Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Sports Media Group
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford

The object of golf architecture is to give an intelligent purpose to the striking of a golf ball. To be worthwhile, this purpose must excite and hold interest. If it fails in this, the character of the architecture is at fault.
MAX BEHR

 

  

Wednesday
Dec092009

Some People Really Want To See Tiger Do Oprah

Apparently Tiger hasn't suffered enough so if he ever wants to make another endorsement dollar again, so to make things right with the world, he must be subjected to 47 minutes of Oprah Winfrey lobbing softballs, interspersed with the inevitable tears and way too many annoying shots of audience members feigning concern for weepy Tiger's future all the while hoping he's brought a parting gift for each and every guest.

Larry Dorman files a mostly bad news-NY Times piece on Tiger's future endorsement prospects. Many of Tiger's problems were caused by poor crisis handling. At least according to one expert:

“There’s still an opportunity for Tiger to stop the bleeding,” said Mike Paul, the president and senior counselor at MGP & Associates public relations in New York. “But he cannot just remain silent, out of sight. He should have done a one-on-one interview within the first 24 to 48 hours. He should have done something like Oprah, and he needs to do it — that type of interview — and soon.”

And Rick Reilly at ESPN.com wants Tiger to shovel us the required cliches and other assorted red-white-and-blue horse puckey.

His reputation is shredded. His once-perfect name has been dragged through more mud than a Nantucket clam digger's boots. A once-spotless life is now an episode of "Cops."

So what now?

First, Oprah Winfrey.

"It has to be Oprah," says the king of Las Vegas publicity men, Dave Kirvin. "If you did a poll on who's most disgusted by this whole mess, it would be women. To win over those women, you need to win over Oprah. You win over Oprah, you win over America."

 Once he's on Oprah's couch, he says this:

"To my wife, to my kids, to my family, to my friends, to my fans, I am so sorry. You believed in me. You looked up to me. You thought I was different, and I let you down. I'm ashamed of myself. My mom is ashamed of me. I'm sure my dad would be ashamed of me. I'm an idiot."

Wait, that was Phil's line after Winged Foot.

Then he has to go full Tebow: "From this day forward, you will never see somebody work harder, 24 hours a day, to win back your trust."

And maybe he can slap on some black "War Paint" under the eyes, embed them with his favorite Bible verses, and hope Verne Lundquist reads the verses as Tiger prepares to play Augusta's 16th.

Wednesday
Dec092009

No Congressional Gold Medal For Tiger

Representative Joe Baca is withdrawing his effort to award Tiger with the "highest civilian award by Congress."

A California lawmaker is abandoning his effort to honor golf star Tiger Woods with the Congressional Gold Medal.

In a statement given to The Hill's ITK, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) said, “In light of the recent developments surrounding Tiger Woods and his family, I will not pursue legislation awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal this session."

Baca, an avid golfer, introduced a measure in March that seeks to give Woods the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress.

The bill states, "To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of the Congress to Tiger Woods, in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship, and in breaking barriers with grace and dignity by showing that golf is a sport for all people."

You put it that way, I guess I can see why it would be WD'd.

Wednesday
Dec092009

Lopez, Clint and Tiger

First Tom Hanks on Letterman, now Clint Eastwood delivers a joke about his newfound respect for Tiger's golf game (now that we know what he was doing with his spare time). Appearing on Lopez Tonight, George Lopez also expresses his sympathy to Clint for likely not getting Tiger now for this February's AT&T National Pro-Am, then quips about his own invitation getting lost before Clint reassures him that he'll be invited back.

What's most fascinating about this scene is the lack of fear or concern for upsetting Tiger. It speaks to just how much his image has changed in two weeks. And with Eastwood's ties to Tiger-sponsor AT&T it's that much more powerful of a statement about how little certain people now fear the once vaunted wrath of Tiger.

Okay up next is Lopez's standup, which is only 90% devoted to Tiger. Note the jokes about corporate ad slogans, and also check out Jay Busbee's analysis of past slogans. Not many of them will hold up in the post-accident world.



And maybe best of all is this Gran Torino spoof, that also includes a Tiger reference.

Tuesday
Dec082009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 11

Media coverage appears to be splitting off in various directions, seemingly a good thing for Tiger until you read the actual content.

On the business front, Bloomberg's Michael Buteau notes a huge plunge in a Q-rating type index from 6th to 24th. He also writes about the disappearance of Woods-related ads.

The last prime-time ad featuring the 33-year-old golfer was a 30-second Gillette Co. spot on Nov. 29, according to New York- based Nielsen. Woods also was absent from ads on a number of weekend sports programs, including NFL games, Nielsen said.

