FanDuel - WFBC

December 11, 2009

Tiger Woods to take 'indefinite' leave from golf: Tiger Woods said Friday he is taking an indefinite leave from golf to work on saving his marriage, using the word "infidelity" for the first time in a statement posted on his Web site.

"After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf," Woods said. "I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person."

posted by dviking to golf at 08:34 PM - 75 comments

Not sure if this deserves a new thread or not, but I can't say that I'm at all surprized by this news. He clearly had a tough road ahead of him on the tour.

As to his being a better husband, based on this news, he'd better hurry.

posted by dviking at 08:40 PM on December 11

I know, what's one more Tiger Woods thread.

Break, whatever. I still can't get passed the idea the guy has agents and lawyers, etc. pulling the strings and plotting moves in an effort to have him come back a ways down the road in some grand reappearance. All this will do is prove whether people will miss the guy and start feeling more and more sorry for him.

On another note, I can't believe his wife would stay with him. She needs to dump him and take him for every single thing she can get. What the hell is she going to do, follow him all over from this point forward? That's the only way she'll be able to begin trusting him. How in the world could she ever let him come close to her knowing he's had his dipstick into some of the biggest skanks around, if now flat-out prostitutes? And she has to be thinking to herself the actual number could realistically be in the hundreds. I'm all for working to keep a family together, but there has to be something other than gobs of money to cling to as the reason not to part ways. I'd love to know what just one of those reasons is. And it's not the kids. If anything, she owes it to them to remove them from this complete, utter disaster.

Take all his money you can, Ms. Woods. You can do much, much better.

posted by dyams at 10:14 PM on December 11

I don't know why you'd rule out kids as the reason she's staying around. A lot of people have stayed in troubled marriages to save a family.

I also can't read Woods' statement without thinking of his agents, lawyers and sponsors. When his agent says, "The entirety of someone's life is more important than just a professional career," it makes me wonder what percentage of that guy's concern is for Tiger the man versus Tiger the multimillion-dollar brand name.

posted by rcade at 11:14 PM on December 11

It is hard to imagine him not playing the Masters this coming year. My guess is: indefinite break translates to about 3 months.

posted by rumple at 01:58 AM on December 12

As ever, the statement that is meant to sound contrite comes off sounding sanctimonious.

No chance he misses the Masters. I doubt it'll take 3 months for Mr & Mrs Woods to realise that some things aren't savable.

posted by JJ at 06:45 AM on December 12

I checked out the link to see Mrs. TW's new getaway real estate. $2 mil doesn't go far in Sweden, from the looks of it.

Modular cottage on rubble with no landscaping. Must have bought it in a moment of despair. There are mower sheds at Royal Birkdale that are nicer than that place.

But hey, it's home. Not some manufactured community somewhere in the Great Disney swamps west of the Space Center.

Best thing about it: I don't see a driveway. And not a hydrant in sight.

I'm looking for the game of golf to get over its obsession with TW and broaden its perspective. The way they have ridden TW's coattails has been a sure way to ratings and money heaven, but it's unhealthy in the long run.

I'm tired of the golf whisperers showing Tiger's every move on a Sunday afternoon when he's 15 strokes back and some unknown guy is three off the lead and can't get shown on TV to save his life.

If you are worried about how your sport is going to survive without the presence of one guy, you haven't been taking care of business on the way to the bank the last 12 years.

posted by beaverboard at 08:11 AM on December 12

If you are worried about how your sport is going to survive without the presence of one guy, you haven't been taking care of business on the way to the bank the last 12 years.

Total viewership the last time Tiger wasn't playing was down 46.8%. You don't think that an extended leave in an already shrewd climate might make it hard to find tournament sponsors and TV advertisements?

Like it or not, we've seen what happened to golf the last time Tiger was away. This time, advertisers and sponsors know what to expect and will invest accordingly.

posted by dfleming at 09:11 AM on December 12

what percentage of that guy's concern is for Tiger

10% is industry standard.

posted by yerfatma at 09:14 AM on December 12

Are you guys serious? The bashing is out of hand. How many of you can be honest about what you would do in your young years when you have more money than you can imagine. Oh, you say, that makes no difference. Liars. You have no idea because you are not there. There is an old quote that says power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I have got to think that somehow applies here. Who was there to keep Tiger grounded? Seems to be nobody. Could you do it on your own? I doubt it, given the power money and fame.

posted by kerrycindy at 10:06 AM on December 12

I don't think money -- even obscene amounts of it -- changes who you are.

It is an BS excuse to say that Tiger Woods acted like he did because "absolute power corrupts absolutely." It's not like it takes money to be a horndog with no regard for your marriage vows. As for the excuse that Woods is young, he's almost 34 years old. That's no kid.

posted by rcade at 10:51 AM on December 12

Want to be young and ball your way round the world? Great - go for it - and more power to you, but don't get married, don't have kids and don't present a completely different (and completely untrue) image of yourself to the world.

posted by JJ at 10:52 AM on December 12

kerrycindy, it is nice that you can take the high road. I understand what you are saying, it is the whole ...walk a mile in his shoes thing.

BUT, in light of the recent crashes and burns of some celebs/athletes you would think that some people would learn from others' mistakes. And the after the fact contriteness and pleas for forgiveness just seem to ring hollow

If if he was dissatisfied with his marriage/life, there was the option of seeking professional help (financially or otherwise), trying to talk it over with Elin, or just walk away then get yourself a girlfriend.

