The public eye of the Tiger
The absence of major sporting events during the Holy Week break allowed many to finally watch in full Tiger Woods’ recent Masters victory.
Woods’ performance—delivering key birdies when it really mattered and surviving early bogeys while he was chasing Italian Francesco Molinari for the lead—revealed that his focus and instincts remain as sharp as ever.
With all the television cameras swirling around him, you hardly saw Woods reveal any major emotion through out the final round. He stayed as stoic as possible even as his opponents began to falter and etch double bogeys on their scorecards.
Save for a mild fist pump after a birdie on the 16th hole in the final round, Woods remained unperturbed because he knew this wasn’t going to be a clear win compared to his previous triumphs in the tournament.
When the winning moment came, Woods allowed himself to scream, smile and relish what TV announcer Jim Nantz called “a return to glory.” Nantz also once called Woods’ first victory in 1997 as a “win for the ages.”
The aftermath of Woods’ win has drawn mixed responses from accolades like “the greatest comeback in golf” to recalling Woods’ battles within his personal life. The praises are well-deserved because winning a major championship after 11 years and overcoming physical struggles are not an easy achievement.
And yet hand in hand with this recent sterling victory, Woods’ personal mistakes that have played out in the public domain have resurfaced. This is part of life in the public eye and these are lapses that Woods has owned up to and will continue to live with because of his stature in the sports world.
The recent win in the Masters will not automatically grant Woods sweeping forgiveness and it is safe to assume that he does not expect that to happen. All we can assume is that as long as he is able, he will continue to try to play the best possible golf.
He may no longer be a tiger in a cage he once was after his personal battles. He is hopefully wiser and more prudent now because life will go on in the jungle he prowls in.