of his sponsorship package I take it?

    Is that what this is all narrowed down to? Sponsorship should only be for men who are perfect? Blameless? Holy??

    How about David Beckham then?

  • Comment number 57.

    Whole new meaning to "Tiger, on the 12th ..."

  • Comment number 58.

    @55 No you're wrong

    Sorry to burst your bubble but the likes of NIKE and Gillette and Accenture etc will not move away. They will ride the storm and in 5 or 6 months this whole matter will have blown away. Forgotten. Dead.

    Woods will win another major tournament, probably breaking records along the way and he will be an even bigger legend.

    He will have even more fans (especially fellow cheaters, who are many by the way) now he can be seen as actually human.

    I am a bigger fan already!

  • Comment number 59.


    What has a sponsorship deal got to do with it? Kennedy was the President of a country!

    What Tiger does in his own time has nothing to do with any of us. It's utterly irrelevant to his golf and to us. And don't come back with rôle model tripe. Anyone who holds up a sportsman as a rôle model has something sadly lacking in their life.

    And really, questioning whether he's killed anyone?

  • Comment number 60.

    If Woods was a woman he would be called a "slut".

  • Comment number 61.

    Oh please! I don't get all this 'pity party' for Woods. He was the one who stuck his you know what where he did, no one forced him. He was the one who reneged on his marriage vows and cheated his wife while she took care of his children.
    Has morality sunk so low, have our standards of decency taken a tumble so much for the worst that we are now rooting for the liar, the womaniser, the libertine all just because he is an outstanding golfer. Is that all that matters any more? Good God, what has become of us?

  • Comment number 62.

    Dapsy said "Is that what this is all narrowed down to? Sponsorship should only be for men who are perfect?"
    No, but it appears to be what you've narrowed it down to. Do you really not understand the difference between making a few mistakes along the way and systematically lying and cheating for years while pretending to be something else? Do you really not understand that sponsorship is about being associated with someone people look up to? And do you really think that, given all the talking about this all over the net and the media (including here) the sponsors aren't going to be getting a bit worried about whether they want their products to have these sort of associations?
    I don't doubt he'll play golf again, but - and I really really hope this - the companies should stop paying him those utterly ludicous amounts of money for projecting false images. Hope he can manage to struggle by with only his billion or so.

  • Comment number 63.

    Yeah he is a womaniser, yeah he is a liar and he reneged on his marriage vows. We all know this is wrong and we do not condone it. Tiger himself knows it is wrong and has admitted as much

    He regrets it and he has apologised. His wife (who is the aggrieved party here has nt said she is leaving him!)

    So lets not make this a bigger deal than it is.

    It happens all the time with men. Bill Clinton did it. JFK did it. It did not make them lesser men.

    Get over it!

  • Comment number 64.

    "Anyone who holds up a sportsman as a rôle model has something sadly lacking in their life."
    Welcome to Planet Earth. Hope you can stick around long enough to learn something about us.

  • Comment number 65.

    @62. Kelsa-the-cat

    It is clear that jealousy and envy are your main problems. You resent the fact that someone has made for himself a much better life than you ever hope to have and you wish him to crash and burn.

    Sorry it wont happen.

    The very fact that it has to do with womanising mean he will have many sympathisers, and the fact that people have attacked him so much over a matter for which a significant population amongst us are guilty makes most of us hypocrites.

    In 5 or 6 months, this matter will be a distant memory and if he wins another majors he will be seen as a hero, having overcome his personal problems.

    He made a mistake and is remorseful. end-of. And to whom will the sponsors turn anyway? How many 'clean' sportmen are out there??

  • Comment number 66.

    Tiger Wood's behaviour must have been 'known about' amongst his peers for quite a while but no one exposed him - in fact the media must have known too...I wonder what kind of hold kept it at bay? His money???? It seems that the truth always comes out and in fact it was Wood's car crash that let the cat out of the bag. It seems we are able to forgive men of betrayal and bad behaviour just because they are super heroes of sport. Let's see if we would be so forgiving if a top sports woman was found to be sleeping with male escorts behind her husband and kid's backs. No way!!! I think Woods was having the time of his life, had his cake and could eat it, a billionaire and the best golfer in the world - anyone think he has a super sized ego and a God complex????

