Does Tiger Woods Have A Self Destructive Personality?

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Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods (born December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer. He is tied for first in PGA Tour wins, ranks second in men’s major championships, and holds numerous golf records. Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and one of the most famous athletes of all time. He has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Following an outstanding junior, college, and amateur golf career, Woods turned professional in 1996 at the age of 20. By the end of April 1997, he had won three PGA Tour events in addition to his first major, the 1997 Masters, which he won by 12 strokes in a record-breaking performance. He reached number one in the world rankings for the first time in June 1997, less than a year after turning pro. Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, Woods was the dominant force in golf. He was the top-ranked golfer in the world from August 1999 to September 2004 (264 consecutive weeks) and again from June 2005 to October 2010 (281 consecutive weeks). During this time, he won 13 of golf’s major championships.

The next decade of Woods’s career was marked by comebacks from personal problems and injuries. He took a self-imposed hiatus from professional golf from December 2009 to early April 2010 in an attempt to resolve marital issues with his wife at the time, Elin. Woods admitted to multiple infidelities, and the couple eventually divorced. Woods fell to number 58 in the world rankings in November 2011 before ascending again to the number-one ranking between March 2013 and May 2014. However, injuries led him to undergo four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017. Woods competed in only one tournament between August 2015 and January 2018, and he dropped off the list of the world’s top 1,000 golfers. On his return to regular competition, Woods made steady progress to the top of the game, winning his first tournament in five years at the Tour Championship in September 2018 and his first major in 11 years at the 2019 Masters.

Woods has held numerous golf records. He has been the number one player in the world for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any golfer in history. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record 11 times and has won the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times. Woods has the record of leading the money list in ten different seasons. He has won 15 professional major golf championships (trailing only Jack Nicklaus, who leads with 18) and 82 PGA Tour events (tied for first all time with Sam Snead). Woods leads all active golfers in career major wins and career PGA Tour wins. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam only four men before him have won career grand slam (Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus), and the second golfer (after Nicklaus) to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships. He was also part of the American winning team for the 1999 Ryder Cup. In May 2019, Woods was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the fourth golfer to receive the honor.

On February 23, 2021, Woods was hospitalized in serious but stable condition after a single-car collision and underwent emergency surgery to repair compound fractures sustained in each leg in addition to a shattered ankle.

Tiger Woods always wanted us to believe that he was just like the rest of us. “We’re all the same; we’re all human,” Woods told CNN Sport in 2006. And yet, in the same breath, he understood just how different he really was. Asked in the same interview where he could go in the world and not be recognized, he said: “Underwater! That’s why I like diving.” The world’s most famous golfer, one of the most iconic athletes of our lifetime, has never been comfortable with fame; he’s endured an almost total lack of privacy from when he was young.

In 2019, with bitterness in his voice, he told CNN Sport: “I don’t like it. I never have liked it.”

So, he’s probably not going to like HBO’s new two-part documentary which puts the trajectory of his extraordinary life story under the microscope.

Woods’ agent didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

One of the contributors, the Woods family friend Joe Grohman, agonized before sharing one particularly sensitive detail, saying: “He’s not going to like this sh*t at all.”

READ: Tiger Woods and son Charlie capture hearts and minds during PNC Championship

‘He’s flawed’

Many will be familiar with the broad strokes of the Woods story: the prophecy of greatness, the ruthless dominance and global stardom, the beautiful family, the spectacular and humiliating fall from grace and the Hollywood comeback of epic proportions.

But how many people understand the nuance and the complexity of the man? The fine details that shaped the arc of his journey. Just how did Woods happen?

One of the co-directors, Matthew Heineman, told CNN Sport that trying to understand Woods presented the kind of challenge that filmmakers crave.

“Like all of us, he’s human; he’s flawed,” said Heineman. “And unlike all of us, his life has played out in the public eye in a way that probably no one else’s life has. Tiger is an incredibly complex person; we want to really embrace that nuance and that complexity.”

Both triumphant and inspirational, it’s also tragic and painful.

Very few of the characters leave Woods’ orbit unscathed , according to the filmmakers. More often than not, they are scarred and discarded, and the viewer will feel sympathy for many of them — even, at times, Woods himself.

“I mean, you can’t help but feel for a guy,” says co-director Matthew Hamachek, “who was thrust into the national spotlight at the age of two.” Hamachek and Heineman believe that the crux of this story is the relationship between a father and his son. “Earl has this vision for what his son was going to become,” Hamachek added. “It wasn’t just about golf.”

The Mike Douglas television show appearance when Woods was just two is now iconic, but it was far from his only encounter with the media as a toddler.

In one particularly awkward TV interview ​shown in the film, he unwittingly broke the tension by responding to the question “Do you like playing golf?” with the answer: “I want to go poo-poo.”

Testimony from one of his early teachers, Maureen Decker, affirms that a young Woods wanted to try other sports, but his father wouldn’t allow it.

“The world is ready for a non-White golfer to be successful. I have availed Tiger of this, and he takes that responsibility seriously,” Earl declared.

Earl’s vision was that his son would be much more than just a golfer

The film opens with a speech he gave at the Haskins Collegiate Award banquet in 1996, when Earl told the audience: “He will transcend this game and bring to the world a humanitarianism which has never been known before.

“The world will be a better place to live in, by virtue of his existence and his presence.”

Speaking almost in a whisper and without any attempt to underplay his grandiosity, Earl concludes: “This is my treasure; please accept it and use it wisely.” Woods’ father died in 2006 at the age of 74 after a lengthy battle against cancer.

The filmmakers told CNN Sport that Woods’ representatives said the golfer declined — twice — to be interviewed for the documentary citing a prior commitment to another media company. Woods’ agent didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment about the documentary.

Nonetheless the producers were keen to hear his voice and perspective throughout, and there was no shortage of archived interview material to draw from.

In one clip, Woods dismissed his father’s expectations, saying: “That’s just my Dad speaking, a proud father.”

But Earl was preaching to the world that his son would be little short of the second coming and, once he turned professional, his sponsors were only too happy to continue the sermon.

As Hamachek observed: “It seemed like his entire life people were putting expectations and projecting what they wanted him to be onto Tiger.”

The film presents a narrative that Earl and Kultida — the 15-time major winner’s Mom — raised an automaton capable of handling intense pressure on the golf course, with a ruthless drive for success.

But it seems that they also created an environment which stunted his emotional growth, resulting in an imperfect human. At the height of his powers, Woods seemed to find comfort watching morning cartoons with a bowl of cereal.

Some of the most revealing testimony is provided by his first girlfriend Dina Parr, who says she could see where it was all heading.

