Well, golf’s new star has arrived, and his name is Rory McIlroy.McIlroy humiliated the rest of the field at the US Open — in a way that only one other player in history has ever done before.
Fortunately for sports fans, that other player isn’t geriatric–a name in the history books. He’s alive and reasonably well.
So it’s time for that other player to take off his hair shirt and start playing golf again.
Yes, we know, Tiger Woods is now physically hurt. And hopefully he’ll get better soon.
But Tiger’s golf was ailing long before he crippled himself.
There are lots of theories as to why Tiger imploded on the golf course last year, and most of them revolved around “distraction.”
That’s not our theory.
Our theory is that it was guilt.
Basically, we think that that Nike ad featuring Tiger listening to his dead dad’s voice, along with the rehab and contrite press conferences, and general humiliation around the sex scandals revealed that Tiger actually felt pretty lousy about banging all those porn stars and waitresses while married for all those years.
Specifically, we think Tiger felt like he should wear a hair shirt to compensate his wife, his family, and society, for his transgressions.
Now, personally, we’ve never felt that Tiger owed us anything. We understand why Accenture, et al, were mortified when it was revealed what he was doing off the course, and we were certainly startled by the brazen-ness of this activity. But Tiger never promised us he would be faithful.
But he probably promised his ex-wife Elin that. And maybe he felt like he promised his kids that. And, judging from his demeanor over the past couple of years, he probably did come to feel awful and guilty and sorry about it.
But now that Tiger is divorced–and now that there’s a new kid on the block who may well be better than him–Tiger should be able to put the guilt behind him. He has accepted responsibility for his behaviour, made amends as best he could, and paid a huge price. And at some point, once you’ve done that, you just have to let it go.
So here’s hoping Tiger feels like he can give himself permission to become a demi-god on the golf course again.
Tiger becoming Tiger again would be good for golf. It would be good for Rory McIlroy. It would be good for Tiger’s sponsors. It would be good for TV ratings. And it would even be good for Tiger, who should now feel entitled to take off the hair shirt and burn it forever.
So, Tiger, it’s game on. Time to put all that crap behind you and kick the new kid’s arse.
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