Biggest problem for Woods might be living up to promises made last year

tiger woods
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With his game in disarray, there is even more scrutiny on Tiger Woods' behavior.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series:

It’s hard enough for Tiger Woods to live up to the standards he set with a golf club in his hand.

It’s proving even tougher to live up to his own words.

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Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of his speech at Sawgrass, his first public comments since Woods was exposed for cheating on his wife. What seems to be getting a lot of attention now are 15 words from that 13 1/2-minute statement.

“When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.”

His behavior was lacking in Dubai.

A British television commentator certainly thought so when he saw Woods, who was making a mess of the 12th hole in the final round, squat to read a putt and then turn his head to the side and spit on the green.

“You look at his work ethic and he’s a credit to the game, an inspiration to all of those who are trying to become professional golfers,” said Ewen Murray of Sky Sports. “But some parts of him are just arrogant and petulant. Somebody now has to come onto this green behind him and maybe putt over his spit. It doesn’t get much lower than that.”

Actually, it does get slightly lower when it comes to expectorations.

Imagine being in the group behind Sergio Garcia when he bent over and dropped a loogie into the cup after missing a short putt on the 13th hole at Doral in 2007.

Video of Woods spitting already was going viral on the internet Monday when the European Tour said he will be fined an undisclosed sum for breaching the tour code of conduct.

This was not his first fine.

This was not the first time he’s spit.

And this was not the first time, certainly not lately, that Woods had a chance to win a tournament only to blow up in the final round.

From the time Woods returned to golf last year at the Masters, there was a feeling in some quarters that when -- or if -- he got back to winning tournaments, all would be forgotten, if not forgiven.

That remains to be seen.

Woods now has gone 15 months and 17 tournaments without winning. He doesn’t appear to be particularly close, either. In his last three tournaments -- two of them with a chance to win -- Woods has closed with rounds of 73, 73 and 75. It’s the first time since 1997 that he was over par in the final round of three straight tournaments.

With his game in disarray, that puts even more scrutiny on his behavior.

Woods has been spitting as long as he has been wearing a red shirt on Sunday, usually after a bad shot or a missed putt. And while it’s true that Steve Marino was spitting at Pebble Beach in the final round, Steve Marino is not Tiger Woods. It might be a double standard, but such is the cost of celebrity.

Woods is known to slam his clubs after a poor shot, and one time his driver bounced into the gallery in Australia. Swearing is second nature. There have been times when he yelled out “Fore!” to keep him from shouting another word that starts with the same letter.

That probably will never change.

And that’s the problem. Because he said it would.

“When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.”

For all the outrage expressed by the British media, it was peculiar that no one asked him about the famous glob after his round Sunday. Woods apologized a day later on Twitter: “The Euro Tour is right -- it was inconsiderate to spit like that and I know better. Just wasn’t thinking and want to say I’m sorry.”

The British golf media used to refer to Woods as “the great man” when he was racking up majors. It was easier to overlook his behavior when he flashed that smile while posing with a trophy. Now, he is vulnerable to criticism as never before.

There was Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne and his scathing criticism of Woods on the day before last year’s Masters.

“But certainly, his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par; but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change,” Payne said.

The day after the Masters, CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz went on a New York radio show and torched Woods for his language.

“Tiger’s not the only guy who’s got a camera in his face all day long,” Nantz said. “But he is the only one in the field who said he wasn’t going to do that any more.”

During his press conference at that Masters, Woods said he would try to curtail his temper on the golf course, but warned that also would mean toning down his celebrations. Then again, there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate lately.

Even so, did anyone really think he would change?

Whatever flaws he had as a person were easier to overlook when his golf occupied so much of the conversation. Woods is not the only player known for his emotional outbursts, nor is he the only player who spits.

No other player is under such scrutiny, though. Woods ought to know this and expect this by now. If he says he is going to change and be respectful, he has to know that people will be paying attention.

For Woods, that might be a lone positive to take out of this. At least people are still interested in watching him.

