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Tiger Woods – Hero?

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Greetings Golfers,

Tiger Woods is back in the news. He hasn’t played a PGA Tour event in 14 months … and counting. He’d agreed to play in this week’s Safeway Open, but withdrew on Monday. Usually¬†Friday is the last day to withdraw … but something over the weekend must have convinced Woods to withdraw.

We know he’s had back problems – did they flare up? Or did his chipping yips reappear?

I think the Ryder Cup rekindled his competitive juices … and he committed to play. But, reality probably hit last weekend and he didn’t want to look foolish on a pretty big stage.

This next year is going to be when we find out who Eldrick Woods really is. I think life is all about overcoming. Did Woods make impressive comebacks during golf tournaments? Yes. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Tiger has been Tiger Woods since he was 2 years old on the Mike Douglas Show.

Success is relative. A natural athlete who is captain of his high school team is less impressive than the handicapped kid who becomes a decent athlete.

Most of us love the first “Rocky” movie. In fact, most good movies have the climatic scene where the hero has to decide to whether to give up or overcome. Think of “Gone With the Wind”.

But, some people think those critical decisions are cornball. They say we don’t really have those choices – that we are victims of our circumstances and that society is responsible for our lives. In fact, when I was in high school, we saw a Bob Richards/Wheaties film about Glen Cunningham. As a boy, Cunningham’s legs were burned up in a fire and they said he would never walk again. Wrong. Through sheer will power and determination, Cunningham not only walked, but set the world record for the mile run in 1934. My teacher said that the film was an example of capitalistic propaganda to keep people from revolting against an unfair society. Wow … talk about propaganda – her Marxist ideology was all about brainwashing.

I’ll admit it – I’m a cornball. I believe in the power of the will and love stories of the human spirit overcoming the odds. That’s the main reason I love sports.

Let’s see if Tiger Woods can come back. I always admired his skills and accomplishments. But I never thought he was a hero. If he can come back and overcome his yips – even if he doesn’t win again – he’ll be a hero in my book.


Tom Abts
GM and Head Golf Professional