It has been two weeks since Tiger Woods wrecked his Escalade in front of his house in a post-Thanksgiving mashup involving his wife, Elin Nordgren, and a golf club.
That’s 14 days of hysterical news stories – some quoting text messages from Woods to women that were enough to make me leave the room, I admit it – and enough of these rumored girlfriends to assign one to each of the 12 days of Christmas.
I’ll give the one who appeared on Tool Academy two days, just for kicks.
There was even one mother-in-law flying in from Sweden to assess the damage, who quickly made her own headlines by ending up in the hospital for a minor illness.
It feels like longer than two weeks, doesn’t it?
Widely criticized since his accident for not communicating clearly and quickly with a public that is clearly invested in what he does and with whom, Woods announced today that he will take an “indefinite hiatus” from professional golf to focus on becoming a “better husband, father and person.” He admitted to infidelity for the first time in a statement that also asked for forgiveness for him and privacy for his family.
The full text of Woods’s statement is on his Web site. He has not been seen in public since the crash.
“His priorities are where they need to be, and we will continue to respect and honor his family’s request for privacy,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement. “We look forward to Tiger’s return to the PGA Tour when he determines the time is right for him.”
Jack Nicklaus, still the number one professional golfer in history with 18 major championships won ahead of Wood’s 14, said that this situation was “none of his business.
“He’s a great athlete. He’ll figure it out,” Nicklaus said.
I know enough about the media to know that this story will not go away anytime soon, as much as most people say they wish it would. Tiger, like it or not, is a star athlete whose persona and popularity until this particular mess hit the fan has been tied up in his outstanding golf performance, and not his off-course behavior.
That game changed when he got in his car two weeks ago and whatever happened happened.
The news since then – none of it having anything to do with golf – has not been flattering to say the least, and considering his wife and children in its context has made it nothing more than sad. It’s up to the Woods family, obviously, to figure out what works for them and to Tiger to decide how to go about being the better person he seems to think that he can be.
Golf can wait a minute, even for Tiger Woods – maybe, especially for Tiger Woods.