“I felt like their plans were creating this robot. There was all this preparation for golf, but he had no life skills. He had not been prepared for life. And I was probably the only person around that really kept him in check.”

Parr says that their relationship ended abruptly when she received a cold and business-like termination letter from Woods, who “never wanted to see or hear” from her again. “I know this is sudden and a surprise, but it is in my opinion much warranted,” wrote the golfer.

Parr was devastated; she said they had been in love and were happy together: “It was like a death, the Tiger that I had known had died. His sweetness was stolen from him.”

Woods had learned golf from his father; he’d learned how to be tough from him, too. Famously, Earl was a green beret in the US military, operating behind enemy lines during two harrowing tours of duty in the horrific Vietnam War.

“My dad was always the person who would plant seeds and give me encouragement but also would say things that would fester inside me that wouldn’t come to fruition for a while,” Woods told USA Today in 2017.

“He was very worldly and deep in his thinking. My mom was the enforcer. My dad may have been in the Special Forces, but I was never afraid of him. My mom’s still here, and I’m still deathly afraid of her. She’s a very tough, tough old lady, very demanding. She was the hand, she was the one, I love her so much, but she was tough.”

Self-destructive behavior

At the age of 13, according to the documentary, Tiger had apparently been taught to hypnotize himself, to tune out extraneous noise.

As Woods’ own life subsequently spiraled out of control, the details of the story become a little more sordid.

Some conservative viewers may find themselves clutching their pearls by the time he’s cheating on his wife, Elin, with reckless abandon in a church parking lot.

It was a pattern of self-destructive behavior that presented the film’s directors with another challenge — how much should be revealed?

Hamachek and Heineman ​say they were reluctant to overly sensationalize the details, but nor could they underplay the relevance of them.

They say they recognized that Woods’ children might one day see the film, so every decision in the edit suite was handled with a great deal of care. “It wasn’t going to be TMZ, and it also wasn’t going to be a puff piece,” said Hamachek.

Heineman added: “This is really a psychological portrait of the man through these interviews, and there are details in the show that touch on things that I wouldn’t necessarily want to have revealed about myself. But that is his story and we couldn’t shy away from that.”

Through the insight of Woods’ first love Parr and two family friends, Pete McDaniel and Grohman, the film claims to explain the making of the man.

But it’s through the original testimony of Rachel Uchitel, speaking on camera for the first time, that we see what that man became.

Uchitel , who became a public figure as a result of her relationship with Tiger, sheds new light on a man who was seemingly trying to escape from the pressure of it all, and she found herself in the eye of the storm when their cover was blown.

As a teenager, Parr’s relationship with Woods was ended with a letter; Uchitel says her termination was crafted by a lawyer. His longtime caddie Steve Williams also discovered that friendship with Woods can be revoked at a moment’s notice and there is no going back.

And yet, there doesn’t seem to be any resentment from those who ​say they were cast aside.

“I think one of the most interesting psychological things is how unbelievably protective they still are,” says Heineman. “There wasn’t anger; there wasn’t bitterness. It was still so much love for this man, even though he might have hurt them deeply.”

Asked what they think the moral of Woods’ story might be, the directors struggle to identify it; because he is such a complex character, he can’t be “put in a box.”

But Hamachek ​believes that no one has been merely ​a spectator of his golf or will be ​a disinterested ​viewer of this film; ​everyone has been more involved than that.

“We sort of played a role in cheering him on when he was on the rise, and a lot of people in the public took a great deal of glee in his downfall.

“And then we’re right back there to cheer him on in the comeback. One of the things that I found fascinating about this story is how the public at large is sort of culpable in his story as well.”

“We all projected ourselves onto this man,” says Heineman. “We wanted him to be this perfect poster boy for breaking through and breaking barriers and doing many things, and so when that didn’t happen, our own expectations were broken and our own views of ourselves and our own visions were broken.

“I hope that in watching the show, you can at least feel like you’re in his shoes, [feeling] what that pressure and what that spotlight really feels like.”

Father and son

Just weeks before the film’s release, Woods was back in the news. Or, more pertinently, his 11-year-old son Charlie was in the news — playing golf in public for the first time.

Charlie’s greenside presence, when his Dad won the 2019 Masters to complete his most extraordinary comeback, represented the completion of the father-son arc. Charlie’s emergence as a young, exceptional golfing talent in his own right marks a generational shift and the start of a new chapter.

“It’s quite interesting seeing Charlie and Tiger out there playing together,” says Heineman. “What has he learned as a human being? What has he learned as a father? Because he was taught many lessons by Earl, some of which obviously benefited him greatly, and I think some of which obviously hurt him greatly.”

The 15-time major winner would appear to have learned something else from his father, how to protect the privacy of his children. Whilst Charlie wowed us all with his prodigious talent, he was not made available for interview.

This young man can thank his father for that, but it’s a lesson his Dad was made to learn the hard way.

The Personality of Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods was born with extra-ordinary drive and determination. He is a born leader. Tiger Woods insists on his right to make up his own mind; he demands freedom of thought and action, and does not let anything or anyone stand in his way once he is committed to his goal.

Woods assumes the responsibility to be the protector and provider for those he loves. He demands respect and attention and becomes irritated and even domineering when important things do not go his way.

Tiger Woods needs to feel in command of important undertakings, and resists supportive roles. He seeks the forefront and the limelight.

Tiger Woods is exceptionally creative and original and possesses a touch of the unusual. His approach to problems is unique and he has the courage to wander from the beaten path. Tiger Woods can be impatient with his shortcomings and those of others.

He is very concerned with his status and fosters the appearance of success and self-satisfaction. The need to appear well off propels Tiger Woods to strive for growth, success and the finer things of life.

Tiger Woods should watch out for selfishness, conceit and the over-concern with appearance. He must guard against overzealous behavior, anger and aggressiveness. If these qualities are not brought under control Tiger Woods could become excessively domineering, vindictive and even violent. He performs best when he left to his own devices. Ideally Woods should own his own business and be his own boss. Tiger Woods should hold fast to his life’s dream and work with the determination he possesses to realize it. Tiger Woods can become overly stressed by his driven nature. He needs to be careful about the food he eats and maintain an exercise program he enjoys. Competition sports are often a healthy outlet for a person with Woods’ drive, particularly sports involving running and swimming. Tiger Woods must not let pride and overconfidence be his masters. He has to remember that his talents and abilities are a gift from a higher source, which should promote gratitude and humility, rather than pride and conceit.

Tiger Woods is a person of thinking and planning.

Having well-developed business mindset, he is good at making effective plans, setting goals and working out the best way to achieve them.

He may also have excellent organisational and administrative skills, but that depends on how often he skips the details in order not to lose sight of the bigger picture.