  • Comment number 67.

    Tiger Woods. Aren't you sick of hearing about him? He's been found to have feet of clay like an ordinary human being. It's the fault of all those who are looking for an icon to worship, putting him on a pedestal for hitting a ball with a stick. Well, like it or not, he aint the messiah of golf, he's a very naughty boy.

    And what about his po-faced colleagues and their solemn pronouncements? Funny, or what. Who cares!

  • Comment number 68.

    I think the point is missed in many arguments and opinions. Tiger being dishonest to his family is not at all an issue for discussion, nor his unfaithfulness. THE ISSUE IS HE HIDING THE TRUTH BECAUSE HE IS SCARED OF LOOSING SPONSORSHIPS. THAT SHOWS THAT HE IS A LIAR

  • Comment number 69.

    Tiger-dont prejudge him-the guys only played 9 holes!

  • Comment number 70.

    tiger who?

  • Comment number 71.

    Re 45

    Your right, the media doesn't care one way or another about this, they just want to sell a good scandel. And is that really their responsibility? I can see them reporting on something if it were to have an impact on a public figures ability to do their job. Otherwise, I don't think it is the publics business.

    I can remember when the story's of President Clinton's extramarital activities first surfaced back in 1992. At the time, it hadn't affected his ability to do his job as Govenor of Arkansas and I didn't believe that it would affect his ability to do the job as President of the United States. However, that didn't stop the Press from criticizing him for his behavior, in spite of the fact that many journalist them selves had done the exact same thing that he did. They were also quick to criticize the President when stories appeared that he had tried marijuana back during his college days back in the 1960's. Many of these same journalist had done the exact same thing but nevertheless criticized Bill Clinton for doing it.What hypocrits. There is an aspect of the forth estate that allows them to think they are holier than thou. That is why the credibility of journalism as a profession has plumited over the last 20 years.

    To my mind a report has to ask him or herself three relevant questions before they decide whether or not they should report a story. HAs the subject broken any laws? Is this story relevant to what he or she does in the public sphere of influence? And is story relevant or is it merely titilating? If the answer is answer is now to all three of these questions then the story simply should not be reported. The press shouldn't be in the business of reporting on peoples private lives.

  • Comment number 72.

    I disagree about the never forgetting part. Most of us know Tiger Woods as the super killer Golf player of our generation. And he will come back in this role once this is all over. We don't know Woods for being a role model for family values, and most probably couldn't care less. We care about his performance on the Golf course. The rest is his business.

    This is all rubbernecking, nothing more. Can't avert eyes from train wreck playing out in public. I am guilty too, but at least I know it doesn't have any higher meaning.

  • Comment number 73.

    'Tiger Woods could face prostitution charges if he paid for sex in New York, an attorney has said.
    Former madam Michelle Braun told the New York Post that the married billionaire golfer shelled out more than 60,000 dollars between 2006 and 2007 for high-priced escorts.
    New York City-based attorney Tom Kenniff said the 33-year-old sportsman could land in serious legal trouble if Braun's allegations were true and may face up to a year in jail if convicted.'

    © 2008 HT Media Limited

  • Comment number 74.

    I'd be happy if Tiger can rescue his marriage and never play golf again. He's the main reason I love watching golf, but it's so much more important he change his ways, atone and gain the respect and love of his wife. His family is more important than golf.

  • Comment number 75.

    Looks like Gillette have got cold feet (for the moment anyway).

  • Comment number 76.

    I agree with the last comment, as sad as it would be for Woods to step away from the game (especially after the way he lost his 100% record of winning majors from the 54-hole lead last year), he has little if anything left to prove in the game and everything to prove to his family. I do think he will return, at which point he'll have to new challenge of rising from the ashes and staying at the top. But he should certainly not rush back into the game.

  • Comment number 77.

    Fantastic golfer and competitor, the best of his generation and maybe the best ever.

    His demeanour on the course over the last 2-3 years has become worse and as a role model for behaviour on the course and interaction with the fans, he falls behind many other golfers.

    Then again, they do not have the intense pressure and scrutiny he faces on a daily basis. So perhaps that can excuse his demeanour on the course, Faldo was very similar.

    It is wrong however to say he has made one mistake. A one off affair may be understandable as a one off mistake.

