When the dust settles on the Tiger Woods saga, we may see the world’s No. 1 golfer actually had more mistresses than majors won.
It has been a nothing short of a shocking story with many sad and unfortunate circumstances for Tiger’s wife Elin Nordegren and the rest of his family.
There are those who contend this mind-boggling tale is no one else’s business except for Tiger.
I may not agree with that, but since this is a forum for sports, I will stick to sports and talk about how all of this will affect Tiger’s year in 2010 or the lack thereof.
Simply put: Tiger must sit out the entire 2010 PGA Tour season.
Tiger will not have the mental toughness to compete with the best players in the world, and for that reason alone he needs to hang up the sticks for one year and get his life back in order.
Without his uncanny ability to make others around him crumble and collapse, he suddenly becomes a shell of himself.
We are used to seeing Tiger focused on the task at hand and exhibiting a killer instinct that is rare to find in any sport, let alone golf.
But how can he maintain that mental edge with all of the distractions around him?
Professional golfers are not required to maintain the physical fitness of basketball, football, or baseball players. They are, however, required to be the toughest mentally.
Watch any NFL game this weekend and take note how players celebrate after a touchdown in the first quarter. Their acts of jubilation seem fit for a Super Bowl triumph.
On the PGA Tour, when a golfer make a birdie putt on the 16th hole of the second round, he may tip his cap or wave to the crowd, or in Tiger’s case, he may pump a fist. But the unbridled celebration is held in check because a professional golfer may never get too high on any one moment.
Watch a baseball game next summer and count the number of times someone hits a weak grounder to second and casually jogs to first base. It really is not a big deal because from time to time you can take a play off and get away with it.
A PGA Tour golfer can never let up because one mistake can easily cost him a tournament. If you mentally take a break for one shot in golf, you can easily deposit a ball into a water hazard and rack up a triple bogey faster than...well you can insert any Tiger joke here if you so desire.
Watch an NBA player go to the line with a chance to make two free throws to win the game, and don’t be shocked if the pressure is just too much for him to handle.
The winner each week on the PGA will stare down a critical 15-foot putt, show nerves of steel, and calmly sink the ball into the clown’s mouth en route to cashing a paycheck near $1 million.
The mental toughness required on the Tour is second to none, and Tiger will not be able to compete with the best in the world.
For once in his life, he will have to admit that he has been broken and beaten. Tiger Woods cannot go through the mental anguish he is probably suffering from now and still compete on the PGA Tour.
Not only can he not win on the PGA Tour with all of these distractions, but I don’t know if he would make cuts.
If you don’t think distractions like this get to a golfer, then you are kidding yourself.
Do you remember when Tiger’s father passed away in May 2006? He was heartbroken and he did not play again until the U.S. Open.
Everyone though it seemed like the perfect time to come back and win one for Dad, but it may have been too soon. Surely if there was someone who could handle the stress and pain of losing a father, it was Tiger.
He was courageous enough to play on in his father’s memory, but he did not achieve what we thought he could do. Instead of hoisting a trophy, he booked an early plane flight back home because he missed the cut.
When you or I tee it up with friends, it is a chance to get away from life, shoot the breeze, and relax. We get nervous teeing off on the first tee in front of other members at the local club or in front of the starter at the local public track.
But when you are on the Tour, you are competing for a paycheck, and you are doing it in front of thousands of fans at the course and in front of millions who are watching you on TV.
The pressures that Tiger will face if he comes back to play will be too much for even Tiger to handle.
It seems like every day we hear more shocking details about Tiger’s life. But don’t be surprised if Tiger walks away from the game for one year.
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