People love to hate Tiger Woods. Whether it’s for his talent, money, fame, looks, or his infamous cheating scandal, it seems that people will always dig for a reason to dislike him. For years he presented himself as a likeable guy who was polite, committed to his sport, and hungry to win. Here are the facts, Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in modern history. His focus, determination, and drive to continue to play the sport he loves through thick and thin demands to be met with respect and admiration.
Woods has gone through personal loss, injuries, surgery, and rehab all in front of the public eye. The constant pressure to be perfect not only on the course but also off the course is unreasonable. He’s not perfect and he has made huge mistakes including cheating on his now ex-wife, Elin. However, the humiliation and public ridicule I’m sure was enough to make him regret the poor decisions he made. We’ve all done things we regret, we’re just fortunate enough not to have it plastered on every television network, magazine, and website. Nonetheless, the world was shocked by Tiger’s actions and he lost not only his wife, but also sponsors and his golden reputation.
Whether it’s golf analysts, commentators, other players, former coaches, or fans, it seems like everyone else knows best when it comes to Tiger’s career, strategy, and technique. Jealousy and envy ring in the tone of each person’s voice that criticize Tiger to the point where he has zero time for anyone who tries to put him or his game down. He calmly laughs off those who claim to know him better than he knows himself. Here are the top 15 people who have tried to tranquilize Tiger.
15 Nick Faldo
Nick Faldo doesn’t like many professional golfers, other than himself, and Tiger is definitely one of his favourite players to put down. It must’ve made Faldo nearly cry when he had to hand Tiger his first Masters jacket, being the youngest champion at Augusta National while setting a scoring record. Faldo has gone as low as to say he roots against Tiger, while classier and more respectful greats such as Nicklaus stated he neither cheers for or against Woods. If it were up to Faldo the only golf he would watch are his own highlights.
14 Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter was criticized for his comments about Tiger’s slim chances heading into the 2011 Masters week. Poulter went on to tell reporters that Tiger’s play was very inconsistent and that the shots he was making would come with consequences. Tiger laughed off Poulter’s negative statements and said “Poulter’s always right, isn’t he?” If there’s one thing Woods knows how to do after his many years in the public eye, it's how to brush off negative and jealous comments aimed towards him.
13 Elin Nordegren
Elin Nordegren made national headlines when she found out Tiger, her now ex-husband, had been cheating on her. She chased him out of the house with a golf club after learning he had been unfaithful with one or two women. Tiger probably wouldn’t have survived that night if Elin found out he had actually slept with multiple women. In a quick effort to get away from his extremely angry wife, Tiger got into his Escalade and proceeded to smash into a fire hydrant and tree. Elin received a monstrous $100 million divorce settlement. Elin used some of the money to build herself a 21,000 square foot home complete with putting green and two bunkers.
12 Rachel Uchitel
Uchitel was one of Tiger’s mistresses and worked as the head of VIP operations at Tao nightclub at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Rachel claims she regrets her affair with Tiger, who was a married man at the time of their relationship. Tiger texted and emailed Rachel promising to end his marriage with his wife. He even called Uchitel his soulmate. Uchitel does not discuss her affair openly with the media, however it was speculated that a $6 million dollar commercial settlement was met to keep her lips sealed.
11 Steve Williams
Williams is Tiger’s former caddy and the pair worked side by side for 13 years. In 2011, after Adam Scott won the Bridgestone Invitational, Williams stated that the win was the best victory of his entire career. Why was this better than any championship he ever won with Tiger? He said he wanted to beat Woods so badly so he could “shove it up that black a*****e.” Woods handled the comment maturely, saying he was disappointed by his former Caddy’s words. Woods also said he does not believe Williams is racist, however it was a comment that should never have been made.
This one is tricky, since it's company and not a person, but we think it applies nonetheless. After the 2009 cheating scandal, Gatorade dropped Tiger’s endorsement deal. Gatorade ended their relationship with Woods claiming that they “no longer saw a role for Tiger in their marketing efforts.” In other words, sponsors were dropping Woods like a hot tamale and Gatorade didn’t want one of their main sponsored athletes to be the face of infidelity. After months of negative publicity surrounding Tiger and his scandal, many sponsors decided to let Tiger loose. Gatorade claimed that they had been considering releasing Woods prior to the cheating scandal, however it wasn’t until months after that they officially let him go.