    But a whole series of encounters is something entirely different.

    It is his business alone, but his public profile means the media will have it as frontline news, that comes with the territory.

    It is his wife's call and hers alone.

    In the majority of cases, most women would demand a divorce given similar behaviour but it is up to her.

    Lets be clear though, his behaviour, in as far as it affects his wife and children, as a series of encounters was inexcusable and quite rightly he should take a long time to ponder this.

  • Comment number 78.

    'Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette unit is limiting Tiger Woods' role in its marketing programs, following the golfer's decision to put his professional golf career on hold.

    "As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs," Gillette spokesman Michael Norton said in a statement Saturday morning.

    "In the midst of a difficult and unfortunate situation, we respect the action Tiger is taking to restore the trust of his family, friends and fans," Mr. Norton said. "We fully support him stepping back from his professional career and taking the time he needs to do what matters most. We wish him and his family the best." '

    ©2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

    Now that is funny.

  • Comment number 79.

    @ 65 Dapsy "It is clear that jealousy and envy are your main problems. You resent the fact that someone has made for himself a much better life than you ever hope to have and you wish him to crash and burn."
    Thank you for telling me what my main problems are. How clever of you to deduce that I secretly felt a man with his life, his career and his marriage in ruins even so had a much better life than mine could ever hope to be (call me blinkered, but up until now I had felt my life to be pretty damn good; now I know better) and so was the object of my unbridled envy.
    Curiously, suggesting that someone should just be happy with a billion dollars does not say to me that I wish them to crash and burn but, hey! your definition of crash and burn is obviously different from mine.
    Although I said that the companies paid out too much in sponsorship, you clearly saw through me and realised what I was really saying was "I wish I wish I wish I was rich and famous".
    Silly me for thinking I meant what I said. Thanks for putting me right. But please, don't give me another thought, your insightful comments should really be focused on the subject in hand.

  • Comment number 80.

    sleazeball behaviour - reflects very badly on him - I'm still a fan but I feel sad - really sad - hope he can come back and win again - I make it unlikely now that he'll break the 18 record - 25% chance something like that

  • Comment number 81.

    Tiger will take 201o off and won't play olf this coming year.

    Elin will quietly divorce him and he will then start to rebuild his life.

    Golf will miss him and when he comes back the current events will be a distant memory but his golf will not be forgotten.

    He will then go on to beat Jack's record.

    To come back any time sooner will not do him any good

  • Comment number 82.

    firstly tiger has been stupid.i dont think there will be too many arguments there.secondly i love golf.i love playing and watching it.i enjoyed playing before tiger was even heard of.while i admit tiger is a staggering talent i believe the game is bigger.i remember the battles between sevvy{my sporting hero}and tom watson,then a bit further back the nicklaus player palmer era i am told was while tiger will be missed short term the game will survive ok long term with hopefully 2 or 3 players competing consistantly for the big titles.who knows maybe even a european winning majors

  • Comment number 83.

    We never know what goes on behind closed doors but that being so, are we not a very strange species? At least Tiger has his ability with the clubs intact and all the potential that must still flow from it. Why therefore should we be so concerned about whether he will be playing again in the next few weeks, months or whatever.Are we so unfeeling? What about his wife whose position is the most unenviable and, the media being what it is, almost untenable. How does she face her world as the relict of her husband's transgressions in that unforgiving spotlight that we demand is trained on them. Indeed can she leave her front door?

    Tiger has made a fortune from his sport and rather than, as Mr Carter also ruminates, being obsessed on when he will return to it, would it not be chivalrous for him not to return to his public but to abandon the game for the sake of long term rehabilitation with his wife and family. They have ample scope for a very comfortable existence for the rest of their days. So what is wrong with that?

    There is an admirable example set by the ultimate 'transgressor, Profumo years ago who thereafter abandoned his public persona in order to devote the rest of his days to his severely wronged wife and a little known charity in the East end of London. I am sure that Tiger could be fully occupied training youngsters in the backwoods rather than answering the greedy call. Yes, we are a very strange species indeed.

  • Comment number 84.

    miss the 150th @ st andrew?? hardly. i would bet my mortgage payment that he plays augusta. tiger doesn't miss majors- bum knee, bum life, whatever. he wants that record and will take the holiday season to work it out then start practicing prob playing a warm-up or two before augusta. i'd bet on bay hill even...