“Last weekend there wasn’t any advertisement during those games,” said Aaron Lewis, a spokesman at Nielsen.

And just one reminder that the Gatorade story was in the works prior to the accident, Lawrence Donegan notes:

They would say that, of course. But in fairness the decision to dump the "Tiger Focus" drink was revealed in the November 25th issue of the always readable Beverage Digest (my copy must have been mislaid in the post) - two days before the scandal broke.

Duff Macdonald at the Daily Beast takes note of the sale prices on Tiger Woods action figures and writes:

The Toys "R" Us outside Seattle had four different kinds of Tiger figurines, also discounted to $9.98, though the store manager insisted they had been on clearance before the scandal. When we asked a sales rep at a Target in Tukwila, Washington, if they carried Tiger Woods action figures, she said she’d never heard of the product, before pausing and asking a sincere question of her own: “Is that intended as a gag gift?”

The WSJ's Andrew LaVallee shares an item in which Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz says "God bless Tiger" for spiking web traffic.

News, photos and other content about the pro golfer, whose personal life has become tabloid fodder since his car accident and cryptic apologies, are contributing to Yahoo’s sports section, as well as news, gossip and the front page, Ms. Bartz said. When asked if Mr. Woods would help the Internet company make the quarter, she said, “Oh, absolutely,” and added that he’s fueling more visits than Michael Jackson’s death.

The SNL skit continues to be questioned, yet no one writing about the sheer awfulness of the skit has the courage to question the investigation. If you believe there was domestic violence involved, how is SNL to blame for spoofing something the police say didn't happen?

Connell Barrett talks to those on both sides of the debate and writes.

Anti-abuse advocates said the sketch made light of spousal abuse. EW.com wrote that "intimate partner violence isn't a ripe source of material in the first place, but with [abuse-victim] Rihanna as the musical star the sketch seemed even more poorly thought out." And according to PopEater, "[H]ad the genders been reversed, 'SNL' wouldn't make light of the potentially violent situation." Of course not. The story is satire-worthy because the roles are reversed.

Leave it to a golf writer to call out the Florida state attorney who torpedoed any further investigation of a possible DUI or domestic violence. Steve Elling writes:

The Florida Highway Patrol has statements from an unnamed witness -- believed to be Woods' own wife -- who said Woods had been drinking and possibly had taken prescription drugs, yet the Orlando area's state attorney denied an FHP request to subpoena any possible Woods blood samples. Bad as Woods' image has taken a hit over the parade of women, the Central Florida cops have become a comparable national laughingstock, too. It's farcical. Glad to see my tax dollars are working so hard for me.

Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio questions whether some of the women linked to Woods were actually his mistresses. Unfortunately for Tiger, he's suggesting they were acting as pimps. And Stephanie Wei backs up Daulerio's post with her own circumstantial evidence about Rachel Uchitel's party planning work and unlikely romantic ties to Tiger.

Some golf writers continue to offer their thoughts on the impact this has on the game, starting with Doug Ferguson writing about how suddenly Tiger's image has been altered.

Just like that, he has become the butt of jokes.

His colleagues, who once spoke about him with reverence, now take pity. Even John Daly feels sorry for him.

Despite being among the most famous athletes in the world, we knew so little about Woods. Now we know too much. Woods managed to keep himself out of the tabloids for years only to be the cover boy now.

Matthew Syed in The Times on why Tiger is fair game:

He and his advisers have systematically cultivated a public image — an image that now appears to be a sham — specifically to expand his wealth on a grand scale.

In the past few years he has earned more money from his deals with Nike, Gillette and other sponsors than he could ever hope to earn on a golf course. To put it another way, his public image and his day job as a repository of corporate endorsement income are indistinguishable.

To put it simply, Woods’s right to privacy has been fatally undermined not by his earning lots of cash beyond the golf course, but by his hypocrisy. He could have had sex with a platoon of cocktail waitresses while dressed in a pair of suspenders and still been entitled to privacy had he not, at the same time, been pocketing a sizeable cheque from Gillette via a management company that had spent three weeks figuring out how to place a soft-focus picture of Woods, his baby in his arms, and his wife looking on lovingly.

Lawrence Donegan is fed up with the coverage.

After 11 days of of the Woods "scandal", we really are down to the dregs of journalism, not to mention humanity. Unfunny comedy sketches, uncorroborated "scoops" floated by that apparently unimpeachable source of information in 2009, TMZ.com. Another day, another alleged girlfriend. Does anyone care? As for those who do - one has to worry about the poverty of their emotional existence.

Rush Limbaugh took a different stance on his radio show and says greedy corporations and the sports media sold us a bill of goods so they could make money. Add him to the list with George Lopez of potential awkward AT&T Pro-Am partners. Assuming either gets invited after this.

The reason people are still continually focused on this Tiger Woods business is that it's an act of betrayal, that there was a hoax perpetrated here.  He was presented as somebody he's not, and people knew it all along.  They knew it all along, but there was money to be made on both sides of it.  There is money hopefully still to be made, so they're trying to repair it so that it can remain what it was.  But I think the genie's out of the bottle on this now.  And where you find a hoax, what do you always have to have to perpetrate it?  You have to have a compliant media, be it a global warming hoax, be it a financial crisis hoax, you have to have a compliant media going along with it.  And the media in the Tiger Woods thing was also a beneficiary.  I mean television ratings, golf tournaments in which he played skyrocketed.  And they wanted access to him.  A lot of sports media, just groupies that have a computer keyboard or camera and microphone, just groupies.  They want access, want to hang around. 

Naturally, Rush then went on to suggest Barack Obama is a product of a similar hoax and cut out of the same cloth as Tiger.

Sal Johnson of Golfobserver, analyzed the golf media's coverage and linked back to all of the sites he writes about except the one he says has done the "best job," GeoffShackelford.com. He writes of yours truly:

He has helped this story accelerate more in golf than any other site and has been the place to go for every seedy story. He has put up every story about this saga, no matter what the fluidity or accuracy of the story is. He has done more in promoting the TMZ's and the Radaronline than anyone else. As most news organizations have shunned the News of the World story and the summaries on Huffington Post or the Daily Beast, Shackelford has prominently posted these sites and stories, which have helped fuel mainstream writers to source this material.

Of course, the "seedy" News of the World story he refers to featured information matching a story from the Daily Mail, which I read after finding it at...GolfObserver.  Johnson linked it this way Friday night:

December 5, 2009 9:34 pm - MailOnline
Be forewarned that this could be one of the worst stories in the Tiger Woods saga, an affair with an $8-an-hour diner waitress in Orlando that caused a cover-up that put Woods image on the cover of Men's Fitness. Be forewarned it's graphic in nature. -

An eleventh woman was linked to Tiger today. One more and as comedian Chelsea Handler said, we could have a calendar.

Thanks to reader Tim for Dana Summers' editorial cartoon in the Orlando Sentinel:

And what would a day be without yet more reenactment videos. Warning, Tiger is shirtless and photographing his genitals. Now those are words I never thought I'd type.



 

Tuesday
Dec082009

Stevie: I knew nothing!

Very odd of Stevie Williams to issue a statement, and one denying knowledge of anything in "reports"?

From the New Zealand Herald:

"I do not have any personal knowledge of anything in the reports related to the Tiger Woods' stories. Kirsty and I give our heartfelt wishes to Tiger, Elin, Sam and Charlie and hope this gets put to rest soon," he said, referring to his own wife and Woods' immediate family.

Tuesday
Dec082009

Gatorade Drops "Tiger Focus," Not Tied To Recent Events**

Darren Rovell reports:

Gatorade officials provided a statement to CNBC which says: “We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010.”

The media will pounce on this but I believe Gatorade on this one for the simple reason that as early as a year ago Tiger's drink started appearing at 99 cent stores (where discontinued products go to die). Lately, the "Focus" drink has been stockpiled in massive quantities. Yes, I shop there, so spare me the jokes. Don't knock it until you've tried it, especially the Awesome laundry detergent.

Now, where this leaves a deal once reported to be worth $100 million is another story altogether.

Tuesday
Dec082009

"It was like watching a four-month long black-and-white movie."

Another classic from Dan Jenkins, this time trying to figure out the worst year ever for major winners. I won't spoil his choice, but this was beautiful:

Although 1985 loomed large, it was soon challenged by 1987. Here was a year that gave us Larry Mize, Scott Simpson, Nick Faldo and Larry Nelson.

It was like watching a four-month long black-and-white movie.

Tuesday
Dec082009

Late Night Roundup...Jokes Flowing At Tiger's Expense

It can't be good for Tiger when Tom Hanks is lending his presence to David Letterman's top 10 list on how Tiger can rehab his image.



Of his nine minute monologue, George Lopez devotes nine minutes to Tiger.



And as if the above weren't bad enough, Lopez has Kato Kaelin chime in on Tiger's women and 15-minutes of fame.



Tuesday
Dec082009

Tiger Accident Clippings, What Now? Edition**

You wake and just when it seems like things could not get any more bizarre it seems several online sites posted a slew of items overnight. As feared, we've moved from the revelations of girlfriends to the sale of revealing photos phase in the saga.

