Tag Archives: Tiger Woods

Trump presents Medal of Freedom to Tiger, but … wait!

This is what happens when a president of the United States refuses to divest himself of his vast business interests prior to taking the nation’s most exalted public office.

Donald Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods, honoring the greatest golfer of his generation — and perhaps of all time — for winning his fifth Masters Tournament and his 15th major professional golf championship.

Woods becomes the fourth pro golfer to be awarded in this fashion. President George W. Bush presented Presidential Medals of Freedom to a pair of golf legends, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus; President Obama awarded one to Charlie Sifford.

No one questioned those presidents’ motives. Trump brings another element to this ceremony.

He and Woods have a business relationship. Woods has been a highly visible promoter of golf at Trump Organization properties. Some have wondered about the president’s motive in honoring Woods. Is he doing so in an altruistic fashion or is he seeking to promote his own business in association with Tiger Woods? That’s the question of the moment.

Donald Trump declined to divest himself of his business interests upon becoming president. He remains associated with the Trump Organization, although he reportedly turned over day-to-day operations to his sons, Don Jr. and Eric.

I don’t know what motivates Donald Trump, although I have my suspicions and my beliefs. I merely am left to wonder and to echo the questions that have come from many quarters about whether the president occupies his high office for the right reasons.

Now he might be sullying the reputation of a pro golfer, Tiger Woods, who deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his immense contribution to our national culture.

If only the president who awarded it wasn’t so, um, compromised.

Yep, he is bigger than the game

Tiger Woods would never say such a thing out loud, within earshot of others.

However, I am going to say what would remain unspoken by the greatest golfer of this generation: Tiger Woods is bigger than the game.

Woods won his 15th major pro golf title over the weekend, winning the Masters Tournament by a stroke the all-world field of the greatest golfers on the planet. Sports pundits can’t stop talking about it. They won’t stop talking and writing about what they have described as the “greatest sports comeback in human history.”

Woods had gone 11 years without winning a major tournament, and 15 years since winning the Masters.

Hmm. I’ll offer this note, and then move on to the topic at hand: Muhammad Ali’s return as heavyweight boxing champion in 1974 after being stripped of his title and exiled from the sport for more than three years ranks as the No. 1 sports comeback — in my mind.

But yes, Tiger’s comeback was one for the ages.

He is bigger than the game. I admit to watching the Masters with exponentially greater interest when he entered the weekend rounds in hunt for his fifth Masters green jacket. I love watching the Masters anyway, but with Tiger lurking near the top of the leader board, my interest turned into an obsession.

I wasn’t alone. Others around the world who aren’t even necessarily golf fans took time to watch Tiger Woods pounce when Francesco Molinari doused his 12th-hole tee shot, paving the way for a double-bogey on the hole.

Woods’ endorsement income from Nike is going to fly into the stratosphere. There might be other corporate sponsors that will sign the 43-year-old up as well.

Think of it. Woods’ career started tanking when his wife, Elin, caught him messing around with other women. Then he got caught driving while impaired. Injuries later would damn near take him out for keeps. He couldn’t play the game he dominated since his arrival on the pro tour in 1996.

He fought back. Now he’s back on the top of his game. On top of the world. On top of the heap.

Tiger Woods wouldn’t dare say what many of us believe, that he is bigger than the game.

He is. There. I’ve said it.

The King would be proud of Tiger

Golf isn’t supposed to evoke these kinds of emotions.

Today, though, it did. Tiger Woods — considered by many to the “greatest of all time” — won his fifth Masters tournament. I don’t usually get wrapped up emotionally in golf tournaments. Except when Tiger Woods is involved.

I’ll stipulate that Tiger is not the first pro golfer to get me this juiced up. The first one was the late Arnold Palmer, aka “The King.” Arnie was the swashbuckler, a man’s man. He exuded charisma and machismo. He also could hit the hell out of a golf ball.

Palmer four won four of those green jackets. The all-timer, of course, is Jack Nicklaus, with six of them. Nicklaus also has those 18 major championships in his ledger, which for my money makes him the GOAT.

Today, though, was Tiger’s day.

