9 months ago
A DUI arrest following the stain of an ugly adultery scandal—it’s a double bogey that may have irreversibly damaged the legacy of Tiger Woods.
Golfweek columnist Geoff Shackleford wrote a blistering plea to the one-time golfing great: To get help before the fans disappear the way his endorsement deals did after his marriage ended in ugly fashion in 2009.
“Tiger Woods, perhaps this will snap you out of this nearly eight-year funk: you’re in danger of being remembered as a fire-hydrant crashing, surgery-prone drunk who should have been the greatest to ever play golf.
“Those 14 majors won as technology nullified your greatness? The 79 PGA Tour wins in an era when 15 gets you into the Hall of Fame? The 142 cuts made streak that spoke to your impeccable preparation and determination?
“All of those and many other stellar accomplishments are in danger of being forgotten.”
Shackleford’s stunning message comes after Woods was arrested Monday morning in Jupiter, Florida, and charged with driving under the influence. Police say Woods refused a breathalyzer, but the 41-year-old golfer later claimed that prescription drugs were to blame.
“I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved,” Woods said in a statement released Monday night. “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”
But Shackleford says that Woods problems predate Monday’s arrest. And after his public fall from grace and divorce from Elin Nordegren, there has been a string of health issues and missed professional commitments that have already eroded his once iconic status in the sport.
“Your life, your children, and your legacy are on the line. Will you finally reach out and let others in the close-knit world of golf help?,” writes Shackleford.
“The track record says no. You like to do things your way and now look where it’s gotten you. Your behavior of late has raised eyebrows and made heads shake.”