Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Does scandal change Tiger's place in history?

How does the Tiger Woods' scandal change his place in golf history?

Ultimately, not much.

It changes the way we see Tiger, no doubt. There's a stain that will fade over time but it will never completely go away. The golden image has been forever tarnished but I expect he'll work hard at rebuilding his reputation when he returns to the public eye. It won't be easy to undo the disappointment he's caused.

But he'll get a second chance from almost everyone except a small group that will refuse to forgive him.

As a golfer, his legacy is still being written. He's reached a critical point now, closing in on his 34th birthday and facing the second long absence from the game in 18 months. He didn't win a major championship in 2009 and he's still five shy of surpassing Jack Nicklaus's all-time record. The work is getting harder.

He is the best there's ever been. He doesn't have all the records yet but chances are he will. We've never seen anyone play golf the way he has -- as spectacularly as he has -- for as long as he has.

Woods has always judged himself against Nicklaus's record and that will continue. The public, however, will also judge him against the Nicklaus image and that's where Woods has taken a devastating hit. Time and hitting all the right notes in his public and private life can soften the long-term impact.

It makes for a more awkward comparison now, however.

When he plays again -- and when he wins again -- Woods will remind us of why we were drawn to him in the first place. When the subject is golf, Woods' place in history is secure.


Anonymous said...

I personally don't give a rats butt.

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Anonymous said...

you say he is the best ever but thats a matter of opinion since todays golfers are nowhere near the quality of the past. not even close. you say he will recover but did oj recover? bonds? dont forget bonds holds the home run record but he is despised by most fans as an arrogant lying roider.

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