Why, Tiger, Why?

Brandon SeitzCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2009

WASHINGTON - MARCH 7:  Professional golfer Tiger Woods speaks during a press conference  about the upcoming PGA tournament coming to Washington, D.C. this year on March 7, 2007 in Washington, D.C. The PGA Tour will partner with the Tiger Woods Foundation and have AT&T as the sponsor for this new official tournament set to debut this July. (Photo by Jamie Rose/Getty Images)
Jamie Rose/Getty Images

It’s common knowledge by now around the sporting world that Tiger Woods isn’t as dedicated to his wife as he is to the game of golf.

It’s too bad. His fall from grace will not only affect his personal relationships with his wife and kids, but also with the PGA Tour.

Why? Within the next year or so, depending on how long he sustains his departure from golf, Woods’ infidelity will cause much lower fan attendance at golf outings and much less interest in the game for youngsters.

Who will they have to look up to other than the world-famous Tiger Woods? The purses for each tournament will also be lower, affecting other professional golfers’ careers as well.

Woods, considered to be one of the most marketable sports athletes in the world, has lost most of his sponsors. As of Dec. 8, Nielsen Media Research has suspended TV ads featuring Tiger, and Gillette quickly followed with a suspension of its own.

Accenture has completely dropped Woods from its marketing campaign, stating the golfer was “no longer the right representative.”

But that’s not nearly as important as the long-term effect his infidelity may have.

Woods has always been known as an athlete who had a better mental focus than any professional in history. This was instilled in him at an early age by his father Earl. Earl would stand behind him and drop clubs, cough, make noises just as Tiger was starting his downswing, all to prepare him for distractions that would arise from playing tournament golf.

Earl once said, “I would do all kinds of things to mess him up…and I said, ‘Tiger, I promise you that you’ll never meet another person as mentally tough as you in your entire life.’ And he hasn’t, and he never will.”

Unfortunately, he’s beaten himself.

Once he’s back out on the course, he’ll have his usual mental focus, I’m sure. People talking or the occasional rude cough would pass him by, but picture this: Tiger’s in the middle of his backswing in the tee box for a pivotal first shot, when someone yells out “Cheater!” or something in reference of his infidelity, what would that do to his psyche?

Can you imagine that? If there is something in the world to screw up Tiger’s mental toughness, it would be an attack on his personal life dealing with the biggest mistake he’s ever made to the most important people he'll ever have.

Now he’s thinking, now he’s hurt, how do you recover mentally after that, especially against other golfers with a clear conscience?

What does this mean for golf fans? Tiger may never be at the top of his game again. Unfortunately, we might have seen the peak performance of the greatest golfer of all time. And he won’t be able to finish his career with nearly as many fans as he had prior to all this.

Will it happen? Possibly… probably. Will it affect what is considered to be the greatest strength Tiger has in his arsenal?

How could it not?