I’ve been pulling for him to make this kind of comeback. He teetered on the edge of golf oblivion. There was that nasty philandering scandal that ruined his marriage to the former Miss Sweden beauty queen. Then came the injuries. The surgeries. The comebacks from the surgeries. The relapses.

Tiger Woods might be a dirt bag of a husband. He is a devoted father and a loving son to his mother Kultida.

He’s also one hell of a great golfer.

Tiger Woods was able to bring a tear to my eye as I watched him win today’s Masters. I happen to believe that The King is looking down from on high and is pulling for him to keep winning.

Let’s admit it: Tiger is bigger than the game

He likely never would admit it publicly, so I’ll say it for him.

Tiger Woods is bigger than the game of golf. Just look at the worldwide reaction to Woods winning his 80th career golf tournament over the weekend. He won the Tour Championship for his first PGA tour victory in five years.

You’d have thought Woods had just won the Grand Slam of Golf, winning all four major tournaments in a single calendar year.

He didn’t. He merely won the season’s final big event, a championship event that drew the biggest names in the game today.

After all he’d been through — the multiple back surgeries, the terrible personal scandal and the nagging self-doubt that he’d ever get his game back — Woods found a way to win. He did so virtually wire to wire at the Tour Championship.

I’ve said it before, but it might bear repeating, so that’s what I’ll do: Tiger Woods might be a dirt bag of a husband, but he’s one hell of a golfer. I enjoy watching this guy play golf almost as I enjoyed watching another of the all-time greats, the late Arnold “The King” Palmer. Indeed, there are similarities here. Both men drew casual viewers to the game. Both men played with panache and flair. Both did so with tremendous success.

I always have pulled for Tiger Woods to make it all the way back from the physical and emotional ailments that bedeviled him.

Tiger Woods is back. And the game is better for his return.

Tiger appears to be back … all the way

I know this sounds snobbish of me, but I want Tiger Woods to win the tournament he is playing in this week.

It’s something called the Valspar Championship. He is a shot behind a young man from Canada named Corey Conners.

Snobbishness? Well, my desire to see Tiger win is to see some excitement generated in professional golf. Conners hasn’t won yet on the pro golf tour. His day will come. I just don’t want it to come this weekend.

You know how I feel about Tiger Woods. He turned out to be a dirt bag of a husband. He cheated repeatedly on his wife, a former Miss Sweden for criminy sakes! She caught him cheating, kicked him out of their mansion and Woods’s career nosedived not long after that.

He’s had some injury, multiple surgeries, a couple of aborted comebacks.

Woods does play with a certain panache. He is so damn fun to watch on TV. I noted in an earlier blog post that he might be “bigger than the game,” although he surely wouldn’t ever say as much out loud.

Woods will be paired with young Corey Conners on Sunday. They’ll get to go head to head. If Corey holds up under the pressure and fends off the greatest golfer of his age, then he well could launch himself into a potentially great career in professional golf.

If Woods’s latest comeback produces his first win in five years, that will make the Earth shake under golf’s feet.

Maybe he really is bigger than the game … maybe

He wouldn’t actually admit it out loud, but I’m beginning to think Tiger Woods just might be bigger than the game he plays for a living.

He is playing well in a PGA golf tournament this week. The CBS Sports broadcasting crew can’t stop talking enough about Woods. He isn’t in the lead as I write this brief blog post but he’s lurking not too far behind the tournament leaders.

What’s more, I’ll admit to liking to watch pro golf on TV more when Tiger is playing, let alone when he’s in contention to win.

Woods has been on the shelf for most of the past three seasons. He’s had those injuries. He’s had several back surgeries. Woods tried to come back a time or three, but then went back to the physical therapist for more PT and rehab.

Then, of course, Woods had that rather remarkable scandal involving his serial philandering.

That was then. Woods is back in the game. I’ve said before I am seriously pulling for Woods to come all the way back. I want him to return to something resembling the all-world form he displayed from 1997 until about 2009.

Golf is a great game to watch. Really! I like watching it on TV.

I like it a bit more when Tiger Woods is in the hunt.

Does that mean Tiger is “bigger than the game”? Maybe it does.

