Golf was witness today to one of its great upsets.
A giant was toppled in the saddest manner.
Who would have thought Y.E. Yang’s PGA Championship victory wouldn’t be remembered as the greatest takedown of Woods this year?
Who would have guessed that it would be Us Weekly taking him down?
It’s a sad day in golf on so many levels.
The gentleman’s game doesn’t seem so gentlemanly with the No. 1 player in the world admitting Wednesday to “transgressions” after Us Weekly published a salacious story about Woods and his relationship with a Los Angeles cocktail waitress. The magazine promotes the story as detailing Jaimee Grubbs’ “31-month fling” with Woods.
“I have let my family down, and I regret those transgressions with all my heart,” Woods said in his statement. “I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults, and I am far short of perfect.”
Woods released the statement on his Web site Wednesday morning after the magazine was scheduled to hit newsstands and after Us Weekly posted a recording on its Web site. The magazine states the recording is a voice mail Woods left for Grubbs three days before Woods crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant and tree in the early morning hours outside his Isleworth mansion last week.
The man in the recording, who sounds like Woods, complains that “my wife went through my phone” and asks the person he is calling “to take your name off your phone . . . just have it as your telephone number.” There’s an unmistakably desperate tone in the caller’s voice.
It’s sad that Woods got himself into this kind of mess. It’s sad that his wife and family will be hurt by it. It’s sad that we’re all leering into their lives through a supermarket celebrity news publication’s expose.
It’s sad for golf, too.
There’s no more grievous sin in golf than cheating.
It’s sad that the player who may one day be remembered as the greatest player ever will also be remembered for cheating in the larger game of life.
It’s sad that we’re reminded in this way that none of us is without sin.
There’s no telling what similar sins the game’s greatest players of the past might have committed because they were spared the probing examinations of today’s highly evolved celebrity news market.
It’s sad also that so many of us are willing to forgive Woods but still aren’t quite sure what we are supposed to forgive.
We know Woods messed up, but the whole episode is such a mess we’re left to believe the Us Weekly story is true because Woods admits to “transgressions” in the wake of the story.
With the National Enquirer making a move last week, and Us Weekly advancing this week, we’re left feeling like Woods only acknowledged “personal sins” because the tabloid press maneuvered him into checkmate.
As mea culpa’s go, Woods falls short, resonates as reluctant, and even contentious.
Americans are quick to accuse, but they’re just as quick to forgive.
The key to that equation is our sense that those who have sinned are remorseful and want our forgiveness.
Woods, though, doesn’t seem interested in forgiveness outside his family. That’s the message that pierces through the five-paragraph statement he released on his Web site. Three of the paragraphs are a defense of his right to privacy and reads like a lashing out at media who exposed his transgressions.
There’s a contentiousness to the message that won’t serve Woods well in his bid to rebuild his image.
Woods makes an argument for the “virtue of privacy” and defends the “important and deep principle” of privacy.
It doesn’t serve Woods well to make arguments for virtue and principles now.
It doesn’t serve him, either, that he makes the acknowledgments in a statement released on his Web site.
Moving on will be easier if we have a moment to move from and that requires more than a statement.
As painful as it can be, there’s a purpose in public men making public acknowledgments of even private mistakes.
As awkward as the David Letterman and Kobe Bryant moments were, they felt like endings, the repentance that precedes forgiveness and a second chance.
One of Golfs Great Upsets
Golf was witness today to one of its great upsets.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
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.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
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
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.
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
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18