Tigers Time to Talk
You couldn’t get away from the dark cloud over the game.
When you were tuned in to the Chevron World Challenge, you were reminded of Tiger Woods, who skipped the event in the wake of his accident and the intense interest in the “transgressions” and “personal sins” that are widely speculated to have led to the mishap.
If you switched channels, there was the danger the cloud would find you.
There were scrolling Tiger updates on the sports channels, but this story was everywhere, from NBC to E! television. 'Saturday Night Live' poked fun at Woods in a skit. George Lopez on 'Lopez Tonight 'on TBS introduced his new Tiger Woods (butt-) kicking Trophy Barbie doll. Conan O’Brien aired a spoofed version of an “updated” Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour ’10 video game on NBC’s 'Tonight Show' in which a blonde woman races into traffic screaming “Where is Tiger?” as she smashes cars with a golf club. On ABC’s 'Jimmy Kimmel Live,' Kimmel ventured into a barbershop where patrons made fun of what they thought really caused Woods’ accident. Comedienne Wanda Sykes weighed in on her show on Fox.
If you were at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ victory against the Houston Texans Sunday, you couldn’t escape, either. During a timeout, a blonde woman wielding a golf club chased after a costumed tiger that was wearing a red shirt and a golf cap.
Jokes are all over the Internet.
The story is out of control.
It has spiraled beyond the golf world and the supermarket tabloids. Analysts debated the wisdom of Woods’ media strategy on 'Hardball with Chris Matthews.' Nancy Grace dived into the story on her show on CNN’s Headlines News network.
This wildfire isn’t dying down, fueled by the threat of expanding chapters in the tabloid chase to fill out details Woods won't.
It’s a dirty story, and there’s no way to touch the story without feeling like some of the dirt’s rubbing off on you. At the same time, it’s impossible to ignore because it’s pervaded nearly every dimension of our culture.
That’s the dilemma golf writers face right now. This is about so much more than golf.
There’s the element of the story that’s all about the worst of our nature, our fascination with gossip. There’s the distasteful knowledge that certain news outlets at the front of the story are digging into Woods’ private life as much for sport as profit with truth a distant third in the motivational equation. There’s the disconcerting feeling that so many of us in the golf world were enablers, guilty of helping create a false image of Woods.
There are legitimate issues emanating from all of this. There’s philosophical debate about privacy and moral issues. There’s the impact the story’s fallout is having on the ancient game, the ramifications it could have in the future.
This story so pervades the landscape that it’s being discussed on Christian radio. David Wheaton spent an hour on Saturday talking about it on his 'Christian Worldview Radio' program. The show was about “What we all need to learn from Tiger Woods.”
Everyone, it seems, is talking about Woods except the man himself.
There’s no telling what’s going on in Woods’ family now, what time he needs to make things right now that he’s admitted “transgressions.” There’s no telling what his wife, Elin, is going through with the couple’s two small children.
It’s an awful private/public predicament Woods finds himself in, but ultimately it’s one of his own making.
What the story needs is what it’s lacking most. It needs Woods out front.
The story needs to find its bottom. It needs to find its bottom so we can all rise out of this mess. That doesn’t mean we need all the grisly details. It means, though, we need a measure of honesty.
We need Woods to take us to the bottom of this story and lead us out of it.
Whether Woods likes it or not, this story appears as if it will rage until he steps up and addresses the matter publicly, or until the more unsavory media outlets of the world find somebody else to destroy.
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 halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.
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