Time has changed for Tiger Woods. No longer is he looked at as being the world’s greatest golfer or most popular sports figure. He is now famous for being the first golfer to have a hot dog thrown at him during a golf tournament. Yes, you heard that right. A fan launched his hotdog at Tiger while he was getting ready to putt at the Frys.com Open. No, that’s not a misprint. I said the Frys.com Open. Not one of the Majors like the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, British Open, or the PGA Championship. Not even close to resembling the Buick Invitational, Bay Hill Invitational, or AT&T National. It’s a nondescript tournament that Tiger chose to participate in an effort to work on his game that is stuck in reverse. Once considered the best, now fate has his skills only good enough to barely make the cut at the Frys.com Open while finishing tied for 30th.
Tiger’s fall from grace has been a slow and painful one. Almost two years has passed since that night that changed his life forever. His life is not like it used to be. Gone are the fist pumps and tournament wins. Gone are the high paid endorsements. Gone is the young man that had so much promise when it came to rewriting the golf history books. Gone is the invincible confidence and impregnable concentration.
The million dollar smile now seems disingenuous. Karma has boomeranged itself around to create an atmosphere of discomfort. Tiger is not so sure of himself. His fans view his arrogance as ignorance now. His character defects are being magnified because a lack of success reveals a human not an icon that is struggling to find his way on a long road to recovery.
The old saying goes treat people the way you want to be treated. Well if that is the case then Tiger should feel right in his comfort zone with the short patience and indifferent public reactions of his fans. The public had to sit and endure his smug and arrogance for years. His walking pass fans and not acknowledging their greetings were tolerated when he was on top but now fans take solace in another fan’s decision to throw a hotdog at him. Some fans wish they could have had the opportunity to throw something but something harder than a hotdog.
The Golden Child is now a wayward grown up. Did the early success alter his core values? It’s hard to say but John Wooden said it best, Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. Tiger Woods should have governed himself accordingly.
All is not loss for Tiger if he can find a way to humble himself and purify his heart. His talent alone will keep him competitive but until he clears his conscience of his unforgivable acts and rebuild positive relationships with his fans and the public then he will never find the confidence again that led him to capture 14 majors in 11 years.
The good thing about Karma is it is a two way street so Tiger has a chance to turn his life around. Acts of kindness will be reciprocated. It all depends on Tiger the way he will be remembered.