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"I think he needs to clean up his act and show the respect for the game that other people before him have shown.”

More tough words from Tom Watson about Tiger Woods:

“I feel that he has not carried the same stature that other great players that have come along like Jack (Nicklaus), Arnold (Palmer), Byron Nelson, the Hogans, in the sense that there was language and club throwing on the golf course,” said Watson, a playoff loser to Stewart Cink at last year’s British Open.

“You can grant that of a young person that has not been out here for a while. But I think he needs to clean up his act and show the respect for the game that other people before him have shown.”

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Reader Comments (35)

Herald Sun of Melbourne reporting that Tiger will play the Accenture match-play in 2 weeks, seems like a stretch.

NY Post says Elin dumped the divorce attorney and is going to give the marriage a second chance.

All this likely portends for the re-emergence of missed priss...
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenter10014
"I don't want to discuss that. It is a private thing."

-Tom Watson
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJPH
Wonder how much credence Denis Watson gives to the opinion of Tom Watson?
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenter10014
Tom had a superior role model (Sandy Tatum) to that of Tiger (his Dad). Regardless of the failings of his mentor, when he returns, he will be held accountable for his on-course demeanor as well.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHank
There's never been a more pompous ass than Eliot Spitzer, check this out:

And Tiger can't make a comeback?
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenter10014
Tom Watson surely has the golf gravitas to make this sort of statement. There is surely no relationship between his on-course cursing and club tossing, but Tiger will surely have to clean that up as well when he returns. He will no longer be above the law, so to speak, on these decorum issues that he easily flouted before. To the extent that this evinces a double standard, I don't think anybody will be sympathetic to Tiger on this issue. He will have to come back contrite and compliant. If he keeps his marital nose clean, this rather substantial problem will hopefully fade away. Winning a bunch of tournaments will help, of course, as long as he leaves the Ping wedge in the garage!
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
People may delight in taking shots at Toms own personal failings- fair enough I suppose.
Watson is spot on though about Woods petulant, childish behavior on the course- behavior that nobody on television had the stones to call him out on.
Or will in the future sadly, as they count their money.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka

I have every confidence that Tiger will get "called on" a lot of stuff going forward. Yelling, swearing, slamming the club into the ground, flipping it to the bag, tossing it carelessly sort of in the direction of the gallery, etc. If anything, I would think that Tiger's problems will liberate the closed-mouth crowd, perhaps to a silly extent. I say silly because there is no reason to believe that there is any relationship between his petulance on the golf course and his miscreant marital ways. I've heard some pretty stupid arguments in that regard, like, "if only he had been penalized for swearing (or club throwing), he wouldn't have gotten into the trouble that he did." That's inanity, in my opinion. But once "outed" as a remarkably perfidious guy, Tiger will have to clean up his petulance as well, because his every on-course move will be scrutinized. Which isn't the worst thing in the world, even if it's not related to the issues that prompted his vacation.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
please, please, please, please let this mean that stevie has to keep his bib on at the 72nd hole just like he was a mere caddy!!!!!!
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenterthusgone
Thank you for missing me!

Been busy ... snoring over grooves news and how hot golf balls have gotten. Wow!

Anyhow, not too concerned that the world of golf is pretty boring these days ... so I've been watching a lot of History Channel shows and training for the Georgia Marathon in March and not drinking and smoking and cussing so much and flushing the gook out of my colon and duodenum with some secret turnip green and vinegar recipes. Is all that TMI?

And how are you fellows these days?
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Priss!
Funny about Watson . . . Left his wealthy Conservative Kansas family to go to that evil leftist Stanford University. . . Married a nice Jewish girl and became a flaming Liberal . . . Won millions playing golf - got divorced - took another golf pro's wife - and became an upstanding Conservative again . . . You got to love America - Our idea of tolerance and live and let live is . . . well . . . intolerance and sticking our noses into everybodys business. . .
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterWisconsin Reader
Who is anyone other than a mother or father (and even they should only do it for so long) of any person to say what another should do at any point in their life.

I hope Watson was speaking for his own sake and not Tigers because Tiger doesn't have to shouldn't have and won't do anything that Tiger doesn't want to do. Watson might be getting a little carried away here and stepping in to no man's land but obviously he doesn't care about that since he almost won a major at the ripe young age of something more than 46.

And the more I hear these people say what Tiger should do the more I hope he doesn't.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAA
Waaaaaaay TMI.

I would think lunch at Varsity M-W-F alternating with H&H on T-T-S and throw in a trip to the Nu-Way on Sunday would be all one needs to power right through any ol' marathon?
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenter10014
Seems inconceivable to me that Elin (or any wife) would take him back. You psychologists out there - what are the chances Woods will screw around again? Just this side of 100%?? Head scratcher for me...
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJC
JC, there are many many examples of wives sticking by powerful husbands in situaitons like this...

