I’m going to admit it: I’m more impressed with Tiger Woods than ever. Not personally, but as a golfer. I’ve always had tremendous respect for his ability to focus, to block out all the distractions and concentrate on the task at hand. Legendary are the stories of his father jingling his car keys while a young Eldrick stood over putts as he grew up.
Now we learn that he’s been winning golf tournaments at a record setting pace while leading a double life—worrying that as he holes out on 13 Elin might be checking his phone records and calling his mistresses. The sheer number of distractions is staggering. Personally, I can hardly focus on a 3 foot putt when I can’t remember if I locked my car doors. This guy’s got $300,000 on the line if he rims out a 8 footer and finishes in second place all the while living every moment with $100 million on the line if he loses track of his cell phone.
Can you imagine the panic he might have felt walking down the 6th fairway at Winged Foot with his pager going off; not once but twice. Or looking into the audience and seeing Jaimee standing behind Elin in the crowd—waving to his wife and getting two waves back. And still having the chutzpah to nail down a double breaking twenty-two footer.
Gadzooks, if this guy had kept the shortest iron in the bag, can you imagine how many tournaments he might have won? Maybe that’s it—maybe it just got too easy and he had to up the degree of difficulty. I mean, hey, anyone can do it with a clear conscience and a happy home life.
On an ancillary note, Tiger should have company in the shame game. Every one of these women is part of the problem. If they knew he was Tiger Woods (and is there any reason to believe they didn’t?) then they knew he was married. They were all too willing to spend a night sleeping with a married man to satisfy whatever demons torment them—a night with someone famous, improved self-esteem, an expensive pelt on the wall.
Tiger’s not off the hook, by no means, and he’ll pay dearly for his indiscretions the rest of his life. He succumbed to temptation in the biggest way possible. He may have even been chasing temptation. But temptation wasn’t exactly running in the opposite direction trying to get away. I can’t imagine the life of temptation Tiger was living—the access and the women throwing themselves at him. He failed. Badly. How would you have done?
So here’s the question: would you trade places with him today? Would you take his talent, his beautiful (but angry, don’t forget angry) wife, his money, his fame and all his problems? Would you rather have all of that or would you rather just be you?