  • Comment number 85.

    Tiger has partly lost his endorsement with Gillette. However on the bright side he apparently is set to get endorsements from Mates Healthcare and the Hustler magazine...
    On a more serious note folks - for a billion dollar sportstar receiving vast sums of money as a result of his public personae - it is shocking that his handling of the aftermath of the car crash incident was so naive (i.e. stick head in sand and hope it would all go away). If he had been more open and assertive - by making a public admission of guilt, an apology, and declaration of love and support to his family (although we don't know whether they are planning to stay together) - then he may have retained some semblance of dignity.

  • Comment number 86.

    No. 81 writes :

    "Tiger will take 201o off and won't play olf this coming year.

    Elin will quietly divorce him and he will then start to rebuild his life."

    Good to know Tiger confides in a poster on this blog !

    Good to know Tiger's not going to play (g)olf in 2010.

    Also nice to know that Elin will have a nice, quiet divorce.


    You wouldn't like to wager a three pack of Nike Juice balls on those two "certainties" would you ?

  • Comment number 87.

    Hi there,

    Whatever has gone on between Tiger and whoever is their business, what he has to understand is, he has broken a trust.
    Should Mrs Woods decide to carry on with her marriage, she will never have the same trust in her husband again.
    I have been there, I never had trust in my ex wife after her infidelity, untimately it ruined the marriage.
    The man is a fool.

  • Comment number 88.

    Iain, is this a joke?
    He had a couple of affairs, what's that got to do with golf?
    It's got everything to do with him and his wife and no-one else.
    Like a lot of sports journos (sometimes I think you're more deluded than the fans) you've got hugely confused about this issue i.e. he's a man first and a sports star second. Just because he's good/brilliant at sport does not make him infallible.
    This story is retold again and again.
    Stop putting these people on pedestals.

  • Comment number 89.

    Tiger is a man.

    Men make mistakes.

    Life goes on.

    The wailing and gnashing of teeth hereabouts is quite laughable. Even if his wife decides to move on will that diminish his golfing achievements?

    Personally I feel for Tiger. He's been groomed and controlled from birth. Is it any coincidence that this has happened since the driving force in his life departed? Making up your own mind isn't easy to do. I suggest that Tiger needs to have a think about what he really wants. If it's not marriage and kids then admit that and go on the lash for a few years.

    Obviously his wife deserves utmost sympathy. But fidelity is never guaranteed. She's the one that now decides what happens.

  • Comment number 90.

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

  • Comment number 91.

    I hope he's back in the game soon because he's great for the sport. I loved my first Open (as a spectator...) this year but couldn't help feel it would have been extra special with him there.

    I'm a doctor and it really irritates me when people pass comment on what we should and shouldn't be allowed to get up to in our own time. I would never condone infidelity (or excessive drinking, drugs etc.) but if it doesn't affect your work then who cares. All that matters is that Tiger is a legend and the game would be poorer without its greatest player.

    Obviously as someone in the public eye he is supposed to set an example but I doubt if he grew up wanting to be a great role model, just a great golfer.

    We all make mistakes.

  • Comment number 92.

    Had he not been clobbered by his wife, no car crash, would this story have ever come out? Would all these now spouting tarts have kept silent? It seems so bizarre that a domestic spat could precipitate the ensuing mayhem.

  • Comment number 93.

    @91 - "...if it doesn't affect your work then who cares."

    Really? Work is the factor that should remain unaffected by your actions?
    I very much doubt Tiger is thinking about golf right now, apart from making sure his putter is nowhere near the missus. The factor that should be most important in anyone's life is the relationship he has with the people he loves.

    His first duty is to them, not the world of golf, or its fans. That everyone is questioning whether he "fell from grace" in our eyes is irrelevant. He has certainly fallen from grace in his wife and kids' eyes and it will be that fact that he will give most thought to.

    The salivation of the press and protestation of the fans will remain as hollow as the sentiment behind them.

  • Comment number 94.

    Woods's web site is nothing more than a shop. That says it all. Where's the honour? Where's the nobility?

  • Comment number 95.