...Spitzer, Clinton, McDermott, Kennedy, etc... (for starters) do you explain any of them?
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenter10014
Whether he likes it or not, Tiger will be under the microscope for everything he does, on and off the golf course, from this point forward. He let the tiger out of the cage, so to speak...
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterRon in Montana
Having attended a fair number of tournaments, I have witnessed several players swearing loudly when a shot did not go their way. Tiger is far from the only player to use obscenities.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAG
Tom is completely correct. 100% correct and I admire him for coming out and saying what needs to be said. And I think Tom's raised this before the mistresses and poor driving.
Tiger owes golf big time and he's taken plenty along the way and not given much back. Has he grown the game ? What's the colour of the gallery at US tournaments look like? Not much different from pre 1997 I'd say. When he plays overseas it's only for the big $$.
The previous great golfers were pioneers and they travelled to spread the game. They also had impeccable manners. They were great ambassodors and role models and people you could be proud of. Tiger's got a long way to go to be in that league. He could start by behaving like a normal human being on the course.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
I hope you're right about Woods being held more accountable on the course.
CBS sort of addressed it without pointing fingers last weekend- very tepid stuff.
It will be interesting when a drive goes awry on the back 9 at Augusta on Sunday- I hope for his sake he gets it.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
I hate to reference, I "know a friend who knows etc.", but according to reliable sources the blow up at the Woods' on Thanksgiving was over the fact that Elin had thought Tiger was done with his fact she knew about previous trysts and made him promise that after the son was born, he would stop....she found out via the text messages that TW had in fact not stopped, hence she went ballistic upside his face.

I mean, she knew a priori, just like Jackie Kennedy what she was getting herself into and thought she could control it.

She is the classic enabler and TW the classic addict. Part of any therapy is to confront this behavior with both parties present.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Q

What Watson said was spot on, however painful it might be to hear.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Q
10014 - agree with your history but still can't imagine a lasting marriage...
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJC
Watson's private life does not detract from his assessment of Tiger's public life. In this case, he is 100% correct.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Holthoff
Watson is the same person who, in a drunken stupor wrote a letter to Augusta National complaining about Gary McCord's comments. A real man would have taken up his complaints face to face to man. Doubt he would do that with Tiger either.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenterdon't forget
JC, ultimately I agree with's a looooongshot to last. But there are precedents there.

Longy, your kidding yourself if you don't think Tiger has grown the game. I ride the subway in NYC with a set of clubs pretty often and more than a handful of young inner city kids have come up and started asking me questions about the clubs ("what do the numbers mean", etc...) and invariably they end up saying "I want to be like Tiger". I will guarantee you that none of those kids could name a single professional golfer other than Tiger...I'm talking 8 and 10 year olds. Now I recognize that a lot of their Mom's are probably having second thoughts about the kid being like Tiger anymore (!!) but his impact nationally and globally on kids cannot be ignored.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered Commenter10014
That's great to hear.
How many of those kids actually get to play ?
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
Tom Watson is a douche bag. Frankly, this public statement proves that he is a pompous irrelevant jerk who is still riding the wave of his second place finish at last year's British Open. Sadly for him, it didn't quite turn out like the '86 Masters. If memory serves me correctly, Tiger has always publicly given Arnold, Jack and Byron a great deal of respect for their character and contributions to the game...guess Tom is feeling a little jilted. I have lost all respect for Watson and he was one of my idols growing up.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMitch Cumstein
Watson is just saying what others would say, if they were more self-assured. It's not about Tiger's appreciation of the greats of the game; it's about Tiger's on-course behavior , which IS idisgraceful for the best player in the world.
02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCBell

x > 0
02.4.2010 | Unregistered Commenter10014
Watson has it 100% correct. Tiger's on course immaturity cannot be justified. Of those we consider the top 10 golfers ever none, not one, had such a petulent on-course act. Everyone is free to criticize anyone esle. Just because someone is an ass doesn't mean they are forbidden from noting when someone else is an ass. We can note they are being hypocritical but we cannot also say they are liars.
02.4.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJS76
Is Tommy Bolt considered an ass? Bobby Jones?
02.4.2010 | Unregistered Commenter10014
why oh why would Elin possible stay with him? if its "for the kids" thats are tougher than we think...that guy should not be anyones father/role model after all the bullshit he did

i'll lose respect for her if she doesnt dump his sorry ass
02.5.2010 | Unregistered Commenterpt

Watson Tiger
Won with non conforming clubs Won with non conforming putter
screwed around on wife screwed around on wife
demanded privacy re: divorce asked for privacy regarding "transgressions"
slept with fellow competitors wife Slept with, well, everyone
ruined 2 families pending
behaved well on course Tommy Bolt reincarnated
publicly chastised another player has not

1998 Sports Illustrated "Tatum does not give Watson unsolicited advice. As a result Watson seeks his counsel."

Hypocrisy defined is demanding privacy, and wanting no unsolicited advice, and then coming out publicly offering the same. I'm sure Byron Nelson was proud of Tom's personal "activities", especially while traveling overseas.
02.5.2010 | Unregistered CommenterFatgoalie

Watson - won with non conforming clubs Won with non conforming putter
Tiger - won with non conforming putter
Watson - screwed around on wife.
Tiger - screwed around on wife
Watson - demanded privacy re: divorc.
Tiger - asked for privacy regarding "transgressions"
Watson - slept with fellow competitors wife.
Tiger - slept with, well, everyone
Watson - ruined 2 families pending;
Tiger - jury is still out on that one!
Watson -behaved well on course
Tiger - Tommy Bolt reincarnated
Watson - publicly chastised another player
Tiger - has not

1998 Sports Illustrated "Tatum does not give Watson unsolicited advice. As a result Watson seeks his counsel."

Hypocrisy defined is demanding privacy, and wanting no unsolicited advice, and then coming out publicly offering the same. I'm sure Byron Nelson was proud of Tom's personal "activities", especially while traveling overseas.
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