It is natural for Tiger Woods to think before he acts, to constantly plan the short- and long-term future, and to keep elaborate notes and diary with everything well planned and written down.

He also knows how to work effectively and efficiently with others in business, while maintaining self control and discipline, and teaching them to appreciate knowledge as the key ingredient to success.

If Tiger Woods is over-organized, he should practice finding his way in disarrayed environment, or otherwise feel confused and in disarray himself.

But if he ignores the details in favor of the bigger picture, others might view Woods as undisciplined with details, and not appreciate his great planning skills.

Entrepreneurial and progressive, Tiger Woods is ever-striving, heading for the top, and enjoying an enterprising, ambitious and determined personality to do things well, and an unyielding dedication to his plan until the goals are achieved.

He bounces back easily from setbacks and can overcome any adversities or obstacles thrown in his way.

There is danger, however that his trait of determination and dedication will shift to stubbornness, making Tiger Woods cling to ideas and projects well past their fruitious season. It is a good idea for him to keep fresh pipeline of ideas to make it easier to replace outdated plans by new and better ones.

Patient as he is towards his goals, Tiger Woods’ flying, ravaging temper endangers his relationships with the very same people that will help him to accomplish those goals. He should use his strength of will to study and practice anger management.

Tiger Woods possesses an inner calm and accepts the highs and lows of his life with compassionate and spiritual awareness. This inner serenity and strong faith sustain and comfort him, and are growing stronger through life.

Wishing to promote kindness, peace and love, Tiger Woods actually succeeds in bringing peace, unconditional love and gentleness to others.

He is likely to be philosophical about life in a strong and unwavering faith, and he is also likely to practice music, professionally or privately.

CAN PERSONALITY EXPLAIN HIS BEHAVIOUR?

Within Psychology personality refers to “psychological qualities that contribute to an individual’s enduring and distinctive patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving”. This psychohistory of Tiger Woods intends to examine several theories of personality in an attempt to discover and learn more about what motivates him. Adler’s Birth Order Effect will be explored as a possible explanation for some of Tiger Woods’ characteristics while also evaluating the influence of Bowlby and Ainswoth’s Attachment theory in relation to parent/child attachment in Tiger’s early childhood. As Tiger progresses through to adolescence Freud’s theory of psychosexual development will be examined to explore the possibility of Tiger entering the phallic stage with reference to Carl Jung’s theory of the structure of personality. Bandura’s social-cognitive theory will also be examined in length to account for how and why Tiger displays many of his personality characteristics and finally an investigation as to whether Tiger can be described or understood with regard to the Big-Five Factor model of personality.

There is no doubt that Tiger was groomed from a very young age by his father’s ambition for him to excel and succeed. His father brought him up very strictly and militaristically often speaking to him in adult language as a very young child. He would sometimes use prisoner-of-war interrogation techniques on him to make him mentally strong. Tiger was labelled a ‘child prodigy’. At the age of three he shot 48 over nine holes at the Cypress Navy course. He first broke 80 at the age of eight and went on to win the Junior World Championships six times, including four consecutive wins from 1988-1991.

Albert Bandura is a social psychologist who conducted many studies on how children are most likely to model and imitate others.   He believed that much of our behaviour and personality is learned, that it is the result of our nurture. Social learning is often called observational learning. A child will observe and then copy someone and in this particular case young Tiger was copying and imitating his father’s behaviour. Earl used reinforcement techniques to fine tune his son’s skill with golf and he also conditioned him by using his army training to groom the young boy. Environmental and social factors, particularly learning-based habit patterns and maladaptive cognitive styles, have also been identified as possible casual factors in personality development.    Many of these maladaptive habits and cognitive styles may originate in disturbed parent-child attachment relationships, rather the depriving simply from temperamental differences.   Early attachment relationships are thought by development psychologists to create models for children of what relationships should be like.  If early models are not healthy, this may predispose a child to a pattern of personality development that can lead to the diagnosis of personality disorder later in life.

As Tiger moved into adolescence he became known as ‘The Great Black Hope’ adding to the already enormous pressures and expectations he had on himself.  Tiger did not only want to be the best black golfer in history but to be the best golfer who ever lived.  At the age of fifteen he revealed these goals inadvertently saying that he wanted to become the Michael Jordan of golf.  This was one of the first signs that Tiger, according to Freud’s stages of development, was moving into his phallic stage.  He started to gain control on the golf course over his emotional outbursts and lapses in temper.  Tiger had now set targets in his career and was striving to meet these targets.  He was becoming outwardly competitive and potent on the golf course.  This is a natural development according to Jung’s structure of personality in which, a persona or mask is developed to represent a person’s public image.  Tiger was showing the world his calm, together and focused self every time he played on a golf course, creating impressions to manipulate and influence people’s opinions of him.

According to the social-cognitive theory, goals play an important part in personality structure. A person’s goals enable them to set down a specific course of action and, thus, motivate and direct their own behaviour. Goals therefore contribute to their capacity for self-control. Goals help a person to establish priorities. Tiger’s goal at this stage was to become the greatest golf player in the world. Evaluative standards also play an important role in the social-cognitive theory. They concern one self’s personal standards, and are of particular relevance to the case of Tiger. The theory recognises that people commonly evaluate their ongoing behaviour in accordance with internalised personal standards. During his adolescence, Tiger had set his standards very high. He practiced golf religiously each day; however, his high standards were not limited to golf alone. When it was time for Tiger to decide on which college he would attend he focused on three in particular, each with a history of success at golf. Tiger opted for Stanford- the most academically rigorous of the three.  Tiger was not content to excel at just sport, he wanted to do well academically also. According to this same theory, evaluative standards often trigger emotional reactions. It states that we react with pride when we meet our own standards and are dissatisfied when we fail to meet them. This is certainly true of Tiger who, on wining the U.S. Junior Amateur, in a rare moment of emotional outpouring, had tears streaming down his face. The social-cognitive theory thus emphasises that evaluative standards are central to behaviour that we call “moral” versus “immoral”. This aspect of the theory may account for Tiger’s more recent behaviour. “People who disengage their moral standards say things to themselves that temporarily enable them to disregard their own standards of behaviour”. His whole life Tiger has exercised an admirable level of self control and an imperturbable pursuit of his goals, and this may in some way explain his uncharacteristically deviant behaviour.

