The PGA Tour is a one-trick pony; a metaphor for the advice that all mutual fund managers caution investors against. Putting all your eggs into a solitary basket carries a high level of risk, but if the basket was the Tiger Woods of ten years ago—hell, the Tiger Woods of ten months ago—then that same risk wouldn’t represent much of a gamble at all.
Investing in Tiger is now an exercise in diminishing returns.
If love means never having to say you’re sorry, then why does Tiger’s mechanical apology feel like the hollow, insincere sham that it is?
Not that I ever felt an emotion that can be characterized as love for Tiger. Sure, I love his gargantuan tee shots. I love the surgical accuracy of his irons. I love the Rembrandt-like strokes of his short game. But if watching Michael Jordan in his prime has taught me anything at all, it is that I can appreciate the man for his abilities without having to love the jackass that he truly is.
To be certain, society has, in its collective form, been particularly tough on Tiger. This treatment is deserved: Tiger sold us an image that we eagerly purchased without bothering to retain the receipt. He is the roadside charlatan with false promises of a diet supplement that cures nothing. We take his ‘indiscretions’ personally because our heroes aren’t meant to display the same frailty that we have.
Tiger is sorry, not out of sincerity, but because he got caught. The changes that he has promised to make are reactionary to his misfortunes, not the self-initiated sort he has proffered. The genuine desire to change must come from within, not as a consequence.
One day soon, Tiger will return to the sport that he has dominated. He will win more money; regain more endorsements; hoist more trophies. He will claim every golf record that is statistically measurable.
I will be a witness to these events because I love golf and love the application of the skills necessary to succeed at it.
I will witness these events as an interested observer, not as a supporter.
I cannot enjoy this future success as his fan.
He has robbed me of that, too.