A long term mistress would have been one thing, but it seems he just couldn't keep it in his pants. And that has nothing to do with money, fame, or power.

posted by steelergirl at 10:54 AM on December 12

Want to be young and ball your way round the world? Great - go for it - and more power to you, but don't get married, don't have kids and don't present a completely different (and completely untrue) image of yourself to the world.

I'm with you on the first two points, but I take some umbrance with the third. Tiger's image is the product of other peoples interests, not just Tiger's. He just plays the stoic hero role - the winner - in commercials and edited NBC ads. It's a cliche. Who really believes that the Nike ad is showing the real Tiger and not some obvious bullshit? C'mon - in the end, we're selling shoes here people.

Tiger's a pro. He shows up, knows his lines and does the stern I'm a champion face. He's not writing the ads. It's a brand. And a simple one at that.

To me, this would be like Gretzky being outed as a cheater, and everyone piling on because he was so wholeseome. Well, he was just a good pro - a consumate ambassador. But that's what his job was. It's the only way to do it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:03 PM on December 12

As a 52 year old man, 34 is young. I can look back and see it. I thought at that age I was all grown up, but i was not close, and i think most are not. Again, I say that Woods needs to be given a little room to get it figured out. Now that his eyes have been opened, let us hope he does right by his wife and children. All of the comments by those that want to rag are not constructive or helpful. People seem to revel in disparaging those that have fallen. So sad for us.

posted by kerrycindy at 12:08 PM on December 12

Tiger's image is the product of other peoples interests, not just Tiger's. He just plays the stoic hero role - the winner - in commercials and edited NBC ads.

He's had the option to change things. As Charlie Pierce noted, he's always had a reputation on the circuit, but IMG has been good at suppressing the gossip; at the same time, he's become a must-have accessory for a particular mixed bag of corporate potentates around the world.

I compared this to Bernie Madoff in the previous thread: you can cook the books on a Ponzi scheme for so long, but there's a point at which you have to believe your own mythos in order to pull off the act, so when cracks appear, the end comes quickly.

posted by etagloh at 12:15 PM on December 12

Are you guys serious? The bashing is out of hand.

Oh please. God, I'm so sick of people feeling all sorry for Tiger Woods! Like rcade said, Woods isn't young, and it's not like he had a horrible upbringing without parents to show him right from wrong. He had an involved mother and a father who was always there. He went to Stanford. His younger days are well in the past, and he's at the point he decided to be a family man. He's now all contrite and remorseful because he got caught, plain and simple. I could care less if he screws every female who walks within eight inches of him. But his bullshit, better-than-the-world attitude built by being thrown in our faces 24/7 for years gets him just what he's getting: A major bashing. His marriage to a gorgeous woman and having kids was just part of the sham he was passing off on us, all to make millions of dollars as the pitchman corporate America wanted him to portray.

All of the comments by those that want to rag are not constructive or helpful.

Yeah, and I'm sure Tiger and his people will be right there for me when I hit on hard times based on my own, ongoing, ridiculously arrogant and hurtful (to those who care for me) mistakes.

As for golf and the PGA tour, I'm having a hard time feeling sorry there, too. They had years to build up the sport around one guy, but the fact they can barely exist without Woods shows they (the PGA) were a joke to begin with. They have weekly fields of many competitors, and every one of them must be for crap. Since their existence was built around one individual, I guess the gravy train has run off the tracks temporarily. Find someone else from your dull ranks to feed off in the meantime.

posted by dyams at 12:22 PM on December 12

Who was there to keep Tiger grounded? Seems to be nobody.

A wife and two kids, for starters. You act like he's a 20-something college co-ed; he's not. He's got a family, kids and a corporate empire to think about. I understand that 34 is still "young" but you stop being able to be irresponsible when other people's emotional and financial well-being are at your disposal.

If he wanted to play the field, he should've never gotten married and had kids. It's simple. There are plenty out there in Hollywood who make that choice because it's the responsible one for them.

posted by dfleming at 12:26 PM on December 12

Who was there to keep Tiger grounded? Seems to be nobody.

A wife and two kids, for starters.

Beautiful point. Wish I would have said that.

posted by dyams at 12:29 PM on December 12

We are all responsible for our actions. The more exalted a position we hold, the more terrible will be the consequences from those actions. Tiger, or any other person in the public eye, has to understand that anything he or she might do that is less than sterling conduct will have serious repercussions. This is something that the "famous" need to consider. In this age of instant mass communications, it is not possible to mitigate such a story as Tiger's. Once the transgression becomes known, the media will run it to death. If your conduct is not exemplary, you will suffer for it. I have no sympathy for Tiger; as the saying goes, "you made your bed, now lie in it". Is the media coverage excessive? Probably it is, but it is also to be expected.

posted by Howard_T at 12:45 PM on December 12

As a 52 year old man, 34 is young. I can look back and see it. I thought at that age I was all grown up, but i was not close, and i think most are not.

I hate the way we infantalize adults these days. If he's not grown up at age 33 it's nobody's fault but his own. I think you can show empathy for Tiger without making excuses for him, the way you continue to do. He made some mistakes that have shamed him on a global scale and put his marriage in jeopardy. His humiliation is directly proportional to the fame he sought as a billion-dollar brand name. (I also don't think his father did him any favors by treating him like the next Gandhi.)

I think I speak for most of his critics when I say that we wish him well in putting the pieces of his life back together. But that doesn't mean he's not a huge tool.