Tiger’s adult personality can be examined under the Big-Five Factor Model as proposed by McCrae & Costa (2003). These theorists believed that there were five factors of personality that seemed to be universal to all humans.  The five factors are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Tiger appears to be moderately extraverted, in that he is very outgoing and sociable, active and talkative.  He is deeply stimulated by the game of golf and excels at it. He would score very high on conscientiousness given that he is extremely driven, methodical and organised, thorough and hard-working, self-disciplined and punctual in all aspects of his profession. He is relentless and opportunistic in his pursuit to dominate golf and break previous records set by Jack Nicklaus and he is highly motivated, competitive and goal-oriented which also links with Freud’s concept of the phallic personality type.  Some of these conscientiousness qualities may not however apply to his personal life.  He displays very little anxiety, guilt and depression which would show him low on neuroticism.  When he is on the golf course he will always appear calm, relaxed and unemotional. He has a hardy personality trait that appeared unpenetrateable until recent revelations of infidelities in his marriage. It could be argued however that Tiger could score quite high on neuroticism in respect of his personal life, namely due to recent news of his transgressions which would describe him as emotionally unstable and using maladaptive coping mechanisms to deal with his personal problems.

Tiger Woods is a practicing Buddhist and credits his religion for giving him self-awareness and believes that his religion has taught him that he needs to work on flaws in his personality, stubbornness and impatience. He has attributed his deviations and infidelities to his loosing track of Buddhism saying that Buddhism teaches him to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Infidelity occurs for many reasons, ranging from personality factors to evolution-based theories.

Tiger Woods exhibits high levels of  agreebleness as a factor in his personality. Together with his parents, they established ‘The Tiger Woods Foundation’ and‘The Tiger Woods Learning Centre’ in an attempt to promote both golf and other, non-sport activities for disadvantaged children.  This displays true alturism and compassion for disadvantaged children helping them achieve their dreams through education.  With regard to openness Tiger shows that he is sociable and charismatic, however he also shows a lack of self control, values and selfishness.  Recent events in his personal life has seen Tiger described in the media as being a ‘party boy womanizer’ and in a public statement in February 2010 regarding his transgressions he apologised to his family, sponsors and media for his repeated irresponsible behaviour stating that “…achievemets in golf are only part of setting an example, character and decency are what really counts”.

Taking into account Tiger’s achievements and misgivings since his professional career began, and exploring his personaltiy on the Big-Five Factor model the trait theories reflect important structures of the personality but it doesn’t consider all aspects. Tiger has exhibited some extreme aspects to his personality, on one hand he is a consummate professional, an extreme sports achiever and influential role model but on the other hand, there are questionable personality traits that dominate his personal life that reflect the polar opposite of his celebrity/public persona which was already discussed in relation to Jung’s theory of personality

Western society believes that people are “essentially good but society corrupts them” and  “that people are born innocent but experience a world of temptations and fall from grace”. It is true in the case of Tiger Woods that it is not as simple as blaming society for our inadequacies. There are a myriad of factors that need to be taken into account when trying to comprehend the complex nature of personality. From this investigation, Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, had a major influence on Tiger’s early development not least with regard to the social-cognitive theory of learning. Tiger’s slow progression to the phallic stage according to Freud may have resulted in a very conflicting public and private persona in adulthood.

‘I don’t want to be a role model because it’s a hard task and I’m human.  I make mistakes.  I’m not perfect.’  (Tiger Woods)

Will Tiger Woods Master His Demons?

The idea that Woods needs to “straighten(s) out his personal life,” according to Charles McGrath, NY Times sportswriter, is “a very discouraging notion for those of us who love to play golf precisely because it’s an escape from the rest of life and who would much rather work on our short game than, say, our relationship with our boss or our spouse.”   

Woods is obviously far more motivated to straighten out his inner life for golf than those of us who play the game for fun. He’s been very clear that he aims to establish himself as the best golfer of all time,which requires him winning five more majors to break Nicklaus’s record. 

One imagines (hopes?) Woods is addressing his athletic demons with the same intensity and perseverance that he always brought to his golf game. And while we really know very little about Woods’s internal state, let’s imagine the following psychological scenario: 

Let’s suppose Woods’s slump really is a result of the traumatic impact of his marriage and public image exploding. That had to be a terrible narcissistic blow, one that left his pride, self-confidence, perhaps his very identity, badly shaken. But there are other losses to imagine. Strange as it may seem, Woods’s philandering and sexual conquests may have served vital psychological functions; they may have helped sustain his confidence so he could perform at such a high level on the golf course. Perhaps his emotional well-being and self-esteem depended on finding new women to make him feel virile, desirable, even lovable, or something else. Maybe Woods was managing underlying loneliness, emptiness, despair or depression through his sexual liaisons. And even if he wasn’t—after all we are imagining these possibilities in the absence of real data—there are many others in similar situations with far less athletic ability who have had and are having such experiences. 

Woods may have additionally felt constrained and burdened by the pressures of having to live his life in a fishbowl from the time he was twenty years old, when he signed endorsement deals worth sixty million dollars. In exchange for this money—and the hundreds of millions more he earned during his career, both as a product endorser and player—Woods had to project a pristine public image, one that was carefully cultivated by his sponsors and the PGA Tour. As the most recognized and financially successful athlete in the world Woods may have felt encumbered by having to present himself as a perfect role model. 

Woods’s affairs, then, might have been a reaction to how tired he was of having to be so good all the time; a way to express his individuality unconstrained by the pressure to be someone that others wanted him to be, albeit in a misguided, destructive, and ultimately self-destructive way. Sex outside marriage—lots of sex with many women—is a powerful way to rebel, to defy convention. For Woods it might have been a way to say, “This is one place where I am not playing by your rules; I play by them everywhere else; in my private life I am entitled to do what I damn please.” And again, you don’t have to be a genius athlete for the burdens of convention—of always having to fit in with what the roles we play in life demand—to be profoundly debilitating. 

I am not condoning or defending Woods’s actions; he betrayed his wife through tawdry affairs and behaved deplorably. I am trying to understand; in part because the inner struggles we imagine and the outward expressions we read about illuminate human dilemmas shared irrespective of athletic ability. Understanding him helps us understand us and media catch-phrases and quasi-clinical labels like “sexual addiction” yield little insight into the true nature of his actions. 

If what I’ve imagined is even partially true, then Tiger Woods might need to reconstruct his identity and self-esteem on a new foundation. In order to regain confidence he may have to understand himself in ways he never had to before. While these are hard psychological tasks they would provide Woods with a tremendous opportunity-to discover more fully who he is apart from what others have wanted him to be. 

Over the course of his career Woods established himself, arguably, as the mentally fittest golfer ever, and now he has the chance to prove it once again, as his psychological resilience is put to the test. I hope he emerges from this ordeal as a changed man: more mature, humble, honest, and personally fulfilled; and that he continues to exhibit his prodigious golfing talents. 

The sad story of Tiger Woods grows even sadder

“Tiger Woods arrested for DUI.”

Callous though it might sound, my guess is that in the short seconds after the initial impact of the headline, the next reaction by many among the multitudes immersed in all things Tiger would be “Not shocked.” Because for all the happy talk from and about Woods by those who wish everything was all right, it’s not unreasonable to surmise that the 14-time major-championship winner’s life has been troubled for awhile.

That doesn’t dismiss how the stark juxtaposition of the historical Tiger Woods and the latest facts continue to feel disorienting and surreal. The mug shot that will live forever (thanks to the Internet) of a disheveled and unshaven Woods looking into the police camera with hooded eyelids seared from the television screen. As ESPN’s David Lloyd intoned on SportsCenter late Monday morning. “THIS is the mug shot of Tiger Woods, one of the greatest players ever,” the camera slowly zoomed in for a close-up of the image, and then froze for a silent extra beat.

The man whose excellence as an athlete was built on his supreme self-control is not in control. And we may have reached a tipping point in which we will worry more about Woods as a person than as a golfer.

Of course, at this point, no matter how unsettling the latest incident, there are only questions and maybes.

The first maybe is that Woods’ arrest was the result of an isolated slip. An athlete in the midst of a long recovery from major surgery, very likely bored by inactivity, letting loose one night and in the aftermath using poor judgment. Woods has no history of unlawful conduct.

But common sense and past experience tells us such things—among celebrities and non-celebrities alike—don’t usually happen in a vacuum. Woods has unavoidably been subject to rumors, and some have involved speculation about excessive drinking or the use of painkillers. They gained traction after Woods’ car hit a fire hydrant in front of his Orlando home in late 2009. A former mistress said that Woods regularly took Ambien, while other sources said he had taken the drug on the night of the accident.

In the scandal-infused aftermath, Woods entered a Mississippi rehabilitation center called Gentle Path, which specializes in treating sex addiction. But the center’s website says it also addresses “co-occurring disorders” including those involving alcohol.

Tiger Woods doesn’t want his career to ‘end like this’ after car crash: source

Tiger Woods doesn’t want to go out like this.

As the golf icon continues to recover from Tuesday’s rollover wreck outside Los Angeles, Woods realizes his career on the links may be in jeopardy, People reported.

“He doesn’t want his career to end like this,” a source close to the 45-year-old athlete said Wednesday. “So if there’s any way at all that he can continue playing golf, he will.”

Woods, who had back surgery to remove a disc fragment cutting into a nerve following the PNC Championship in December, is “frustrated” by his latest setback to his once seemingly unstoppable career.

He also wants to get back on the greens as soon as possible if he’s physically able, the source said.

“He expected 2021 to be the year of his comeback,” the source continued. “Obviously, that’s not going to happen now. And that’s disappointing to him.”

But Woods – who has had nine previous surgeries throughout his career – thinks he can add one more dramatic return to his already-imposing resume, the source said.

“This is a massive setback and he knows that it’s a massive setback,” the source told People. “But he’s overcome obstacles in the past and think he can do it again.”

Woods was conscious when he was extricated via the front windshield of a 2021 Genesis GV80 luxury SUV that crashed on a problematic downhill stretch of road in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has characterized the crash as “purely an accident” and ruled out criminal charges against Woods.

“He was not drunk,” Villanueva said Wednesday. “We can throw that one out.”

If Woods does return to golf, he’ll look to break his record-tying 82 victories on the PGA Tour and add to his 15 major championships, second only to Jack Nicklaus.

Woods reportedly has no memory of the single-vehicle rollover wreck, which left him with a shattered right leg. Doctors also inserted a rod into his leg and placed screws in his foot and ankle, according to a statement posted on Twitter.

An orthopedic surgeon at a hospital in California, meanwhile, told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday that rods, screws and pins such as those used to stabilize Woods are often intended to remain in a patient’s body for life.

“My expectation would be that I wouldn’t anticipate him and walking around for a while,” Dr. Gregory Tennant of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana told the newspaper.

Tennant, who is not treating Woods as he recovers at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said the accident could impact his often-plagued back.

“Trauma is never truly an isolated event,” Tennant told the newspaper. “It is not uncommon to identify injuries – even significant injuries – days later, as the initial high-energy injuries are dealt with.”

But betting against Woods’ return would be foolhardy, the surgeon suggested.

“Tiger Woods has been a winner his whole life, and one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t bet against winners,” Tennant said. “You don’t bet against Michael Jordan. You don’t bet against Tiger Woods.”

Conclusion

I think that I have shown that Tiger Woods has been through a lot in his life. He has a very driven personality. It goes without saying that he has a gift for playing golf. His father nurtured this gift. He has risen to the highest levels of professional golf, but at what price. It can be argued that to reach the levels he has, you have to devote your life to that one goal. Under his father’s guidance, he did just that. They always say that hindsight is 20:20. By using this sight we can say that his childhood was stolen from him. He never developed a non golf related life. When his father died, Woods had no guiding figure, the same happened to Mike Tyson, when his boxing trainer died, his life unraveled. After the death of his father there was nobody that Tiger respected enough to tell him when he was going off trail. The people closest to him did not want to anger him and thereby lose their meal ticket. Everything Woods wanted , he could now afford. That included buying physical solace. His celebrity also gave him an unfettered access to beautiful women. It didn’t matter to him that he already had a beautiful wife at home with two children. I discussed in the addendum section some of the more despicable acts that he perpetrated. He had become narcissistic with no shut off switch. Every time he seemed to climb out of the hole he dug himself in, he managed to do something else more destructive. In 2021 he seemed to have finally learned how to become a human being, when his demons got the best of him and he ignored the warnings posted on a dangerous road and almost lost his life. Now he is looking forward to at least a year of rehab before he can return back to the links.

Many people argue that he likes the notoriety of being a bad boy. Will he be able to overcome this most recent hurdle ? I know one thing you can’t rule him out. It is against his nature. He believes that nothing is impossible. He is after all a narcissist.

Resources

golfdigest.com, “The sad story of Tiger Woods grows even sadder,” By Jaime Diaz; celebrities-galore.com, “Tiger Woods: Personality Profile;” theatlantic.com, “The Self-Destruction of Tiger Woods,” By Ben W. Heineman Jr.; msn.com, “Tiger Woods documentary: ‘He’s not going to like this sh*t at all’,” By Don Riddell; psychologytoday.com, “The Psychology of Tiger Woods: Lessons in emotional control and relationships,” By Jill P. Weber Ph.D.; believeperform.com, “TIGER WOODS – CAN PERSONALITY EXPLAIN HIS BEHAVIOUR?” By Anne Kennedy; “‘All of his human relationships were transactional’: Multi-millionaire Tiger Woods is branded a ‘pathological narcissist’ in new biography that reveals he paid his coach just $50K per year,” By Andrew Court; psychologytoday.com, “Will Tiger Woods Master His Demons?” By Don Greif, Ph.D.; theclever.com, “15 Most Despicable Things Tiger Woods Has Done;” en.wikipedia.org, ” Tiger Woods,” By Wikipedia Editors; nuypost.com, “Coverage of Tiger Woods’ ‘accident’ ignores reality in favor of reverence,” By Phil Mushnick; golfdigest.com, “A timeline of Tiger Woods’ most recent troubles,” nypost.com, “Tiger Woods doesn’t want his career to ‘end like this’ after car crash: source,” By Joshua Rhett Miller; People Magazine, April19, 2021, “New Questions, Tough Recovery,” BY Steve Helling;

Addendum

15 Most Despicable Things Tiger Woods Has Done

Tiger Woods has certainly gone through quite the journey over the years. When the public first met him as a fresh-faced teenager who was absolutely killing it in the world of golf, they had nothing but admiration. After all, it’s hard to have something bad to say about a sixteen year old who breaks records and has the kind of pro sports career most men could only dream of. He was talented, he was beloved, and he was earning sponsorships left, right and center. He had many, many successful years where he brought in the big bucks, won countless tournaments, and even helped introduce a wider audience to the sport of golf.

And then, it all started to unravel.

There were always a few things about Tiger Woods’ personality that rubbed some people the wrong way – his confidence often bordered on cockiness, and he definitely knew how talented he was. However, the troubles started when his personal life became more interesting to the tabloids than his tournament wins. One mistress came out to talk about an affair, and suddenly an endless stream of affairs and mistresses and sexual issues came out of the woodwork – and the public’s opinion of the golf legend definitely changed.

Now, just when you thought Tiger might slowly be returning to the top after his fall from grace, he gets arrested for a DUI. Oh, Tiger.

Here are 15 of the most despicable things that Tiger Woods has done over the years.

15.HE SLEPT WITH HIS NEIGHBOUR’S DAUGHTER

Yep, you read that correctly. The list of women that Tiger Woods has engaged in X-rated activity with is basically endless, but there are some that are more despicable than your average affair. Amidst all the prostitutes and affairs, Tiger Woods at one point apparently slept with his neighbour’s 21 year old daughter. And no, it wasn’t that she was some sort of vixen who just wanted her fifteen minutes of fame, or just wanted to get with a pro athlete. She was apparently incredibly upset when she found out that he was sleeping with countless other women as well, which means he likely tried to play the situation like she was the first one outside of his marriage he had been with, and that he just felt something special for her. Uh, gross. She confessed that she felt violated by what had gone on between them, and the way he treated her. Poor girl.

14.HE SKIPPED SLEEP IN ORDER TO GET BUSY

Look, everyone has had certain nights where they make an irresponsible choice and stay up late finishing up a juicy book or watching a few more episodes of the television show they’re currently binge-watching. However, we keep choices like that to a minimum because we know that in order to work to the best of our abilities, we need to be well rested. Tiger Woods doesn’t particularly care about that. It turns out that, as many of his mistresses confirmed, Woods would often skip sleep entirely in order to spend more time getting busy. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a healthy, spicy sex life, but when you have countless people depending on you to perform to the best of your ability, including companies who have put up tens of millions in endorsement deals, it’s just plain rude to jeopardize your well-being just for a little bit of fun.

13.HE THREW CLUBS ON THE COURSE

Most of us have gotten frustrated at work at some point or another. After all, we’re just human. Sometimes if a presentation doesn’t go well, or if a co-worker gets a promotion above you despite not working nearly as hard as you do, it can be incredibly frustrating. Most of us know, though, that you have to put on your adult pants and deal with it – or, at the very least, wait until you’re in the privacy of your own car or home to yell or scream or cry or whatever it is you need to do to unleash those emotions. Tiger Woods wasn’t worried about being a professional. There were many times on the course when, if his shot was bad or he missed a putt or something like that, he’d lash out and slam his club into the ground or throw it or just get aggressive in general. That’s not the image you want to portray as a professional athlete.

12.HE FACED OFF WITH PHOTOGRAPHERS

Look, we get it, it’s probably super irritating to have cameras in your face when you’re trying to concentrate on the task at hand. However, when you’re a professional athlete, it’s kind of something that you need to learn how to deal with. If the paparazzi climb your fence and take snaps of you while you’re at home, in a supposedly private setting, that’s not cool. However, if photographers from sports outlets are trying to take some shots of you as a professional athlete, playing his sport, well… that’s kind of expected. Tiger Woods often let his frustration get the best of him and would verbally lash out at photographers who he felt were interrupting his concentration, and it’s just not cool. It’s understandable to maybe request that they keep it down, particularly if it’s going to affect your performance, but there’s a more respectful way to deliver a message that doesn’t involve yelling.

11.THE BOTCHED PRESS CONFERENCE

When the huge scandal with the car crash and suspicious activity came out way back when, Tiger Woods followed it up the same way virtually every professional athlete or celebrity follows up a huge scandal – with a press conference. Press conferences are supposed to help a star deliver a sincere apology to the public, and hopefully regain some of the respect that their scandal caused them to lose. The problem is, Tiger wasn’t quite following the script at his press conference. He obviously had a speech prepared, and he even had Mama Woods in the front row showing her support for her son. However, instead of taking responsibility for his actions and admitting he was the only one to blame, Woods unleashed a few confusing comments, particularly his statement that, “Elin deserves praise, not blame.” Uh… no one was blaming Elin. They were just trying to figure out just how badly you treated her.

10.THE CADILLAC CRASH

Ah, the crash – the thing that many identify as the moment where Tiger Woods’ stock started plummeting dramatically. When it hit the news that Tiger Woods had crashed his Escalade in front of his home, the rumors started swirling and people immediately began speculating about what had happened. Add to that the fact that his wife Elin had knocked out a window, either to hurt him or to save him, whichever reports you believed at the time, and you had a whole big mess all over the tabloids. Who knows – if that hadn’t happened, there’s a chance that his mistresses would have stayed silent. For some reason, the whole scandal with the crash and the suspicious reasons behind it opened the door for all of Tiger’s secrets to come tumbling out – and tumble out they did. It turns out, a questionable encounter with his wife was just the tip of the scandalous iceberg for Tiger Woods.

9.THE CONSTANT FOUL LANGUAGE

You would think that someone who entered their career in professional sports at a young age would know better than anyone how to maintain a sense of decorum and keep their cool in all situations. After all, when you’ve had the cameras around you since you were a hormonal teenager, you know how to handle yourself, right? Well, not if you’re Tiger Woods. The golf pro had a bit of a reputation for letting his language get far more than PG-rated on the course when he got frustrated. Listen, we all get frustrated at times. However, when you’re a professional athlete, there’s a certain degree to which you’re supposed to keep cool and collected, and not just fly off the handle and start cursing up a storm. Sure, for television broadcasts the network generally caught it in time and bleeped or blurred out any foul language, but still. Not cool.

