The highest standard for Woods is his words

By Doug FergusonFebruary 16, 2011, 4:27 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s hard enough for Tiger Woods to live up to the standards he set with a golf club in his hand.

It’s proving even tougher to live up to his own words.

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of his speech at Sawgrass, his first public comments since Woods was exposed for cheating on his wife. What seems to be getting a lot of attention now are 15 words from that 13 1/2 -minute statement.

“When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.”

His behavior was lacking in Dubai.

A British television commentator certainly thought so when he saw Woods, who was making a mess of the 12th hole in the final round, squat to read a putt and then turn his head to the side and spit on the green.

“You look at his work ethic and he’s a credit to the game, an inspiration to all of those who are trying to become professional golfers,” said Ewen Murray of Sky Sports. “But some parts of him are just arrogant and petulant. Somebody now has to come onto this green behind him and maybe putt over his spit. It doesn’t get much lower than that.”

Actually, it does get slightly lower when it comes to expectorations.

Imagine being in the group behind Sergio Garcia when he bent over and dropped a loogie into the cup after missing a short putt on the 13th hole at Doral in 2007.

Video of Woods spitting already was going viral on the internet Monday when the European Tour said he will be fined an undisclosed sum for breaching the tour code of conduct.

This was not his first fine.

This was not the first time he’s spit.

And this was not the first time, certainly not lately, that Woods had a chance to win a tournament only to blow up in the final round.

From the time Woods returned to golf last year at the Masters, there was a feeling in some quarters that when – or if – he got back to winning tournaments, all would be forgotten, if not forgiven.

That remains to be seen.

Woods now has gone 15 months and 17 tournaments without winning. He doesn’t appear to be particularly close, either. In his last three tournaments – two of them with a chance to win – Woods has closed with rounds of 73, 73 and 75. It’s the first time since 1997 that he was over par in the final round of three straight tournaments.

With his game in disarray, that puts even more scrutiny on his behavior.

Woods has been spitting as long as he has been wearing a red shirt on Sunday, usually after a bad shot or a missed putt. And while it’s true that Steve Marino was spitting at Pebble Beach in the final round, Steve Marino is not Tiger Woods. It might be a double standard, but such is the cost of celebrity.

Woods is known to slam his clubs after a poor shot, and one time his driver bounced into the gallery in Australia. Swearing is second nature. There have been times when he yelled out “Fore!” to keep him from shouting another word that starts with the same letter.

That probably will never change.

And that’s the problem. Because he said it would.

“When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.”

For all the outrage expressed by the British media, it was peculiar that no one asked him about the famous glob after his round Sunday. Woods apologized a day later on Twitter: “The Euro Tour is right – it was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better. Just wasn’t thinking and want to say I’m sorry.”

The British golf media used to refer to Woods as “the great man” when he was racking up majors. It was easier to overlook his behavior when he flashed that smile while posing with a trophy. Now, he is vulnerable to criticism as never before.

There was Augusta National chairman Billy Payne and his scathing criticism of Woods on the day before last year’s Masters.

“But certainly, his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par; but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change,” Payne said.

The day after the Masters, CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz went on a New York radio show and torched Woods for his language.

“Tiger’s not the only guy who’s got a camera in his face all day long,” Nantz said. “But he is the only one in the field who said he wasn’t going to do that any more.”

During his press conference at that Masters, Woods said he would try to curtail his temper on the golf course, but warned that also would mean toning down his celebrations. Then again, there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate lately.

Even so, did anyone really think he would change?

Whatever flaws he had as a person were easier to overlook when his golf occupied so much of the conversation. Woods is not the only player known for his emotional outbursts, nor is he the only player who spits.

No other player is under such scrutiny, though. Woods ought to know this and expect this by now. If he says he is going to change and be respectful, he has to know that people will be paying attention.

For Woods, that might be a lone positive to take out of this. At least people are still interested in watching him.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm