People either love him or hate him. There is no in between when it comes to Tiger Woods. The prodigy stormed the golfing world winning his first major in 1997 at the age of 21. He won seven more majors over the next five years. He wasn’t just winning, he was kicking butt, which created a very high level of expectation. He has won 14 majors and has accumulated well over $100 million in prize money and has earned much more through his many high-profile endorsements.
Tiger was a likable guy in his earlier years. His bright eyes and smiling face projected the image of a clean-living and upstanding citizen. He was a role model for a new generation of golfers. He single-handedly broadened professional golf’s fan base with his electrifying play and his growing list of achievements. By 2008, he was well on his way to breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. Then it all came crashing down.
For the past eight years, Tiger has struggled in nearly every facet of his life. He has battled injuries and his clean image has long since disappeared. He truly to have lost his mental edge. The sponsors that were once lining up to get a piece of him are no longer as plentiful. He has isolated himself from his fans and his personal life is a mess. At this point, he is more likely to be remembered as a tragic figure than the best golfer ever. Here are 15 things that fans would love to forget about Tiger Woods.
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15 2010 Quail Hollow
2010 was not a banner year for Tiger Woods. It was the first year since his early days, in 1995, that Tiger failed to win a tournament. He finished in 68th place on the 2010 money list ending a 13-year streak of finishing no worse than fourth. He hit his low at Quail Hollow where he shot a 7-over par 79 and failed to make the cut for the just the sixth time in his career.
Over two full rounds, Tiger only managed to hit the fairway six times. He did have a few birdies but they were overshadowed by his bogeys and his inability to hit the fairway. He was visibly rattled and appeared to give up. He was also the subject of a little heckling and cat calls as a result of his well-publicized cheating scandal several months earlier.
14 2002 Open Championship
The 2002 Open Championship, held at Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland, will be remembered for its nasty weather. It will also be remembered as one of Tiger Woods’ biggest disappointments. The cold gusty wind and driving rain made for less than ideal conditions for golf and can at least partially be attributed to Tiger’s worst round up to that point. He shot a 10-over par 81 in the third round. A little consolation could be found in the fact that nine other players finished above 80.
His disastrous round started off with his first drive. His ball found the rough and he then proceeded with a series of bad shots, bogeys, and double bogies. It was one of the first times that Tiger looked mortal on the golf course.
13 2013 Memorial Tournament
2013 saw a resurgence in Tiger’s career. He was back to his winning ways and he was once again ranked #1 in the money rankings. Tiger Woods appeared to be his old self again. The fingernail in his Cobb salad came on the back 9 of the third round at the 2013 Memorial Tournament.
Tiger played himself out of contention with three bogeys and three double bogeys which were capped off with his trainwreck on the 18th. Two consecutive uphill flop shots rolled back down the green. Then he three-putted from four feet away from the hole. He finished the round with a 7-over par 79. It was far behind tournament winner Matt Kuchar’s -12.
It started in January during the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open where he shot a career-worst 82. He missed the cut. Then came the Farmer’s Insurance Open where he withdrew due to alleged back pain. He was 2-over par after just 11 holes.
In June, he participated in the Memorial Tournament which turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. In the third round, Tiger hit rock-bottom shooting a career worst 13-over par 85. The round was highlighted a terrible long game.
He would fail to make the cut in three of the next six tournaments although he finished strong with a 10th place finish at the Wyndham Championship which netted him $129,600. He finished the year ranked 162 in the money rankings.
Tiger Woods fans found it hard to watch him play during the 2010 season. While he was in a limited number of tournaments, he failed to win a single event. Although he made the cut in 11 of 12 tournaments, he managed just seven top-25 finishes.
His 2010 winnings of $1.29 million was good for 68th in the money rankings which was a career low at the time. It wasn’t that Tiger was terrible; it was just that he was playing at a level that was far below expectations. He was inconsistent and was clearly affected by the scandals that plagued him in the previous year.
If fans thought that Tiger’s 2010 season was bad, they hadn’t seen how bad it could get. He was limited to participating in nine tournaments and made the cut in seven of them. He ended up with only three top-25 finishes and saw his money ranking drop to 128th, an all-time low. To be fair, he suffered a leg injury at the Masters that year which hampered his efforts. With his previous season being a disaster as well, it looked as if Tiger was on his way to being a has-been. He was able to have a bounce back season in 2012 when he won 3 tournaments and over $6 million in prize money which ranked him #2 in earnings. He was still very relevant, just not in 2011.
Oh man. Talk about ups and downs. After recapturing glory during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, which included money rankings of 2nd and 1st respectively, Tiger pretty much fell off the map in 2014.Woods completely soiled the sheets in the third round of the Farmer’s Insurance Open where he had a stretch of seven straight holes with bogies or worse. Tiger was again hamstrung by injuries and back surgery after his awful start. He made five of seven cuts in 2014 and would have only one top-25 finish. This period was even worse than his 2010 and 2011 seasons, which we've already discussed.
Tiger’s earning took a pummelling. He made a career-low $108,275 in 2014 and finished 201st in the money. Many questioned his future in golf.