8.MISTRESS…AFTER MISTRESS…AFTER MISTRESS…

Having an affair is an awful thing to do. In many cases, a scandalous affair can signal the end of your career if you’re a celebrity. Or, at the very least, you’ll probably lose a ton of fans. However, Tiger Woods didn’t just have one affair, as most people will know. He had one, then another, then another… After the first woman stepped forward about her X-rated activities with the married pro golfer, an endless stream of women followed in her footsteps. The total varies, but most estimate it at around 12 women – and we’re willing to bet that there were probably a lot of women who just didn’t feel comfortable stepping forward. All the while, he had a devoted wife at home with his children. That’s not just bad decision making – it’s despicable decision making. Honestly, we wouldn’t blame Elin if she had busted out those golf clubs a few more times after that and slammed a few of his prized possessions. Big screen television, perhaps?

7.HE DITCHED LINDSEY VONN WHEN SHE GOT INJURED

Somehow, after his gorgeous supermodel wife divorced him for all the scandal and infidelity, Tiger Woods managed to convince another smoking hot blonde to date him – professional skier Lindsey Vonn. Vonn is a gorgeous woman who could have her pick of basically any guy in the world, and for whatever reason, she picked Tiger. Hey, the heart wants what it wants. And, just like Woods, Vonn went through some issues with injury and the gruelling recovery that follows. However, while Vonn was recovering and grappling with some serious pain, Woods was out travelling. Vonn was so lonely, she decided to adopt a dog, and often had to have her physical therapist pull her out of bed. Look, we get that it’s tough to put a busy schedule on hold, but the man has millions – you’d think he could charter a jet to check in on his girlfriend every now and then.

6.HE PULLED OUT OF A CHARITY TOURNAMENT

Shortly after the scandal with the car crash and the affairs all erupted, Tiger was scheduled to participate in his charity tournament, the Chevron World Challenge. Now, while he understandably cancelled most of his public appearances while things calmed down a little bit after the scandal, you wouldn’t think he’d cancel on charity, right? Oh, that’s where you’d be wrong. Tiger just wasn’t feeling up to dealing with any tough questions or probing eyes, so just simply packed away his clubs and informed the charity that he wouldn’t be coming out. Talk about a jerk! Sometimes you have to suffer through some uncomfortable situations for the greater good, but that’s something the selfish pro golfer doesn’t quite understand. We hope he at least wrote a couple big checks to various charities after the tournament to make up for his no show. Seriously – personal issues aside, you need to honour your commitments.

5.HE DOESN’T SUPPORT HIS FELLOW ATHLETES

Professional athletes know how hard it is to stay on top. I mean yes, they get paid handsomely for what they do – but they’re also under a lot of scrutiny and pressure to perform. So, you would think they would support one another, right? After all, they know just how hard it is. Well, it turns out that when it comes to supporting his fellow golfers, Tiger woods really doesn’t care about anyone but himself. In an interview with Time, the golf pro admitted that “I can’t remember the last time I watched golf. I can’t stand it… I watched Jason [Day] win the PGA. But it was on mute. It’s always on mute and I have some other game on another TV.” Talk about harsh! Well, we’re confident none of those athletes will be watching any of Tiger’s games now, that’s for sure. What a jerk, honestly! If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t admit whether or not you watched it either way.

4.HE ESSENTIALLY PAID HIS WIFE TO STAY SILENT

Once all the mistresses emerged and it became apparent what a serious problem he had, it was just a matter of time before his then-wife Elin Nordegren decided to divorce him. Honestly, we can’t blame her whatsoever. The only thing was, they had been married for quite a few years, and had built up a lot of assets together – and she fully intended to walk away with at least some of them. After all, she’d been there supporting him through the years while he was philandering and cheating. It’s only fair. And while a lot of those dealings will forever remain behind closed doors, the rumoured settlement – in the hundreds of millions – was inked with one caveat. His wife was supposed to remain silent forever about Woods’ indiscretions. She did get the children, and managed to get a few rules in place about what kind of women Tiger could bring her children around while they were visiting their father, but still – pretty shady to silence her.

3.HE DROPPED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ON CALL GIRLS

With the amount of women who came forward claiming to have slept with Tiger Woods, it’s pretty obvious that the pro golfer really had no trouble getting women. However, even that wasn’t quite enough to satiate his appetite. In addition to the mistresses who were willing to sleep with him for free, Woods also apparently dropped huge amounts of dough on procuring call girls for his enjoyment – often ordering more than one at a time. We can’t imagine what Woods would have done if he wasn’t a multi-millionaire pro athlete – given the amount of money he was spending. If he was an ordinary guy, his sexual appetite would have bankrupted him a long time ago. As it is, the fact that his multiple mistresses still weren’t quite enough for him is pretty insane – who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t gone to rehab for sex addiction shortly after the scandal broke.

2.HE KEPT HIS PHONE LOADED WITH XXX MATERIAL

The Rated R saga continues. Whenever Tiger wasn’t with his wife or on the golf course, he was pretty much always with one of his many mistresses. When he wasn’t with his mistresses, he was probably getting busy with a call girl whose time he had paid for. And when there were no women around, he was keeping busy by looking at porn and X-rated content on his phone. That’s right – his sex addiction was so insane that, if he didn’t happen to be with a woman, he was endlessly staring at other women on his phone. I mean, it’s totally nuts. Honestly, given all the scandals and secrets that were uncovered, we’re mostly just stunned at how long he managed to keep everything under wraps. Those were a lot of secrets! Now, if he only practiced golf as much as he engaged in other activities as of late, perhaps he’d be back at the top.

1.HE GOT A DUI

Unfortunately, DUIs are becoming increasingly common in Hollywood, and that’s just sad. Celebrities are so accustomed to being able to buy their way out of anything, or to name drop or call in a favor in order to avoid any consequences, but when it comes to the law, they can be arrested for driving while under the influence just like your any other person. On May 29, Woods was arrested in Jupiter, Florida for a DUI. On the evening of May 29, less than 24 hours after his arrest, Woods made a statement saying that he had been experiencing an unforeseen reaction to his prescription medication, and that alcohol wasn’t involved. We’re not quite sure whether we believe that, but hey – the truth will come out sooner or later. It seems that no matter how hard he tries to hide them, Tiger’s secrets always come tumbling out eventually. It’s just a matter of time.

