Many months ago, Tiger Woods was in a car accident. At the time it seemed very minor, especially since no one was seriously injured, but as we all found out, there was more to it. The car accident was the culmination of some problems behind closed doors.
One by one, women came out and spoke of affairs they had with Woods. On his Web site he apologized for what he called ‘transgressions.” The result was a falling out that is rarely seen. He was appropriately chastised for his behavior and became the target of tabloids and jokes.
Wanting to try and repair himself and his relationships, he stepped away from golf. The tabloids continued and so did the jokes. He even made the cover of the New York Post for going to a sex rehabilitation clinic. Amidst all this were questions. When would he come back? How would he be welcomed when he did? Would he say anything?
Not too many weeks ago, we received answers. Tiger would return to golf at the Masters.
He ended up making a public statement in which he apologized to the fans, his colleagues and his wife for the public embarrassment he caused. Even more recently he was interviewed by Tom Rinaldi of ESPN. Rinaldi described Woods as one who looked like he had a weight lifted off of him.
As the Masters drew near, the question started to revolve around what the reaction would be. Tiger had been lay bare and stripped down. Now it was time to put things to the test. In a way Tiger chose his venue well. Crowds at Augusta National are always respectful. It also seemed so appropriate that he would make his return at a course where he has had success.
This past weekend we finally saw what we anticipated. Tiger came to the tee and the reaction was very warm, to say the least. To say this reception meant a lot to him would be putting it mildly. He seemed to respond well; after all, he is human.
Tiger was back doing what he does best. His response was to shoot the best opening round he has ever shot at a Masters. All along the way, he stopped to sign autographs and acknowledge the fans, which he would have never done previously.
The second day was a little more difficult than the first, but with no real hitches. It was the third day that Tiger took us for a ride. He had some weak holes and on poor shots, we heard his mouth.
He had promised to clean up his act in this department, but the anger and emotions did not shock anyone. In the fourth round, Tiger struggled and then made a charge and finished tied for fourth at eleven under par.
Perhaps it is appropriate. It is hard to say that he did not have a successful return. It is also somewhat right that his emotions showed polarity, because that has been his life. It is perhaps most fitting that he did not win. It works because the time just did not seem right.
Tiger has more fences to mend before he wins, not to say that he should not be given a chance. He definitely should be given a chance to repair the damage he has caused and to amend his life. He absolutely should be allowed to play. That being said, what Tiger did is wrong in so many ways. Perhaps after he has built back his relationships, maybe then.
In summation, Tiger’s first weekend back was a roller coaster. He is being given a chance to start anew, which he absolutely should get. As the year progresses all eyes will be on him. He was stripped of the image of goodness and now he is looking to regain some footing. Whatever happens, there is no question that he is back.
Gillenson is a member ofthe class of 2010.