NBC affiliate WESH reports (with video) on the woman who reportedly was rushed to Health Central from Tiger's address:

The wife of Tiger Woods was seen leaving Health Central Hospital on Tuesday morning after a rescue call to the couple's Isleworth mansion.

Dispatchers received a call from the home at 2:36 a.m. A radio log showed a woman was transported to Health Central Hospital in Ocoee. The log also showed the patient initially refused transport, but was later listed as an advanced life support patient.

Several celebrity news Web sites reported that the mother of Tiger Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, had arrived in Central Florida on Monday. It is not known if she was the patient.

AP confirms the 911 call came from Tiger's home.

They also are reporting that Tiger was admitted as an "OD" or overdose patient, which only adds more to the mysterious denial of a subpoena for blood test results.

And he will not be attending Bryon Bell's wedding.

Tim Finchem's worst nightmare: reports of Playgirl in negotiations to acquire nude photos of Tiger. Hard to believe Tiger would allow that, but then again he also left a voicemail identifying himself and he did like Ambien.

Reed Albergotti attempts to figure out what role Mark Steinberg is playing in this and can only conclude:

He has sent several emails to individual media outlets. He hired Mark NeJame, the most prominent criminal-defense attorney in the Orlando area, to handle Mr. Woods's defense, which has resulted in a $164 ticket. The only direct communication from Mr. Woods has come in the form of two statements posted on his Web site.

Steinberg does make a new TMZ acquired log of the FHP investigation, calling to reschedule an interview on November 28 at 2:45 p.m.

And Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post draws some pretty bold conclusions from Tiger's behavior, but also notes this about the legs this story has:

I'm beginning to fear, actually, that the unfolding may never end. If you're the richest, most famous athlete on the planet, and you have an eye for cocktail waitresses and nightclub hostesses, the opportunities to cheat are probably limited only by the number of hours in the day. It's becoming clear why Woods's initial mea culpa was worded vaguely to cover any and all "transgressions." Wouldn't want to leave anybody out.

Monday
Dec072009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 10

I scanned a bunch of stories from news sources both established and not-so-reputable widely quoting the online tabloids Radar and TMZ on topics ranging from mistresses, to police leaks to Elin Woods' living arrangment. Pretty amazing. Then again, they've been right on just about everything so why not quote them?

Radar revealed the Windermere police incident report that led to a subpoena request by the Florida Highway Patrol that was eventually denied.

About that revelation, the Orlando Sentinel's Henry Pierson Curtis, Susan Jacobson and Bianca Prieto write

It's standard procedure for an investigator to file a written request to prosecutors for help obtaining a subpoena. If prosecutors deny the request, no subpoena is sought.

Windermere police released the report shortly before noon Monday after it was obtained earlier from the agency by Radar Online, a pop culture website.

Until Monday, Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the crash. Saylor said he had no idea how Radar Online obtained the incident report and said he will be investigating how this more than week-old report became public before being approved by a supervisor.

The police chief previously gave interviews to national media about the crash even though his agency was not involved in the crash investigation.

AP also wrote about the report and noted these details:

The sport utility vehicle’s engine was still running, the front passenger door was jammed and both rear door windows were broken out. Two golf clubs were next to a golf cart, which also was in the road. The officer found $235 in the vehicle, according to the report, which was obtained through a public records request.

As for the Cadillac, it turns out the SUV doesn't belong to Tiger and former sponsor GM is trying to figure out what to do with it. This, from GM spokesman to the USA Today's Chris Woodyard:

The vehicle will be repaired, firstly. This is a promotional/marketing vehicle -- the kinds of cars used for advertising, public displays, photography, etc. That makes this a little different than a garden-variety car repair - given its special usage. So I don't know what will happen until that repair is completed and analyzed.  It could return to service as a promotional vehicle, meaning it would go back into the pool of cars that we use for various marketing activities.  Or, on the other hand, we produce a lot of new vehicles. It's sometimes easier to take a new car and put it into this kind of role.  In that case, the older vehicle could be re-purposed in many ways - we could retain ownership of it, using it for other internal duties, or we could indeed sell it off.  Generally selling a company-owned vehicle means that it would go into an auction.  So there are a few options.

Deadspin says the mistress count is up to ten and the New York Daily News profiles one of the latest from Manhattan and now they are being called out by a former call girl for cashing in.

As for Tiger's continued silence, Randell Mell nails it:

What the story needs is what it’s lacking most. It needs Woods out front.

The story needs to find its bottom. It needs to find its bottom so we can all rise out of this mess. That doesn’t mean we need all the grisly details. It means, though, we need a measure of honesty.

We need Woods to take us to the bottom of this story and lead us out of it.

Whether Woods likes it or not, this story appears as if it will rage until he steps up and addresses the matter publicly, or until the more unsavory media outlets of the world find somebody else to destroy.