9 Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods may not publicly despise one another, however, they’re definitely not having drinks together after a long day on the course. Phil has complimented Tiger many times during interviews and has only dissed his equipment, not him. Although some may have considered the comment to be a jab at Tiger, Phil insisted it was a compliment by stating that “Tiger is the only player good enough to overcome the equipment he’s stuck with.” I’m not sure who was more offended, Tiger or Nike. Nike responded by saying the comment was “laughable and completely unsupported by the facts,” based off Tiger’s improved performance with their gear.
8 Hank Haney
Hank was Tiger’s swing coach for six years. Never one to shy away from giving his opinion on any aspect of Tiger’s life, Haney even wrote a book called “ The Big Miss,” which surrounded his time with Woods. Haney stated that Tiger’s comeback has been an “epic failure” in 2015. Haney also claimed that Woods was not a loving and caring husband behind closed doors. In his book, he describes Tiger as being a controlling and demanding husband. For someone who claims to have the utmost respect for Tiger, he certainly doesn’t respect him enough to keep his personal life private.
7 Devon James
Devon is one of Tiger’s former mistresses who was an adult movie actress. Once Tiger announced his relationship with Lindsey Vonn, Devon stated that she was surprised he was with someone “who is more muscular and has a bigger head than his” and thought he would choose someone with a more petite figure. Devon also added that she’s sure he had cheated on Vonn already, as there’s likely 15 other women out there who think they’re his current girlfriend. Clearly Devon still has some negative feelings towards Woods.
6 Cori Rist
Cori claims to have met Tiger at a New York nightclub and proceeded to have a two year relationship with the pro golfer. Cori was fully aware that Tiger was married and sat down with the Today show for an interview regarding her relationship with Woods. She went public as she didn’t want people to think she was paid for it. She claimed that Tiger was not happy at home with his wife and only stayed with Elin because she was pregnant with their first child. Her anger towards Woods is rooted in the fact that he lied about his relationship with his wife being on the rocks.
5 Jaimee Grubbs
Jaimee Grubbs is yet another one of Tiger’s former mistresses. The infamous voicemail that Tiger left on Jaimee’s phone leaves her story to be one of the most believable. The young 23 year old sat down with KTLA for an unpaid interview to set the record straight regarding her relationship with Woods. Jaimee said she believed the accident that occurred on Thanksgiving was her fault after she received Woods’ panicked voicemail. Jaimee was furious to find out she was not in fact the only mistress in Tiger’s life.
4 Brandel Chamblee
Chamblee won a single PGA event during his 15 year career and is now a commentator and writer. Chamblee writes for Golf Magazine and in a piece he posted at the end of the season in 2013, he graded players on their overall performance. He gave Tiger an F even though Woods had won five events that year. He went on to call Tiger a cheater and fans went nuts. Woods agent went as far as to threaten legal action for Brandel’s statements. Of course, Chamblee felt the wrath and lost his Golf.com job. He also apologized on social media platforms.
3 Josilyn James
James is best known as the adult entertainer who released the scandalous text messages exchanged between herself and Tiger Woods. James released the rated R messages to show Tiger’s true colours. These texts included sexual acts Tiger was interested in doing with James. It also showed proof of him inviting her to his hotel, telling her what to do, where to go, and when to come to his room. When she posted the texts, she said "it’s time to tell the truth about Tiger."
2 Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods are known not to like one another. No one is expecting these two to hold hands and skip down the course singing zip-a-dee-doo-dah, however respect is a two way street. Garcia was asked if he would host Tiger at the 2013 U.S Open, he said “we will have him ‘round every night, we will serve fried chicken.” Woods took to Twitter to express his disappointment with the racial slur that was made. Tiger handled the comment with grace, making Sergio look like a child who wasn’t taught proper manners growing up.
1 Fuzzy Zoeller
Fuzzy’s offside comments regarding Woods were made publicly known in 1997. As Woods was on his quest for his first green jacket, Zoeller was quoted saying “pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it. Or collar greens or whatever the hell they serve.” Once Zoeller was scrutinized for his racial commentary, he publicly apologized and said his words were misconstrued. The comments even left Zoeller’s sponsor Kmart concerned as a spokesperson for the company and said that Fuzzy’s comments were inappropriate and offensive.