    Most of the views expressed on this subject are based on the assumption that Tiger is walking away from the game due to his infidelity.

    I am not so sure that this is the real reason.

    His win in the 2008 US Open whilst suffering from a seriously damaged knee was probably the greatest golfing performance ever and must have required a huge amount of mental energy. One has only had to watch Tiger since his injury lay-off to notice that the mental strength and self discipline required to win majors has not been in evidence. Maybe the tank has run dry.

    It is a well known fact that the American public loves a good winner, providing that it is an American. Tiger has satisfied this lust so many times in the past that when he does not play the TV ratings suffer. As a result the PGA are under pressure from the TV companies and sponsors to ensure that Tiger participates as often as possible. In effect Tiger has become more of a commodity than golfer and is may no longer feel that he controls his own destiny. Could this be the real reason for him wanting to take time out?

    If the Woods are serious about overcoming their marital problems why not consider forgetting the sponsorship and appearence money and moving to Europe where they would be made very welcome and would not have to endure the level of media scritiny as in the US.

  • Comment number 96.

    Some interesting comments have been made about trust. Tiger has clearly broken a trust (e.g. see 87). One question is can a trust be repaired or is it like losing one's "innocence"?

    If it cannot be repaired then we perhaps need to look for another to fill the role that Tiger has vacated. Tiger should then return to his sport and forget about maintaining his earnings from his public persona (celebrity endorsement, wholesome family values etc).

  • Comment number 97.

    Seems there is a lot of support for Tiger on here... well not from me. It amazes me that there is suddenly sympathy for a man who has ABUSED his fame is order to cheat on his wife with countless different women. What about some sympathy for his poor wife??!

    He only has himself to blame and if you put yourself out there as the advertising face of umpteen different products and then act like a total FOOL then the public has a right to know the details.

    After Henry's cheating handball Gillette better hope The Fed keeps his nose clean and keeps winning!

  • Comment number 98.

    The world at large does not care what should or should not happen in a public figure’s private life. We admire Tiger for what he is good at, and that is Golf. He changed the game of golf for good and brought the normal folks to play golf that once was for the elites and the like. Golf became worldwide industry because of Tiger. Let not this become a women's issue, as women are equally responsible elements that bring about adultery. Infidelity is a legendary occurrence and one doesn’t have to go into detail. Scandalous talk shows such as the “View” are making the best out of this situation as it is the fodder that keeps them going.

    (Christopher Kahandaliyanage)

  • Comment number 99.

    To be honest, I don't like Eldrick Woods -and for goodness sake can we all drop the nickname? Partly to do with the sycophantic and indulgent reportage like that of Mr.Carter, with which golf fans have had to put up for years,endowing superhuman qualities in someone who was as flawed on the course( spitting, swearing, puerile club slamming,self-absorbed and rude)as it now appears he is away from it.
    All of which is not to say that I, like millions of others haven't marvelled at his tenacity, ability and prowess and admired his achievements.
    However, if some of us now allow ourselves the luxury of poking some fun at this fall from grace, it is not because we hate him, but rather that we been conditioned during the 'Eldrick Years' to view him as invulnerable, inassailable and untouchable - in effect as Superman, by Carter and his ilk.
    So what is it I? dislike about him - precisely those qualities which have served to present as him so distant from every mortal sports fan on the planet.
    For me, mere ability and the capacity to win are not sufficient to deserve the allegiance of any sports fan. If they were, we would ALL be Eldrick fans,Man the thought),Roger Federer fans etc.
    But we aren't, and the reason we aren't is because we have to find something else in our sporting heroes which draws us to support them, and for me, those qualities in Woods are largely absent.
    So please, now that he has been exposed to us all as just another bloke with all the same frailties as everyone else, don't criticise us for our opinions, but understand that it those responsible for building Woods into something which he could never be, who should now be taking a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.
    And finally,if he doesn't return, it will be sad, but not insurmountable for the game - and as for Mr Carter and the rest, there's always Rory Mcilroy to turn into the next media monster.
    And as for Eldrick? He hasn't done anything which a few tears shed in public - most likley with his good mate Oprah - won't cure, and hopefully we may yet the return of a great and who knows genuinely more contrite and humbler sportsman. But I doubt it.

  • Comment number 100.

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


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