Friday, July 23, 2010

VERITAS: TOUCHDOWN - TIGER WOODS, AMERICA'S SWEETHEART

This week's perspective from Joe Chidley:

What’s the difference between John Daly and Tiger Woods? Both are great golfers, in their own ways, of course. Both have had more than their share of scandals and embarrassments. So why is one the subject of a Golf Channel reality show, and the other the most-liked athlete in the United States? It comes down to this: Tiger is a winner. Daly? Not so much. (His last PGA Tour victory was six years ago.) In fact, all of Tiger’s PR struggles last year seem not to have dimmed his light in the eyes of the American public, which according to a recent poll find Tiger even more likeable than Kobe Bryant (himself no stranger to allegations of sexual impropriety). I’ve said it before, but the real path to Tiger’s rehabilitation from sex-addictive infamy has to take place on the golf course, not in front of the microphone. His time-off from the sport, his return at the Masters, and his very human struggles with his golf game—which seems to be steadily improving through a difficult season personally and physically—have all been good moves because they focused attention on the game, not the boudoir. When he appeared at the Masters in April, I said the best thing Tiger can do to repair his damaged reputation is win a tournament. He hasn’t done that—yet—this year. But the bigger victory is that the drama now for Tiger, and the one that the public seems to care about most, is no longer about SUVs and fire hydrants and marital infidelity: it’s about him on the golf course. Touchdown, Tiger Woods.

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