8 Fudging the Drop in 2013
A lot of duffers are pretty liberal when it comes to a drop ball. They aren’t so liberal in the PGA. In fact, rules violations can be reported by anybody, so in essence, there are millions of officials watching from their easy chairs at home. Such was the case with Champions tour golfer David Eger who was watching the 2013 Masters on television.
Tiger fired a wayward shot that bounced off the pin and, unfortunately, landed in the water. He took the penalty, dropped a ball and continued his round. Eger did a playback on his television and noticed that Tiger had dropped his ball a few feet in front of his original shot. Eger was able to notify tournament officials prior to Tiger completing his round and signing his score card which spared him from disqualification. Upon review, Tiger was penalized 2 strokes.
7 Tiger isn’t Really a Class Act
Think what you may about Tiger’s rampant infidelities. It is his actions on the golf course that prove him to be less than classy. When he’s on, Tiger is all smiles and fist pumps, which is fine to a degree, but when he is down, he acts like a kid who just found out that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. He has followed up bad shots by throwing and kicking his clubs. He has slammed them into the turf in fits of frustration. He has hung his head and dropped his putter after missing putts. Perhaps worst of all is his foul mouth. The internet is full of video clips of Tiger’s profanity-laced tirades. He has actually drawn FCC complaints for his outbursts. He may be 40-years-old but he needs to grow up.
6 The Infamous Car Wreck
In November of 2009, the media reported on a strange incident involving Tiger Woods. It was a low-speed accident in which Tiger was bruised up pretty badly. His Escalade had somehow driven over a fire hydrant and crashed into a tree. The rear window of his SUV was smashed and when responders arrived, he was laid out on the street drifting in and out of consciousness.
The story that Tiger and his wife Elin originally gave had more holes in it than a wiffle ball. It just didn’t make any sense. It turned out that there was much more to this bizarre accident.
The tale of Tiger’s many infidelities was soon told which pretty much destroyed his squeaky clean public image. He was caught cheating and we found that his soon to be ex-wife allegedly laid one hell of a beating on him and h car.
5 Serial Cheater
Tiger Woods is not the first person to engage in an extra-marital affair and he won’t be the last. His infidelity was, however, far beyond a fling with the office secretary. While he was originally busted for canoodling with Rachel Uchitel, a number of women ranging from waitresses to 'ladies of the night' came forward to claim that Tiger had muffed a few shots with them as well. It was also discovered that Tiger was not exactly generous with them either.
Tiger entered rehab for sex addiction but it was far too late. His reputation as a devoted husband and family man was shattered. Having a beautiful wife and a near endless supply of money isn’t good enough for some people.
Later, his relationship with Lindsey Vonn ended when she discovered that Tiger was cheating on her as well. It looks like the rehab for sex addiction didn’t work.
4 Winning Doesn’t Take Care of Everything
Tiger has used the phrase “Winning takes care of everything” for several years. In 2013, Nike ran an advertisement which featured Tiger Woods and his worn-out phrase. At the time, Tiger was playing very well and winning again. In fact, it was one of Tiger’s better years.
The reality is that winning doesn’t take care of everything and there is no finer example than Tiger himself. He was implicated in yet another cheating scandal and his game has since fallen to an all-time low. It was as if he was trash talking karma and it backfired spectacularly.
No Tiger. Winning doesn’t take care of everything.
3 His Personality
For a guy who gets as animated as Tiger does on the golf course, it is hard to fathom how boring, clichéd and uninteresting the guy can be. He’s almost robotic. Of course, when he does interviews, there are strict guidelines that must be followed. No pointed questions, nothing about his business and, whatever you do, nothing about his personal life. In other words, serve up meaningless cream-puffs and listen to him read from his script. If there is a remote chance that a question will ruffle his feathers, then it shouldn’t be asked.
There is no point in even scheduling an interview with him after a bad round unless you want to find out what he had for breakfast. Even then, chances are he will sidestep the question without a hint of emotion.
2 A Pariah
The magnitude of the cheating scandal affected more than his family life, his game and his public image, it also affected his relationship with sponsors. Many companies who had once drooled over the idea of sponsoring Tiger were quickly distancing themselves from the fallen star. Accenture, AT&T, Gatorade and General Motors ended their deals. Several others would follow suit. His monthly column in Golf Digest was pulled. Gillette also gave notice that they would not renew their deal with him. It is estimated that his affair has cost shareholders of companies endorsed by Woods between $5 billion and $12 billion. Fortunately for Woods, Nike continued to support him.
1 It Doesn’t Look Like He’ll Catch Jack
To say that Tiger Woods is past his prime would be an understatement. To say Tiger can’t golf anymore would be a lie. His last major was won in 2008 and despite still being competitive; he has not won a major since. At one time, Tiger was a shoe-in to beat Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. Now it appears that he will be hard-pressed to win even one more. His game has been erratic at best and he has been plagued with injuries over the past few years. Woods is again recovering from surgery and it is uncertain when we will see him on the golf course again. There was a rumour that he may be ready for the 2016 Masters but it isn’t likely. Even if he does compete, his fans shouldn’t expect a lot out of the broken down 40-year-old. Then again, Tiger has surprised us in the past.
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