A domestic violence group is outraged by SNL's Tiger skit. Shouldn't they be more upset about the investigation if they believe a domestic crime took place?

If cartoons are you thing, reader Tony alerted me to the Boston Globe's weekly roundup. Several involve Tiger including the great Mike Luckovich's take:




Monday
Dec072009

Q-School Roundup

So many reports, so many good reads for those of us who didn't get to watch it...

The AP game story

PGATour.com winner bios

Joe Chemycz shares all sorts of interesting notes

Adam Schupak files even more odds and ends

And the columnists...

Craig Dolch

Rex Hoggard

Steve Elling

Tim Rosaforte

Sean Martin

 

Monday
Dec072009

Three More Reenactment Videos!

Due to popular demand, two of the three new Woods saga reenactments feature English translations.

Video one, titled "Tiger Woods Lover No.3 Exposed."



Video two, titled "Woods Break the Bank to keep Lovers Quiet."



And video three has no title nor an English translation.

Monday
Dec072009

Report: State Attorney Denied Police Subpoena For Tiger's Blood Results

TMZ has posted the FHP's subpoena request and it's hard to imagine this doing anything but raising questions about why the subpoena was denied by state attorney. (Unless it was decided that any cop who can't spell Vicodin is an idiot.)

It can be viewed as a PDF here.

FHP had requested Tiger's blood sample, after a witness -- we're told his wife -- "stated that the driver had consumed alcohol earlier in the day and the same witness removed the driver from the vehicle after the collision."

The document continues, "The same witness stated that the driver was prescribed medication (Ambien and Vicatin [sic]}."

Monday
Dec072009

"Bivens cost the tour $824,345 in salary, bonuses and benefits in 2008, up from $522,000 in 2007."

Jon Show scoured the LPGA's IRS filings and reports that their recent staff purge knocked $1 million in salary off the books, but far more amazing was this revelation about the Brand Lady:

Bivens cost the tour $824,345 in salary, bonuses and benefits in 2008, up from $522,000 in 2007. She cost the LPGA $710,812 in compensation and benefits in 2006, which was her only other full year in the job.

Sunday
Dec062009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 9

The hits just keep on coming as the New York Daily News reveals a sixth women linked to Tiger Woods. Sports By Brooks has photos of the latest and raises the question of whether we may be seeing some imposters now or in the near future, in part because of Tiger opening the door by not speaking publicly about what he meant by "transgressions."

That topic came up in the SI Confidential this week which also discusses the ratings impact, the marriage, possible heckling and other elements of the Tiger case.

Herre: The real eye-opener for me has been how TMZ.com and Radaronline.com have been cited as credible sources by AP and ESPN, even though the websites' sourcing is beyond flimsy. The fact is, we really don't know what's true and what's not.

Evans: There are no facts, really. All we know is that Tiger isn't in control of what's out there. We have some text messages and a voicemail, but we have no bulletproof evidence of Tiger "knowing" any of these women in the Biblical sense. At this point perception is much more powerful than whatever the reality is.

Shipnuck: Farrell, then what are the transgressions he's apologizing for? Missing that putt at the Barclays?

Tiger issued a written statement that was shown on NBC and posted on his site apologizing for his absence from Sunday's Chevron final round.

Bob Harig writes:

For what it's worth, attendance at the tournament, whose proceeds go to the foundation, was in the same ballpark as it was two years ago -- about 65,000 spectators for the week -- when Woods played and won (he missed last year's tournament due to injury). That could be due to the fact that many bought tickets expecting him to play.

They were offered a refund or a 20 percent discount next year -- one way or another that affects the bottom line -- and who knows how the events of the past week will impact the charitable efforts?

That is why you can't help but feel for some of the folks who work for Woods. More than 40 are employed by the Tiger Woods Foundation, which raises money through this tournament, the AT&T National and two other events called Tiger Jam and The Block Party.

The cloud that hovers over Woods spits rain on them, too.

At least he offered thanks to his "tireless, dedicated staff" in a statement Sunday on his Web site.

Perhaps he realizes, along with everything else, the predicament he's put them in.

David Feherty chimed in with comments to Connell Barrett and predictably blasted the coverage of Tiger's private life.

"I'm sick of it, all the coverage," Feherty fumed. "Lord knows, my private life is ghastly, so when I see someone's private business talked about night and day, over and over, it bothers me. It's a bad state of affairs [in the media]. You're talking about other people's misery, and this has been all over the tabloid shows," even Nancy Grace, the HLN program that sometimes covers missing-person cases. "I wouldn't mind a show on how she disappears. Everyone is so nosy. I can see it now. This is gonna be a movie. There will be books. You know, people have a right to work through problems on their own, without all the attention. Tiger plays golf, but he's a very private figure. The way the tabloids feast on private misery makes me sick and angry."

