Because, well, he likes the money, and given the means to which he's accustomed to loving, and the rather intense loss of take-home pay in the wake of his divorce, he might even need it. Besides, it's going to take a while until all of the endorsement dollars go away; advertisers take a long time to weigh in, and a longer time to bail, because agencies are not quick entities, and they are making a commission.
Woods is now 253-7 on making the cut, which is of course a ratio that any other golfer would be happy to have, but when you have been universally acclaimed for a decade as the era's defining force, making the cut holds no joy.
He's also 35 now, brittle, with a swing that's under repair and inconsistencies that never came up in the past. He's no longer breathtaking with his distance, a man that's prone to making golf courses look obsolete all by his lonesome, or possessing the master assassin vibe that used to make head to head opponents fail so often.
Finally, there's this: the old Tiger would never have received pity from other players for the way his ex-caddy danced on his grave last week. He also would not be hearing more than occasional snarking from a press corps that has long cliche-filled memories, or trying to put a happy spin on a highly disappointing tournament.
Until proven otherwise, he's just another guy now, and more likely than not to never again be more than that. And maybe all of this would have happened anyway with age and the field catching up to him. And maybe it's all from his personal life spiraling out of control.
And the only way he's get the mystique back, short of a dominating win, would be to disappear into the mist, with an airtight leave from the media and no exit interviews.
And if Tiger objects to this... just point out that he's really not Tiger anymore, so you can always just retire that name, and call yourself Eldrick. Because the guy in his shoes right now is no threat to win any tournament, let alone a major.
Saturday, August 13, 2011