A timeline of Tiger Woods’ most recent troubles

While most accounts of Tiger Woods’ troubles begin with his 2009 sex scandal, the most pronounced struggles for the 14-time major champion appear to have begun after his 2013 Player of the Year season. Recall that was a year when Woods won five times, including the Players Championship, and regained his spot atop the world ranking. But in early 2014, Woods underwent his first back surgery, and it’s been a rocky road ever since, culminating on Memorial Day with news that Woods was arrested for driving under the influence.

April 1, 2014: Woods announces he’ll miss the Masters for the first time as a pro after recently undergoing his first back surgery. Woods says the microdiscectomy will force him “to miss several tournaments” and that his goal is to return “sometime this summer.”

June 26, 2014: Woods returns to competition at the Quicken Loans National. He misses the cut after shooting scores of 74 and 75.

Aug. 8, 2014: Woods misses the cut at the PGA Championship and looks to be in pain during his second round at Valhalla. Days later, Woods takes his name out of consideration to be a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup that fall.

Jan. 30, 2015: Woods misses the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open after a second-round 82. His performance causes many to wonder if he’s developed the chipping yips.

Feb. 5, 2015: Woods walks off after playing just 11 holes of his first round at the Farmers Insurance Open. He cites another back injury, but draws more attention for saying it was caused by him not getting his glutes to “activate.”

April 12, 2015: Woods returns at the Masters and plays surprisingly well. The chipping yips appear to be gone and he even works his way onto the front page of the leader board on Saturday before winding up T-17.

Sept. 18, 2015: Less than a month after finishing T-10 at the Wyndham Championship, Woods announces he’s undergone a second back operation. He says his goal is to return “early in 2016.”

Oct. 30, 2015: Woods announces he’s undergone another back surgery to relieve pain. This puts him at three total back procedures. “It’s one of those things that had to be done,” Woods says. “I have an outstanding team of doctors, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Feb. 24, 2016: Woods posts a video of him hitting a shot on a simulator with the caption, “Progressing nicely.” Although neither Woods nor his agent, Mark Steinberg, offer a timeline for his return, the clip causes excitement that a comeback is imminent.

April 1, 2016: On the Friday evening before the Masters, Woods officially withdraws from the season’s first major. He gives no timetable for his return.

June 7, 2016: Woods releases a statement on his website saying he won’t play in the U.S. Open or the Quicken Loans National. “I am making progress, but I’m not yet ready for tournament competition.” He eventually withdraws from the British Open and PGA Championship as well, making this the first time he misses an entire season.

Oct. 2, 2016: With Woods in a rare supporting role as vice captain, the U.S. wins the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008. Woods is an engaged presence on the sidelines for the U.S., and is believed to be plotting an imminent return to competition.

Oct. 7, 2016: Woods announces he’ll make his long-awaited return to golf at the PGA Tour’s season-opening Safeway Open. He also commits to play the Turkish Airlines Open the following month.

Oct. 10, 2016: Woods reverses his early decision to return at the Safeway Open, withdrawing on the Monday of the tournament because his game is still not competitively ready. “My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be,” he says. He also says he won’t play in Turkey.

Dec. 2, 2016: Playing in his first competitive event in 16 months, Woods shoots 65 in the second round of the Hero World Challenge. His four rounds of 73-65-70-76 leave him well out of contention, but fuel hopes that he could again be a factor now that he’s healthy.

Jan. 25, 2017: Riding a wave of optimism after a pain-free return to golf, Woods signs an endorsement contract with TaylorMade in which Woods would play the company’s driver, fairway woods, irons and wedges. He had previously signed an off-season deal to play a Bridgestone ball.

Jan. 28, 2017: Playing in his first official PGA Tour event since 2015, Woods shoots 76-72 to miss the cut in the Farmers Insurance Open, on a golf course where he’s won eight times as a professional.

Feb. 3, 2017:__ Following an opening 77 in the Dubai Desert Classic, Woods withdraws from the event an hour before his second round tee time due to back spasms incurred the night before. The withdrawal limits Woods’ latest return to golf to just seven rounds.

March 31, 2017: Woods announces he’ll miss the Masters for the third time in four years. “I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn’t allow me the time to get tournament ready,” Woods says. The 2017 Masters marked the 20-year anniversary of Woods’ landmark 12-stroke win at Augusta National for his first major title.

April 20, 2017: Amid speculation that he would be returning to golf shortly before the U.S. Open, Woods announces he has undergone a fourth back surgery to alleviate ongoing pain in his back and leg. Woods announces on his website that the fusion procedure is expected to sideline him for another six months.

May 29, 2017: Woods is arrested at 3 a.m. near his home in Jupiter Island, Fla. for driving under the influence. He was taken into custody by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office and released on his own recognizance later that morning.

New Questions, Tough Recovery

Six weeks after Tiger Woods was injured in a rollover crash near L.A., mystery remains about what led to the accident that shattered the golfer’s leg and left the future of his career unclear. “A cause has been determined, and the investigation has concluded,” L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced March 31. But authorities won’t release it without permission from the people involved in the collision.” The announcement raised plenty of eyebrows, with some experts citing health privacy laws as a possible reason for the secrecy. Others have questioned why Woods, who’s not being charged with any crime, was not tested for drugs and alcohol at the scene, though police said they saw no reason to. Woods, 45 was traveling downhill shortly after 7 a.m. on Feb23 when he lost control of his Genesis GV80 luxury SUV. The vehicle struck a sign in the center divider, sheared through a tree, rolled over and landed on its side. After the crash, the golfer was dazed, telling officers that he couldn’t recall being behind the wheel.

After spending three weeks in the hospital in L.A., Woods is now recovering at his Florida mansion and beginning aggressive physical therapy on his legs in hopes of an eventual return to golf. “Tiger is happy to be back home,” a source says. “He is focused on his continued recovery: There is a rehabilitation plan in place.” Another insider says Woods–who entered treatment for a prescription-drug problem after a 2017 DUI–is paying no attention to speculationover the crash. “He’s not being charged with anything, and his focus is oln healing and recovery, not obsessing about what people guess happened that morning.” the insider says. “He has bigger things to think about.”

Woods has spent time with Sam Alexis, 13, and Charlie Axel, 12, his kids with ex-wife Elin Nordegren. “They stayed in touch while he was in the hospital,” says the first source, “but he was excited to see them in person.” Erica Herman since 2017, has Nordegren’s support too. “She has bent over backwards to make sure that he can see the kids while he recovers,” insider says of the execs, who are “working well” together as co-parents.

Above all Woods is trying to keep his spirits up as he begins the arduous task of recovery. “He has his down moments but is doing everything he can to heal,” says another source. “He wants go back on tour at some point. He is eager to get back into shape.”

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