Scott Michaux addresses whether this will impact Tiger's quest to win majors.

For all of his gifts, Woods' greatest weapon in his arsenal of dominance has been his will.

This sordid situation has clearly caught Woods off stride. Unlike all of his previous challenges, this was something he seemed utterly unprepared for. You need only listen to him in that disturbing voicemail to his alleged mistress to tell just how out of sorts this ordeal has made his previously charmed life.

We've never heard that voice from him. It was desperate. It was stammering. It was confused. It was scared.

John Hopkins believes Woods will not return next year as his former self and suggests ways to rehab his image, including sacking his advisory team.

The public will not regard him as they once did and nor will the players. Indeed there is even a possibility that he may not play as well as he has done in the past because some of the previous certainties can no longer apply.

All we've heard from Woods in the 14 years he's lorded over the international scene is cocksure confidence. We've heard him angry. We've heard him disappointed. But we've never heard him anything less than unwavering.

PR guy Mark Borkowski on the public relations mishandling by Tiger lawyer Mark NeJame:

Little is known of him beyond the golf course. As a consequence, the hunt for a method to breach the PR stockade began at the first sign of weakness, mere hours after the kerfuffle in Florida. It's going to be impossible for Woods and NeJame to prepare fully for the actions of the women at the heart of the brouhaha, who are looking for ways to put themselves in the public spotlight.

An attempted media cover-up plot is far worse for the brand than any "transgression" Woods may have committed. Power and privilege – and the perception that a prosperous star is acting differently because of who he is – are only likely to whet the appetite of a prurient – and potentially resentful – press and public for months of revelations.

The New York Times featured a Noam Cohena-authored front page story on computer generated news reports, including the recreation of Elin slamming a golf club into the back window of Tiger's truck (thanks reader Tim).

Michael McCarthy reports on the race to land the first interview with Tiger. You'll be shocked to learn that calls are not being returned.

I doubt it'll be TMZ since they are not reporting that Tiger design business head and travel agent Bryon Bell is getting married next week. Tiger is the best man. TMZ is also reporting the name of a new attorney representing Tiger named Jay Lavely.

And finally, during a timeout at Sunday's Houston Texans/Jacksonville Jaguars football game, SI's Bill Frakes captured this image of a blond woman chasing a Tiger mascot clad in red shirt and Nike hat. Worse for Tiger, everyone in the photo--including the police officer--is laughing.

 

Sunday
Dec062009

Q-School Final Round Preview

The PGA Tour leaderboard is here if you want to follow the final round of Q-SChool.

Sean Martin focuses on two Boise St. grads making a run at their cards and also offers other notes previewing players on both sides of the cut line.

Rex Hoggard celebrates the benefits of a quiet mind at Q-School and also notes the 14 WD's after Sunday's round. No names are mentioned and the leaderboards I checked do not list who the players are.

Sunday
Dec062009

The Chevron World Challenge And Rankings Points

It's a fine event and all but you know I think it's absurd that a 16-player silly season event can receive world ranking points and impact the fields of major championship. Some of the top five clearly benefitted, including Graeme McDowell, who is one week away from a top 50 year end finish and invite to the Masters.

The top 5 at Sherwood Sunday: 1-Furyk, 2-McDowell, T-3-Westwood/Harrington, T-5-Johnson/Cink/O'Hair/Poulter

The field with their rankings before the event and after the Chevron:

Steve Stricker (3) (3)
Lee Westwood (4) (4)
Padraig Harrington (5) (5)
Paul Casey (6) (8)
Kenny Perry (9) (9)
Jim Furyk (11) (6)
Martin Kaymer (12) (13)
Ian Poulter (14) (12)
Stewart Cink (15) (15)
Sean O’Hair (16) (16)
Lucas Glover (19) (20)
Anthony Kim (21) (23)
Camilo Villegas (22) (22)
Zach Johnson (23) (21)
YE Yang (31) (31)
Mike Weir (35) (36)
Justin Leonard (39) (42)
Graeme McDowell (55) (38)

Sunday
Dec062009

SNL On Tiger Woods

Saturday
Dec052009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 8

The tabloids continue to ignore Tiger's plea for privacy (shocking!), with Sharon Churcher and Caroline Graham of the Daily Mail offering the most extensive detail and interviews yet with an Orlando woman and her family. There is also a story on the same woman in News of the World rich with detail with the highlights summarized here at the Huffington Post.

The latest mistress was the subject of the previously reported National Enquirer story that was reportedly scrapped in exchange for the Men's Fitness cover story. (Amazing coincidence: the NY Post story that revealed this earlier in the week and then disappeared is magically back up!)