 


Comments

streatracer32

HATERS= Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success.... Too the man that said that Tiger is finished, think again bro. Jack was an excellent golfer, but he never had the talent that Tiger has right now. Tiger has an unbelievable swing, the way he can keep it on plane, and that fact that he has re-engineered it multiple times, and kept on winning... Lets not forget about the competition as well. Jack had to overcome a few good players, Tiger has to beat many good players. Jack has even stated that Tiger is an unbelievable golfer. Tiger is only 35, and in the best physical shape than any of us, so he has many more years left. Tiger is going to win again, and like I already stated in my first comment, I hope he steps on you on his way to breaking records.

joseph_6

Golf is called the gentlemens game so spitting does not belong there !
even when you are (were) the best golfer at the time. There is no elitism in golf anymore that disapeared a long time ago golf has become an evreybodies game which is good. Commerce makes and brakes everything including golf, football baseball, basketball etc and if the "fan" continues swalowing the commercial "rap" all of this will continue to happen and "stars" will be made and broken by the media.
Without a sollid foundation no one can resist the junk of this world.
Thank God for God

jasonfarley

Tiger is fiery as usual, and he's "struggling" with his game (only compared to himself). It's important to remember that it's the fans and media who put him on a pedestal, not himself. It is a double standard to excuse Steve Marino and not Tiger...no qualifications. Celebrity is a burden that I don't think Tiger would choose for himself. The reason Tiger faces so much scrutiny and the reason this article was written is because he is so good at the game, and people want to read about him. But those are our issues, not his. He can be whoever he wants, pay his fines, and play golf for all I care. He continues to inject energy and personality into a game that hasn't had it's lack of stuffiness and elitism... the kind of people who write articles about someone spitting on some grass.

giuseffimark2

This guy is a has been. His game has peaked. Mr. Nicklaus is the greatest golfer of all time. His biggest problem is putting. I always knew that putting would be his achilles heel.

dnptrolio_1

Why is it that some golfers when they step out of line all hell comes down on them. The chosen ones can do anything and no one is to make no mention of it. My understanding is it is an insult to spit on their property is their custom. You are not suppose to spit on the green in the US. I know they spit and I will be watching if any of them soits on the greens while playing. So Wood shot 66 on saturday what about Sunday should we turn our heads. He was paid 3 mil just to show up where is his honor. And he received 50 mil to buld a golf course that he has no exp in doing so I guess that is why it is going back to sand. Huh I wonder if he will give them their 50 mil back. "NOT" Jack gets 2 Mil tops to design golf courses he better check to see where he has went wrong. Please bring back golfers like Jack, Arnold, Bobby, Francis naw those days are gone forever because it is all about money. I Have been to events he was playing needless to say I never ever saw him I dont need to see is stupidity when he makes a bad shot or miss a putt. Hay I have a idea make all rules to suit him. Did they not let him look for 20 minutes to look for a lost ball which appeared out of thin air. See how bumb I am maby they have already.

joseph_6

maybe he should try something diffrent like JESUS He can get Tiger on the right path and bring him into the winners circle again because with Jesus we are more then conquerers. Tiger will find peace in his private life and on the golfcours, he might even win his wife back, and he will be able to resist the temptations of this world AMEN

bkovacik567

I started cadding in the 50's and learned the game of golf from several old time pros and instructors. The most primary issues I learned in all the teaching from all the professionals. Courtesy, edict, character and responsibility to the game, are the most important things. It seems many want to overlook bad behavior and reward irresponsible attitudes and language. But these actions are the backbone of a Professional Golf Association Member. The demands of character and responsibililty are high when your a PGA member or responsible parent. It does seem some people lack these qualities.

hubertchevre

Poor Doug FERGUSON ! What you remind from the Dubai Tournament is that Tiger spitted on one green... That's all ??
Maybe you have noticed he played 66 on friday ... But maybe golf is not really your cup of tea...

tsmitty2469

I can't even believe that people are making a big deal out of this. Everyone that I know spits on the golf course. I don't agree with spitting in the cup however. I think that people just need to leave Tiger alone. He has enough going on in his life. The most exciting part about watching a tournament is Tiger winning. Everyone knows that when he is in the field, the rating increase by double. The faster we can get him winning again, the better it will be for the tour and the fans!

streatracer32

and by return, i mean dominating the field like he has done oh so well in previous years.

streatracer32

Haha this is the best story you could "spit" out for this weekend. Tiger Woods can't even breath right these days without u "haters" bringing him down. Tiger Woods will return, im not saying its anytime soon, maybe not even before the year is up, but when he does, i hope its you that he "spits" on first. Get a real job buddy