22 July 2009

Tiger: Very Undude

My friend Picc points me to this Rick Reilly column:
Rick Reilly - Tiger Woods needs to clean up his act - ESPN:

The man is 33 years old, married, the father of two. He is paid nearly $100 million a year to be the representative for some monstrously huge companies, from Nike to Accenture. He is the world's most famous and beloved athlete.

And yet he spent most of his two days at Turnberry last week doing the Turn and Bury. He'd hit a bad shot, turn and bury his club into the ground in a fit. It was two days of Tiger Tantrums -- slamming his club, throwing his club and cursing his club. In front of a worldwide audience.


Look, in every other case, I think Tiger Woods has been an A-plus role model. Never shows up in the back of a squad car with a black eye. Never gets busted in a sleazy motel with three "freelance models." Never gets so much as a parking ticket. But this punk act on the golf course has got to stop. If it were my son, I'd tell him the same thing: "Either behave or get off the course."


Golf is a gentlemen's game. Stomping and swearing and carrying on like a Beverly Hills tennis brat might fly in the NBA or in baseball or in football, where less is expected, but golf demands manners. It's your honor. Is my mark in your way? No, I had 6, not 5. Golfers call penalties on themselves. We are our own police. Tiger, police yourself.
I'm usually skeptical of the "you need to be a better role model" arguments. You should behave like a gentleman not because impressionable youths are watching but because you are a gentleman. Nonetheless, I think Reilly is right that Tiger needs to shape up.

I like Tiger. I'm glad he's successful. I think he's a class act -- off the course. But like my buddy Kaup said in reaction to this column, he's filthy rich, he plays only when he wants, he has a smoking hot wife (and two kids), and everyone in the world likes him. Yet he's still acting "like the golfing Gods have somehow cheated him" whenever he misses a putt.

Someone needs to tell the guy to grow up. If shanking one into the trees is the worst thing that happens to him on any given day then he's doing alright.

Other Tiger Notes:
  • A study from Kellogg economist Jen Brown concluded that other golfers shoot on average one stroke worse in tournaments in which Tiger plays.

  • Coincidence watch: both Tiger Woods and Tom Brady are married to models with twin sisters. Twins, Basil. Twins.

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