Mike Parker of the Daily Star reports on another mistress preparing to come forward and appears to be the only writer quoting her attorney:

Her attorney Michael O’Quinn confirmed: “She will address the media with her story very soon.”

The as yet unnamed mistress claims their affair began in 2004, when she was 20 and continued after he married Elin in October of the same year.

Mr O’Quinn added: “We will not be confirming or denying any further details until after a press conference, which will happen imminently.”

Doug Ferguson takes on what few in the golf media have been reluctant to touch: the ramifications for the game. This is an intriguing take:

"What's interesting to me about this situation is that while its bad in the short term, for golf, on a global basis, it has moved from being a sport to having iconic, celebrity status, and a whole host of other people are now interested," said John Rowady, president of rEvolution, a Chicago-based sports marketing and media agency.

"And it may be a sport that is not prepared for that kind of publicity."

Uh, you think? Look how they're coping down in Ponte Vedra:

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has been silent during all this. He hasn't made himself available for comment except for a statement in support of Woods' family and the player's request for privacy.

Asked if Finchem would take questions about concerns for golf's image or whether it would affect business, spokesman Ty Votaw said the tour does not comment on "hypothetical situations, conjecture and guesswork."

Steve Elling talks to the often-quoted Robert Thompson of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse about the likely fan reaction. I don't think he knows just how conservative the world of golf is, but still...

"This is one of those things that some people will find completely forgivable, and in some odd way, some of them will take an elbow-in-the-ribs attitude about it. If he was the star of a Disney preschool show, that might be a different story.

"I think a lot of the 'this-is-going-to-ruin-everything' sentiment is overstated."

It won't ruin everything for everybody, obviously. As far as the makeup of the Woods fan base, he might have swapped a John Birch demographic for the John Daly crowd. Burp.

John Huggan says Tiger should move to Houston to once again hang out with Mark O'Meara and to take on a new entourage:

In addition to a prospective move to Houston, Woods also needs to "clean house" as soon as possible. Those in his immediate circle, the so-called friends complicit in his shadowy existence over the last few years, must be banished forthwith and forever. He may not have a choice in that matter, of course. Assuming that his marriage survives and wife Elin remains part of his life, it is safe to assume that she will want them gone. Tiger's boorish caddie – he of the "hilarious" on-course farting contests – his management company and his coterie of high school buddies must surely be wondering what the immediate future holds for them. With a bit of luck, these individuals will be the ultimate losers in this whole sad affair.

The Guardian's Paul Hayward writes:

The problem is that sport writes these fake narratives of human flawlessness. Correction. In the case of Eldrick "Tiger" Woods that myth was built by an industry of image architects, with the connivance of the golfer, for money, dude. For money.

It is the inauthenticity of the original Woods persona that fascinates, not the infidelities, which are interesting only as part of the celeb cycle of crash and burn. Since independence, the most powerful country on earth has searched for "the perfect American". They won't find him, or her. Not even behind the security gates of an upscale Florida community.

Kevin Garside in the Telegraph:

This watershed week offers a way out, an opportunity to cut the crap, to end the pretence of superhero, to start again as one of us. The chances are he won’t take it, because he can’t. The conditioning runs too deep. He cannot at the age of 33 undo a lifetime’s work, say no to the tyranny of Tida, the mother of all matriarchs.

James Corrigan in the Independent isn't sympathizing with Tiger's pleas for privacy and explains why in convincing fashion:

I tell you what I'd quite like from them: some consistency. So when Woods is asked to describe in a press conference just how beautiful his baby is and how life-changing it has been to become a father he says: "Nope, sorry. That's my private life. Off limits." And when his sponsors ask for permission to use some of his family's old footage of Woods and his recently deceased father to promote their goods he says: "Nope, sorry. That's my private life. Off limits."

Yes, Woods did allow Nike to sift through his home videos and edit some touching scenes of Earl and Tiger for an advert which was screened on Father's Day with the message: "To Dad and Fathers Everywhere." This was 2006 and Earl had been dead six weeks. As Nike sought to bang out their drivers to Pop for $299.99 a pop, never has the RRP been merged with the RIP so shamelessly. As intrusion goes, this seemed pretty vile to me.

Where was his right to privacy then, or indeed in the times when magazines have been invited into his house – at a price – to take pictures of Woods, his wife and his children? Does a right to privacy mean that it is a sportsperson's right to claim privacy whenever he chooses to? If so, that would be one of the best deals on earth – a win-win situation if ever there was one.