Is Tiger back? Well, let’s hold our breath and hope it’s so

One round of golf on a relatively tame layout does not constitute a comeback for the greatest golfer of his generation.

But I am glad to see that Tiger Woods shot a 69 today at the Hero World Challenge tournament in The Bahamas.

It’s been more than 300 days since Woods played competitive golf. The game has flourished nicely without him. However, for many golf fans — such as yours truly — professional golf has been lacking a bit of the star power that Woods brings to any tournament he enters.

He has gone through four back surgeries. He sought to come back once, perhaps prematurely. He couldn’t swing a golf club without experiencing great pain.

But here we are. Woods played a solid round of golf today.

I hope he can string three more good rounds in the sport he dominated during the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

I get that no one is bigger than the sport at which he or she excels.

My hope, though, is that Tiger Woods can come back and give the game some of the pizzazz he brings to it every time he tees it up.

Welcome back, Tiger; many of us have missed you

I am heartened to hear the news that Tiger Woods is planning yet another comeback to the world of professional golf.

You have to understand how I feel about this guy. I will concede in a New York minute that he has proved himself to be a dirt bag of a husband. His serial philandering was too much for his ex-wife to bear. He got caught up in that nasty scandal — and then his health went bad.

I tend to separate sports celebrities’ personal life from their exploits on their respective fields of competition.

I like watching pro golf on TV. I really like watching Tiger Woods compete. He brings a certain panache and flair to a game that at times needs it. The Golden Age of golf, from my standpoint, occurred in the 1960s and ’70s, when Arnie competed head to head with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player; then came Tom Watson and Lee Trevino. (I  need not bother with a last name when referencing The King of Golf. The same can be done, I suppose, with Tiger.)

Tiger has 14 major titles under his belt. He’s seeking to break Jack’s record of 18. I once thought it was a done deal. It now appears out of reach, given his recent performances on the links.

Whatever, he says he is coming back in December. Tiger has gone through those back surgeries. He’s suffered some personal indignities along the way. He and rival Phil Mickelson revealed recently that they really are pals, that their so-called mutual dislike was trumped up.

Tiger will have a tough road ahead to regain his top-tier ranking. The pro golf game is full of young guns ready to take their place among the greats of the game: Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson come to mind. They are as fearless as Tiger Woods has proved to be in the heat of competition.

So … welcome back, Tiger.

This golf fan is pulling for you.

This young man is the next superstar?

Jordan Spieth seems like a quiet young man. He hails from Dallas. He plays golf for a living. He’s pretty good at it, too.

He won a golf tournament over the weekend by sinking a shot out of a sand bunker. Spectacular stuff, to be sure. For a golf fan who is still waiting for the return of its most recent super-duper star, a guy named Tiger, I am pleased to see another young man emerge to capture the attention of the golfing world.

Golf is about as statistic-happy a sport as, say, baseball. Consider this little tidbit the announcers tossed into our laps: Spieth, who’s 23 years of age, is the second-youngest player ever to win his 10th professional golf event. The youngest is the aforementioned Tiger Woods; the third youngest is a guy out of Ohio named Jack Nicklaus.

Think about that for a moment. Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Jack Nicklaus.

The young Texan surely understands that he currently is walking among some pretty tall cotton.

Tiger hits another bump on the road back

When TV commentators and other media representatives refer to you as a “legend” in your particular profession, everything that goes wrong in your life is magnified exponentially.

So it is with “golf legend” Tiger Woods.

The fellow who has won 14 major golf titles got himself arrested and charged with “driving under the influence” in Florida.

Woods has been sidelined for some time now. He’s seeking to recover from injury and at least two surgeries on his back. He’s also had some more personal difficulties, stemming from a 2009 incident involving his then-wife and reports that surfaced later about his serial marital infidelity.

Now this.

Woods had said something just the other day about how he hadn’t “felt this good in years,” meaning, I suppose, that his back pain is subsiding and that he might be able — maybe soon — to return to golf.

We don’t yet know whether he was “under the influence” of alcohol or something else.

I am a fairly avid golf fan. I am pulling for Tiger to come back. It’s just not the same without him competing for tournament victories on Sunday.

But, c’mon man! This isn’t the way back to where you need to be — or where your many golf fans want you to be.