Incidentally, it's a little-known fact that Woods has three siblings. His dad had a first family, but he got a divorce to marry Tiger's mom and relations with his older kids were not always great. The second marriage also was strained -- they were estranged in later years, according to the linked obit. It makes me wonder whether Woods had much of an example for being a family man.

posted by rcade at 12:47 PM on December 12

As a 52 year old man, 34 is young. I can look back and see it. I thought at that age I was all grown up, but i was not close, and i think most are not.

Seriously???? Most of us have children by then, we're usually well started in our careers, and we've certainly lived long enough to understand the consequences of our actions. Even at 24 one should be old enough to know better, but I might have given you 24, but not 34.

No doubt he'll pay an incredible price for his outlandish actions, but whatever his true penalty is, it's fully deserved. At this point I worry about his personal well-being, for his sake I hope he has someone looking out for him...they're a bit late, but hopefully they're there now.

posted by dviking at 02:59 PM on December 12

To me, this would be like Gretzky being outed as a cheater,

Fuuuuck. Don't even joke about it.

That would probably lead to a nation-wide bout of depression (except in Calgary).

posted by grum@work at 04:00 PM on December 12

To me, this would be like Gretzky being outed as a cheater

It was bad enough that he's flirted with being an American. This country is held together like poutine is by strings of cheese curd; tenuously. A Gretzky scandal and Alberta and Quebec would go up on Ebay and us Atlantic Canadians would be pushed off into the Atlantic Ocean.

posted by dfleming at 05:12 PM on December 12

It was bad enough that he's flirted with being an American.

Wayne has dual Canadian & U.S. citizenship.

posted by tommytrump at 05:37 PM on December 12

Tiger's caddy speaks.

posted by rcade at 08:22 PM on December 12

I could care less if he screws every female who walks within eight inches of him.

Eight inches, eh ? That's one thing I haven't heard reported about Tiger since this all started.

posted by tommytrump at 10:03 PM on December 12

Tiger is doing the best he can given the horrible situation he has put himself and his family in. Shut down the business Tiger and reinvent himeself. He'll come out in 6-9 months as a reborn famly man, a changed man. He'll be a better golfer, a better person, and he'll be celebrated more than ever before.

If Arod can go from zero to hero in 9 mos, let's see what Tiger can do.

posted by mayerkyl at 10:15 PM on December 12

If she beats you, leave.

posted by rodgerd at 03:32 PM on December 13

Accenture is the latest sponsor to cut ties with Tiger.

posted by dfleming at 05:03 PM on December 13

Does Tiger have to pay back money to Accenture -- like, is there a "good behaviour" clause or something? Or does he get endorsement deal money up front?

posted by rumple at 06:13 PM on December 13

"Williams came under fire from world-respected American sports columnist Rick Reilly, who wrote in his column in ESPN, The Magazine, that [caddy Steve Williams] was among those who would have to go if Woods was to save his badly-damaged marriage to former Swedish model Elin Nordegren."

Wow. Rick Reilly is a fucking asshole.

He has no problem with trying to cost a man (Williams) his livelihood without having even a single shred of evidence that Williams did anything wrong.

Does Tiger have to pay back money to Accenture -- like, is there a "good behaviour" clause or something? Or does he get endorsement deal money up front?

I'm guessing that he received money up front, but was paid on a yearly basis. I doubt that he has to give any money back, but simply won't earn any more from this point on.

posted by grum@work at 11:15 PM on December 13

grum, I'll agree with you on Accenture, in that Tiger probably won't owe anything to them.

However, I think you're wrong about the Reilly/Williams situation. Tiger will need to change his entire entourage, including his caddy. A guy that close to him, that was with him at every event either had, or should have had, a pretty good idea of what was going on. If I were Elin, I wouldn't trust any of his old gang, and I think that's the point Reilly is making. If Williams is truly completely in the dark about what was going on, then he's unfortunately collateral damage in this situation.

posted by dviking at 01:12 AM on December 14

Elin's new Swedish island pad has no indoor plumbing in the winter. This according to the website globalpost.com. 2.3 million can't buy a bathroom?

posted by Newbie Walker at 03:02 AM on December 14

I don't think money -- even obscene amounts of it -- changes who you are. - rcade Centuries of literature and history are happy to disprove this statement.

The rich and powerful male has always and will always attract and fall for the wiles of an attractive female. Presidents, kings and popes have all been so seduced. Why would any of us consider an athlete to be more morally superior than those historically prominent figures that we, despite the perceived failings of their personal lives, continue to look up to on the pedestals history has provided for them?

This is a non-story and none of the business of sports-lovers, in my opinion. It is none of my business what any of you do in relation to your significant others. At what point on the ladder to fame do you think it becomes your business? What if it was Ernie Els? Sergio? Parnevik? Notah Begay?

posted by bobfoot at 04:38 AM on December 14

A guy that close to him, that was with him at every event either had, or should have had, a pretty good idea of what was going on.

The guy carries Tiger's golf bag on the course, not his condoms in a backpack. Why would you make a caddy privy to your most intimate secret? It's also highly unlikely Williams would spend much personal time with Tiger on tour, and very unlikely that they were even staying at the same hotel.

posted by irunfromclones at 06:32 AM on December 14

Oh please. God, I'm so sick of people feeling all sorry for Tiger Woods!

I personally don't feel sorry for Tiger, I'm just getting sick & tired of hearing about this story. Tiger Woods cheated on his wife...ok, and? It wasn't a sports story until Tiger took his "indefinite leave from golf" but before that, it was a story made for the National Enquirer or TMZ, one is a magazine I might take a quick glance at while standing in line at the grocery store but would never buy and the other is web site that I rarely if ever go on to.

This whole thing has blown up in Tiger's face but in all honesty, how many of us will still watch when he plays again?

As for Rick Reilly, he's had a tumultuous relationship with Tiger in the past so whatever he spews in Tiger's direction is usually in a sarcastic manner.

posted by BornIcon at 12:17 PM on December 14

However, I think you're wrong about the Reilly/Williams situation. Tiger will need to change his entire entourage, including his caddy.

He isn't his entourage. He is his employee. It is absolutely ridiculous to argue for firing an employee because the boss's wife doesn't think the employee will stop the boss from cheating on his wife.

I think Tiger taking a leave from golf is a bad decision. The best way to get people to move on from this story is playing well. The Kobe drama taught us that. Kobe played through his drama and came out just fine when he and his team had success.

posted by bperk at 12:26 PM on December 14

Tiger will need to change his entire entourage, including his caddy. A guy that close to him, that was with him at every event either had, or should have had, a pretty good idea of what was going on.

I could use a moral caddy. A guy telling me which club to use and which way the wind is blowing.

I don't think it's in the caddy's job description or best interest to be poking his nose into Tiger's personal life. What would you have the guy do? If he says something to Tiger he's probably fired from the greatest caddy gig of all time. Say something to Elin? The Press? Why are we trying to share the blame anyway?

posted by tron7 at 12:29 PM on December 14

Stevie needs to tell Tiger to keep his putter in the bag.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:35 PM on December 14

They (the press) makes it seem like Tiger is the ONLY golfer ever to cheat on his wife. Yes, he is the most popular but he isn't the only one. The only reason this is so blown out of porportion is because it is Tiger. Bill Clinton didn't get this much attention when he was fooling around. It was stupid of him to do what he did but he's also human. Humans make mistakes. Leave the man alone and let him try to fix his marriage.

posted by dbt302 at 12:41 PM on December 14

In regard to the numerous comments regarding Tiger's caddy...

One, he spends 8 or more hours with Tiger for at least 5 days a week...think they never talk about personal issues? Two guys on the course and you don't think Tiger makes some comment about pretty girls? Given that it's now pretty much common knowledge that he was a hound, I find it hard to believe that he never said anything to give Williams an inclination that he was messing around. Seems that everyone else on the tour knew. The guys that I have worked with over the year that fit Tiger's profile (cads, not professional golfers) never tended to be too discrete with what they were up to...bragging about conquests and such.

Two, Williams states that they did have dinner occassionally, so it's not like they never socialized.

Three, Williams tries to make the point that Tiger's philandering must have taken place when they weren't playing, thus he never saw it. That doesn't jive with what other PGA members, or the girls are saying. If I'm forced to believe either one guy that's trying to salvage his reputation, or a group of people that don't have that ulterior motive, I'll go with the group.

Four, tough situation to say the least, always hard to manage upward. Should he have at least tried to talk to Tiger about it? Talk to one of Tiger's friends on the tour? In the end, it probably doesn't matter, as he's most likely gone either way. Reilly's point is that Tiger needs to remove himself from EVERYBODY that was around him in the past. I think it's pretty much standard operating procedure for the wife/husband in these situations to demand the other makes a clean break from the past. I know I've lost several bowling/softball/hunting buddies due to this. None of which were actually cheating on their wives during the activities they were involved with. The wife just didn't trust them with any of their old friends.

As I said, if Williams is truly innocent collateral damage in this affair, so be it. I think Reilly is correct in that Tiger needs to make a clean break.

posted by dviking at 12:49 PM on December 14

Two guys on the course and you don't think Tiger makes some comment about pretty girls?

My dad is 75 years old and when we play pool, HE "makes some comment about pretty girls". My dad says he married, not dead.

..Williams tries to make the point that Tiger's philandering must have taken place when they weren't playing, thus he never saw it. That doesn't jive with what other PGA members, or the girls are saying.

So let me get this straight, if most PGA members knew that Tiger was cheating on his wife, why are they all acting surprised? None of them rarely had a bad word to say about Tiger beforehand but all of a sudden now that this story is out they all go something to say?

If Tiger has to get rid of everyone in his circle (which I find to be totally absurd) , does that mean that there needs to be new PGA members to play against him as well?

posted by BornIcon at 01:07 PM on December 14

BI, you're missing the point.

The caddy is trying to say that he had no idea that any of this was going on...I call bullshit on that. Too many clues should have been there, especially given that everyone else seemed to have a clue. And, that much of the philandering took place during events makes me wonder about his story.

As to Tiger having to give up his entourage, or inner circle, that tends to be the case in situations like this. People going through counseling for various dependency issues are often told to remove themselves from the situations and people that helped sustain their dependency. At least in the short run.

Tiger seems to have grasped that, has he has removed himself from the tour.

Keep in ming that neither I, nor Reilly, ever said that the caddy or PGA mambers were to blame for Tiger's actions, only that he needed to distance himself from them. Tiger has done that for now.

posted by dviking at 01:33 PM on December 14

This whole thing has blown up in Tiger's face but in all honesty, how many of us will still watch when he plays again?

I don't think that's the real question here. Golf fans will watch Tiger regardless of his private life because he's the best in the game. The question is whether anyone will buy the products he shills for, particularly the ones that have nothign to do with sports.

posted by rcade at 01:42 PM on December 14

Centuries of literature and history are happy to disprove this statement.

First off, I'm wondering how fiction proves anything. Speed Racer never cheated on Trixie and he was the best race car driver in the world. Citizen Kane had all the money in the world, but all he wanted was a [spoiler].

From history, care to give any examples that prove wealth makes people behave differently than they would otherwise?

The rich and powerful male has always and will always attract and fall for the wiles of an attractive female. Presidents, kings and popes have all been so seduced.

There are plenty of broke womanizers. The excuse that money and power made Tiger cheat on his wife with a dozen women is weak. Warren Buffett has 40 times as much money as Tiger. Can we expect to learn that he has 480 mistresses?

posted by rcade at 01:45 PM on December 14

The caddy is trying to say that he had no idea that any of this was going on...I call bullshit on that.

I got your point but do you know for a fact that it's bullshit or are you assuming that it is?

The question is whether anyone will buy the products he shills for, particularly the ones that have nothign to do with sports.

I know how advertisement works but I have never purchased anything in my life because some athletes is in cohoots with a product. I don't buy Gatorade because Jordan or Tiger are in their commercial, I buy it because I'm thirsty. I don't buy Gillete razors because Tiger, Roger, Jeter and Theirry Henry are pushing that product, I buy it because they sell the disposable 18 in a pack with aloe vera on the strip for $7.65 in the CVS around the corner from me.

I play a little golf now & then but my clubs aren't the same ones that Tiger uses but when I take a full swing towards the center of the fairway, the first thing out of my mouth after the shot is, "Tiger!!"...followed by "FORE" and a few curse words. Maybe I use profanity after a bad shot because of him. @!*% Tiger!

Warren Buffett has 40 times as much money as Tiger. Can we expect to learn that he has 480 mistresses?

Maybe Tiger isn't just after Nicklaus' record, could be that he's after Wilt's too.

posted by BornIcon at 02:02 PM on December 14

They (the press) makes it seem like Tiger is the ONLY golfer ever to cheat on his wife. Yes, he is the most popular but he isn't the only one.

So because other golfers cheat on their wives it makes it OK for Tiger? That's a real slippery slope in a lot of ways, not to mention a pretty weak rationale.

Bill Clinton didn't get this much attention when he was fooling around.

Bill came thisclose to being impeached, gave a whole new meaning to the term "oval orofice", introduced a novel flavor for cigars, and added a lot of new words to the American lexicon. His affairs with the interns was the hottest topic in the media, congress, and around the world for about a year and a half. Until now, Bill Clinton was the Gold Standard for cheating husbands. Tiger just won that jacket too.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:09 PM on December 14

BI, I'm calling bullshit due to the fact that I think anyone around a guy for 50 hours a week, in the environment that they're in, should have seen some clues to what was going on, especially since so many others in the PGA seemed to be aware of what was going on....I haven't spoken with the guy, nor have I been following him around, so I could be wrong.

Again, if he was truly unaware, then he might become unfortunate collateral damage in this situation.

posted by dviking at 03:33 PM on December 14

Bill Clinton didn't get this much attention when he was fooling around

Bill Clinton also had a wife that fully understood who buttered her political bread, so to speak. Hillary knew that she had to weather the storm in order to further her own political aspirations.

Though it might have been great drama to have seen Bill trying to get one of the limo's out of the White House carport with Hillary chasing him with a golf club!

posted by dviking at 03:52 PM on December 14

Again, if he was truly unaware, then he might become unfortunate collateral damage in this situation.

I can't wrap my mind around the fact that you believe that Williams should lose his job and livelihood because Tiger Woods is a cheating dog. I don't see how it matters if he was aware or not. Woods extracurricular activities have nothing to do with the job that Williams is doing as his caddy. They work well together. There is no reason why they can't continue to do so. Woods needs to work out his own problems without wholesale firing a great caddy for absolutely no reason related to his job.

posted by bperk at 03:57 PM on December 14

Bill Clinton may not be the best example to prove your point. If my memory serves me correctly, a couple of members of Congress who mounted their moral high horses concerning Bill's indiscretions had to resign their seats when they were outed as having affairs as well.

posted by yzelda4045 at 04:19 PM on December 14

I can't wrap my mind around the fact that you believe that Williams should lose his job and livelihood because Tiger Woods is a cheating dog

Keeping in mind of course that it was Rick Reilly's point we're discussing, I was just agreeing.

The whole point is that the caddy may have been an 'enabler' to Tiger's behavior, and as such, his wife might demand Tiger cut ties with him.

Hard to stop an alcohol addiction if you keep hanging around bars, and the people that were okay with you being a drunk. Tiger has a behavioral problem (not diagnosing him as sex addict, but if that fits so be it), and those around him enabled that behavior, even if it was only from a perspective standpoint. If I were his wife, I'd demand he change out his entourage. That was the point.

I've already addressed that I understand how difficult it might be for a caddy to really confront a golfer like Tiger...get that, but it doesn't change anything from Elin's perspective.

Tiger has done the right thing for now, and distanced himself from golf, and the caddy.

Golfers change caddies, and caddies change golfers, quite often, so really not that big of a deal. Yes, Tiger is a hard meal ticket to replace, but the caddy isn't exactly making money right now anyways.

posted by dviking at 04:36 PM on December 14

Hard to stop an alcohol addiction if you keep hanging around bars, and the people that were okay with you being a drunk. Tiger has a behavioral problem (not diagnosing him as sex addict, but if that fits so be it), and those around him enabled that behavior, even if it was only from a perspective standpoint. If I were his wife, I'd demand he change out his entourage.

I would understand this more if there was any evidence that the caddy was enabling Tiger in some way. There just isn't any. None of the women that have come forward with every little detail about their relationship with Tiger have mentioned the caddy's presence at all. Plus, the caddy lives in New Zealand when they aren't playing golf. I don't think it is a stretch to imagine that he maintains a mainly professional relationship with Tiger. Further, it is just unprofessional (not to mention completely unfair) to let your personal problems dictate whether you fire a valued employee. It's like that crazy basketball player whose wife will not let him communicate with women outside of her presence.

Obviously Tiger needs to do what is best for him and his family. But anyone (including Elin) who thinks a replacement of his caddy will matter in the slightest to whether he cheats or not is deluding themselves. The next caddy and the next and the next will all be Tiger's employees, and none of them will say anything about how he chooses to conduct his personal life.

posted by bperk at 05:16 PM on December 14

Hard to stop an alcohol addiction if you keep hanging around bars, and the people that were okay with you being a drunk. Tiger has a behavioral problem (not diagnosing him as sex addict, but if that fits so be it), and those around him enabled that behavior, even if it was only from a perspective standpoint. If I were his wife, I'd demand he change out his entourage. That was the point.

Unless there was evidence that Williams was acting as Woods' wingman when he was picking up women at clubs ("Haaaave you met my friend, Eldrick?"), or was calling escort services to send women to Woods' hotel room ("1-900-EASYLAY? Can you send a hot blonde over to the penthouse suite at this hotel? It's Mr. Mickelson calling.", or actively distracted Mrs. Woods when she called ("Tiger? He's, uh, in the washroom. Again. He had some bad Thai food."), I don't see how he should be held responsible.

That's like firing the VP of a company because the CEO was boffing the maid.

posted by grum@work at 05:26 PM on December 14

Is Williams so easily replaced? They seem to have a lot of success together.

And why would you expect Williams to answer "Yeah, I knew all about his dogging." Would you?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:19 PM on December 14

Seriously, you guys are reading way too much into this.

It's not about Williams in any way. It's about what is reasonable for Elin to expect Tiger to do. The point was, if Tiger is going to make a clean break from his past he has to change out his entourage. If any of them are truly innocent of any knowledge or complicity in the affairs then they will, unfortunately, be collateral damage. So be it.

My reference was to wives of men I've known, that forced their cheating husbands to distance themselves from all of their past friends. Part power trip, part insecurity, part not knowing who was involved, so out they all go. In this extreme case in which there was a multitude of women over a number of years, I, for one, wouldn't blame her a bit for demanding a clean break from everyone.

Would it be fair? hell no. Would it make a difference? probably not. Does any of that matter to Elin? I'm guessing, not.

posted by dviking at 10:16 PM on December 14

Centuries of literature and history are happy to disprove this statement.

First off, I'm wondering how fiction proves anything. Speed Racer never cheated on Trixie and he was the best race car driver in the world. Citizen Kane had all the money in the world, but all he wanted was a [spoiler].

Fiction is a mirror of the human condition. Your silly examples don't fare well against bona fide historical novels Shakespeare et al included), and say nothing about the underlying question.

From history, care to give any examples that prove wealth makes people behave differently than they would otherwise? You're asking me here to posit a situation in which the same person acts differently in two vastly different situations - this is only possible in literature, which you earlier decried as humbug. If you're going to ask a question of me, please make it a meaningful one.

The rich and powerful male has always and will always attract and fall for the wiles of an attractive female. Presidents, kings and popes have all been so seduced.

There are plenty of broke womanizers. The excuse that money and power made Tiger cheat on his wife with a dozen women is weak. Warren Buffett has 40 times as much money as Tiger. Can we expect to learn that he has 480 mistresses?

If you are seriously suggesting to me here that the wealthy/famous are not more likely to entice the opposite sex than the poor/random, then I simply don't know what to tell you. But your Buffett reference is ridiculous, although kinda funny.

posted by bobfoot at 04:15 AM on December 15

The historical novels of Shakespeare. That's got to be a pretty slim volume.

Williams will more than likely get canned, but not because he might have had anything to do with "enabling" Tiger [does anyone ever fess up to doing bad things on their own anymore without pointing at someone else and saying "He/she/it enabled me!"?], but because if Tiger feels the only way to move on with his golf/life is to make a complete change to everything, Williams is very much a part of that.

Golfers change caddies all the time - the longevity of the Williams Woods partnership is the exception not the rule - and as for Williams being tough to replace? Hell no. My grandmother could have caddied for Woods and he'd have won just as often - and she's been dead for 15 years. Some players rely very heavily on their caddies and see them as part of a team, others (Woods and Mickelson being prime examples) decidedly do not.

Mickelson's bagman gets two over-rules a season - two occasions on which he's allowed to say anything other than "Yep, that's just what I was thinking, Phil. Put a good swing on it." - I doubt Williams even gets that. I can't recall Tiger ever winning anything and picking Williams out for particular praise.

If you ask me, a new man on the bag (if it's someone who might actually step in every now and again and say "You know what, Tiger? You don't necessarily need to hit this driver as hard as you possibly can") could be the making of Woods. He's hit a number of shots, particularly in the last three years, where it just made no sense to even take the shot on, and that's where a really good caddy can make a huge difference.

posted by JJ at 04:41 AM on December 15

As to the "did he know" question - I'd run with a two pronged answer: probably not, and even if he did, so what? An example that proves nothing - I had a caddy for 18 months at one stage who travelled all over Africa to caddy for me, who came out to restaurants every so often for a bite to eat after a long day and who I spent large chunks of most days with. I would have considered him a friend - a good friend - as he would me I hope - but I never knew his surname. His wife and two of his kids turned up at a tournament in Durban and it occurred to me that it was odd that I'd known him for almost a year and didn't even know he was married. It's an odd relationship between a golfer and his/her caddy for sure.

And if he did know? So what? He's not legally obliged to have said a thing about it to anyone. I suppose we'd all love to think we'd have been terribly moral about it and would have confronted Tiger or quit his bag, but to be honest, if I was pulling in a million plus dollars a year and spending all day farting about on a golf course? I'd find ways to convince myself that Tiger's behaviour off the course was none of my business.

posted by JJ at 04:50 AM on December 15

I don't see why Tiger's caddie would be more likely to know about his private shenanigans than the many golf journalists who have admitted with embarrassment they never caught wind of it. Tiger's rich enough to have a golf staff and a horndogging staff, and they never need meet.

If you're going to ask a question of me, please make it a meaningful one.

You said that "centuries of literature and history are happy to disprove this statement," so I asked you to provide examples from history. Seems meaningful to me.

If you are seriously suggesting to me here that the wealthy/famous are not more likely to entice the opposite sex than the poor/random, then I simply don't know what to tell you.

What I said was that money doesn't make people do things they wouldn't do otherwise. I didn't say anything about how someone's money and fame affects other people.

posted by rcade at 09:25 AM on December 15

Golfers change caddies, and caddies change golfers, quite often, so really not that big of a deal.

That's probably because most golfers caddies just aren't that good at their job unlike Tiger's caddie who has been with him since 1999 and helped Tiger win the majority of his Majors.

It's like that crazy basketball player whose wife will not let him communicate with women outside of her presence.

You talking about former Sacramento King Doug Christie's wife.

The point was, if Tiger is going to make a clean break from his past he has to change out his entourage...

Actually, if Tiger is going to break away from his past, his employees services aren't who he should be considering terminating, it's the women that he's be involved with who he needs to "make a clean break from".

posted by BornIcon at 10:00 AM on December 15

The more important question about Williams is: "is he naked under that Masters boiler suit?"

I think he is, and it makes me sick up in my mouth a little bit when I see it.

posted by JJ at 10:08 AM on December 15

That's probably because most golfers caddies just aren't that good at their job unlike Tiger's caddie who has been with him since 1999 and helped Tiger win the majority of his Majors.

Poppycock. I can't think of one example of Williams doing anything (other than carrying the bag) that helped Woods win a major. Of course, we're not party to their conversations and Woods is probably just arrogant enough that he'd never let it be known that Williams had played a big role even if he had.

What I can think of is at least half a dozen occasions when I've been watching the final round of a major and thought: "Why has he just hit that shot? Why has he even taken that shot on? What the hell is his caddy doing even giving him a yardage - let a lone a club and encouragement - to hit that shot?"

For all his (previously) apparent self control on the course, Tiger was as prone as any other golfer to getting caught up in the moment - and more often than most he was prone to believing his own hype as he tried to get back in the game with one swing.

I'll give you the best example that springs to mind - the "miracle chip" at Augusta when he holed from off the green at 16. A good caddy would have left Tiger to celebrate alone and walked to the hole to get the ball. A great caddy would then have had a word with him immediately to try and talk him down from the high of what he'd just done. Williams instead jumped all over him like he'd holed to win, had several efforts at a high-five and then stood animatedly talking to him at the back of the green about what a great shot it was.

Most people don't bother to remember what happened next. Woods bogeyed 17 and 18, allowing DiMarco - who was dead and burried after 16 - to force a playoff. That's not good caddying.

posted by JJ at 10:21 AM on December 15

I can't think of one example of Williams doing anything (other than carrying the bag) that helped Woods win a major.

JJ, I know that you want to get your point across but you're failing to understand the magnitude of what a good PGA caddy does to help his or her golfer. They do alot more than just carry a golf bag around.

That's not good caddying.

Or maybe Tiger just hit a bad shot. Williams' job is to make sure that he knows the course that Tiger is playing on, where the wind is blowing or how fast or slow the greens are playing. His job isn't to hit the ball, it's to advise Tiger what the best strategy is on how to approach his shot and what club to use at that given time.

posted by BornIcon at 10:40 AM on December 15

JJ was once a pro, BornIcon.

Speaking of caddies, former Woods caddy Fluff Cowan gave a smarter answer than Williams on the subject of Tiger: "It's none of our business. That should be private.'' I was surprised that Williams said anything.

posted by rcade at 11:27 AM on December 15

Williams said the media was putting a lot of pressure on his family. I got the impression that he had to do this to appease his own wife.

posted by bperk at 11:37 AM on December 15

From your own link, BornIcon, a caddy is defined as a:

... person who carries a player's bag, and gives insightful advice and moral support. A good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it.

Where was Steve Williams with insightful advice ("calm down, Tiger") when Woods holed that chip? Where was he with moral support ("you can still make the cut and get back into this, Tiger") during this year's Open championship as Woods stalked the middle six holes of the 2nd round alone looking like he'd rather be anywhere else in the world than trying to make the cut (which he eventually missed). Where was his awareness of the challenges and obstacles of the course, along with the strategy in playing it ("you're pumped up and this is a tight drive - 3-wood will get this done") when he let Tiger hit driver down 17 after he holed that chip at Augusta?

His tee shots at 17 and 18 in that Masters were not bad shots, they were the wrong shots. A caddy should never shoulder the blame for that - the player makes the final decisions - but if he was as irreplacable as you suggested, he would have put his point across more strongly.

Maybe my point will be clearer if I put it more simply - you can't judge Williams's abilities as a caddy solely on Woods's suceccess as a golfer. Mine is a futile, indefensible position because we can't rewind history and test my hypothesis, but I posit that Woods would have won every bit as much - if not more - with someone else on the bag. For my money, while Williams can't carry the can for any of Woods's failures to convert winning positions in majors (or normal tournaments), a better caddy might have seen him over the line and Nicklaus's record could already be consigned to the bin.

[On preview - to clarify rcade's point, I was a pro golfer, not a pro - and just for the record, in neither capacity did I ever shag Tiger Woods]

posted by JJ at 11:42 AM on December 15

Perhaps this article talking about Williams in March last year sums up better what I'm driving at.

It is deification by association. Who is next - Tiger's agent? How did he manage to secure a $100m deal from Gatorade? Wow, he must be the greatest agent in history. Eh, not exactly. He got $100m from Gatorade because he has the most marketable client in the history of sport.

I guess what you could say is that it's only in adversity that you get the measure of people. Tiger's agent has utterly mismanaged the publicity surrounding his "transgressions", and now his caddy - who could very easily have maintained a dignified silence or said something similar to what Fluff said - covered his ass as best he could by partially disowning his friendship with Woods (even though the latter was his best man at his wedding).

posted by JJ at 11:56 AM on December 15

which is what Reilly was speaking to in his opinion that Woods needs to make a clean break.

I got the impression that he had to do this to appease his own wife

I find it odd that you understand that Williams might have made that statement to appease his wife, but somehow struggle with the idea that Woods might have to switch caddies to appease his.

posted by dviking at 12:12 PM on December 15

Maybe my point will be clearer if I put it more simply - you can't judge Williams's abilities as a caddy solely on Woods's suceccess as a golfer.

Point taken but what you said about Williams is "I can't think of one example of Williams doing anything (other than carrying the bag) that helped Woods win a major." when as a former pro, you know that caddies that take pride in their job are out on the course way before a tournament is about to begin in order to scout the course, the weather, where the wind is blowing and things of that nature that a golfer doesn't generally do on their own.

Then you went on to say that "..a better caddy might have seen him over the line and Nicklaus's record could already be consigned to the bin" which confuses me since if all a caddy does is carry a bag, how would a better caddy have helped Tiger's game?

Did severing the tendon in your hand really affect the way you played golf as a pro? I'm sorry to hear that.

posted by BornIcon at 12:17 PM on December 15

I find it odd that you understand that Williams might have made that statement to appease his wife, but somehow struggle with the idea that Woods might have to switch caddies to appease his.

I am a firm believer that you do not mess with people's livelihoods. It is as simple as that.

posted by bperk at 12:32 PM on December 15

BI - You know Bagger Vance was fiction, right? And set in the 1930s?

Through the course of a practice round (or two), caddies will measure and append their notes on the course using all manner of modern technology - be it GPS or laser-guided measuring devices. On days of tournament play, they get pin positions handed to them by the PGA. If you can find one who has time to do anything as romantic as scouting the course through the early-morning mist on a tournament day, you've stumbled on a very rare bird indeed.

If you can name me any, I'm guessing big Stevie's not on the list.

I said that all I'd ever seen Williams do to help was carry the bag, not that all any caddy does is carry the bag. I'm not blaming him for that - Tiger wants what he wants, and it seems to me that in chosing Williams, what he wanted is a big lad who can steal spectators cameras, mouth off about Mickelson, carry the bag and give him a number (yardage, not phone number of hot babe in second row) when he (Tiger) gets to his ball. I could do that. Hell, you could do that.

The tendon was a problem, the surgery to "repair" it (which continued for 18 months on and off and actually ended up making it worse) was a bigger problem, and the loss of what little momentum I had managed to build up before the accident was the killer blow. But, ten years on, I only think about it and want to weep for the injustice of it all when I'm, you know, sober.

posted by JJ at 12:47 PM on December 15

I am a firm believer that you do not mess with people's livelihoods. It is as simple as that.

The parameters of his livelihood are probably set by the contract he has with Woods, which - if it's like any other caddy/player agreement - probably gives Woods the right to dispense with his services whenever he feels like it and for no reason whatsoever.

Want job security? Tour caddy is not a job for you.

posted by JJ at 12:50 PM on December 15

bperk, I'm sure Tiger doesn't want to mess with William's livelihood, but I doubt Elin would put the caddy's paycheck over her marriage.

Greg Norman fired Williams back in the '90's, he did alright after that, he'll be able to make a living. Sure, replacing Tiger's earning potential will be impossible, but since Tiger's not playing right now, what choice does he have?

posted by dviking at 01:19 PM on December 15

BI - You know Bagger Vance was fiction, right? And set in the 1930s?

Really? I wasn't aware that it was, but.... does that mean that Bagger wasn't God?

I kid ...but I do know brothers that caddy who learned from their dad (who also was a caddy) and they both go out to whatever course a tournament is being played at and they take specs with most of the modern day equipment that you just named. It's actually funny that you bring up Bagger Vance because I joke around with them that they should walk around the greens with no shoes on to feel the shift in the grounds.

posted by BornIcon at 01:46 PM on December 15

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