Instead, we have a win-whinge situation. So when you have something positive to promote in your private life, you call in the cameras. Yet when something negative bursts into your home, because of your actions, you pull up the shutters and bleat about the fairness of it all.

Linda Shrieves in the Orlando Sentinel contemplates the perils of married life for the rich and famous and suggests:

There are perils and pitfalls for any marriage, but for the rich, famous and powerful, the temptations and opportunities for trysts are even greater. They can travel, they can spend a lot of money lavishing trips and gifts on a lover — and, if their marriage doesn't work out, they won't face financial ruin.

"Wealthy people crave stimulus," Israel Helfand said. "They are adrenaline junkies. The pursuit of happiness, for them, is more interesting than happiness."

Chased by beautiful men and women, they start to believe what their handlers are saying about them: that they are the greatest athletes, attorneys or politicians.

"They begin to believe all the hype about themselves — and they become like a 5-year-old," Israel Helfand said. "They think they are the center of the universe."

Which validates Tom English's Scotsman column premise:

If you want to understand why Tiger thought he was invincible, you start with his parents. The notion that he was special was bred into him from day one and barely a single person in his life has since told him otherwise. Not anybody who was allowed to hang with him for long, that is. He won major upon major and million upon million, he did things none of us had ever seen a golfer do before. He had the perfect game, the perfect wife, the perfect kids. He had an aura. He was untouchable.

When he swore and threw his golf clubs in anger, nothing much was said, because he was Tiger and you didn't criticise. When he was rude and arrogant and a poor role model, didn't matter, because he was Tiger and few people had the guts to put these things to him. When an American magazine heard talk of his philandering two years ago they didn't report it. Instead they did a deal with Woods for an exclusive photo shoot in exchange for their discretion.

His world, see. Everybody danced to his tune. He was the Chosen One, just like his father said. So he slept around and didn't ever think he'd get caught. He was so secure in fortress Tiger that he couldn't see how anybody could get to him. Fame and wealth were his ramparts.

I debated whether to post Jesse Washington's Associated Press piece on how the African American community is viewing Tiger because it's just loaded with landmines, but here goes...

The darts reflect blacks' resistance to interracial romance. They also are a reflection of discomfort with a man who has smashed barriers in one of America's whitest sports and assumed the mantle of the world's most famous athlete, once worn by Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.

But Woods has declined to identify himself as black, and famously chose the term "Cablinasian" (Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian) to describe the racial mixture he inherited from his African-American father and Thai mother.

This vexed some blacks, but it hasn't stopped them from claiming Woods as one of their own. Or from disapproving of his marriage to Elin Nordegren, despite blacks' historical fight against white racist opponents of mixed marriage.

On the one hand, Ebonie Johnson Cooper doesn't care that Tiger Woods' wife and alleged mistresses are white because Woods is "quote-unquote not really black."

"But at the same time we still see him as a black man with a white woman, and it makes a difference," said Johnson Cooper, a 26-year-old African-American from New York City. "There's just this preservation thing we have among one another. We like to see each other with each other."

You know if a white person said...ah forget it.

Jason Sobel of ESPN.com posted these Tweets today:


Bob Carney on reader email about the unfortunately-timed Golf Digest cover of Tiger and Obama.

Submit your Woods jokes here at Daily Comedy and read others.

Now there's an online Tiger/Elin game now. Don't ask me how to play it.

Connell Barrett offers the first Tiger Scandal Awards.

The Onion weighs in and unfortunately this entire saga is so strange there is only so much satirical jabbing they can muster up.

Mike Bianchi lists some of the top jokes and makes a tough, sad but ultimately legit point:

Can hardly wait to hear the PGA Tour moderator when Tiger comes into the media room after the first round of next year's Buick Open: "Tiger, can you go over your round for us, please? Let's start with your birdies and bimbos, er, bogeys." … Sorry, but I can't help myself. The Tiger jokes have gone viral on the Internet. Example: What's the difference between an Escalade and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a golf ball 400 yards. … And did you hear Phil Mickelson has contacted Elin to pick up some tips on how to beat Tiger? … And what do Tiger Woods and a baby seal have in common? They both get clubbed by Scandinavians. … And police apparently asked Tiger's wife how many times she hit him. She replied, "I don't know exactly, but put me down for a 5." … See what I mean? In one week, Tiger has gone from king of the world to course jester. …

Bianchi also links to the Whack-a-Tiger game:



And thanks to reader John for the Tiger Slow Jam mix, up to 615,945 views.

Saturday
Dec052009

Who Says Gary Koch Isn't Funny?

During Saturday's Chevron World Challenge telecast, Camilo Villegas unleashed a nice "f*&$#ng p@#$k" picked up by microphones, but the immediate interpretation by Gary Koch should win him an Emmy.