Woods pulls out of Players Championship in middle of final round

That’s just remarkable. When Woods failed to make the cut last week at Quail Hollow, that was very bad for him (he tied the worst nine-hole score of his career), but not unprecedented, since he had failed to make the cut five times before in his PGA tour career. But, as reported at the Mail, Woods, who is famous as an iron man and once won a tournament with a broken bone, has never before dropped out of a tournament in the middle of play.

Also, there’s an odd dynamic here. The very first round Woods played when he returned to the Pro tour a few weeks ago, at the Masters, was spectacular and had the world agog, suggesting that his scandals hadn’t affected his golf game in the least. For that one day, our nihilistic culture was all too eager to give him its seal of approval, as though wanting to embrace the idea that his good golf proved that his depraved personal life didn’t matter. It was a repeat in miniature of the way the culture gave its approval to Clinton following the Monica Lewinsky scandal. But ever since that single spectacular round, Woods’s play has been between mediocre (for him) and shockingly poor. I am not going to draw some satisfying moral lesson from this. Since I rejected the idea that Woods’s great golf on the day of his return to the Pro tour said something about the meaning of his personal life, I’m not going to say that his disastrous golf now says something about the meaning of his personal life. Whether his golf from now on is great or terrible, whether he gets back to the top of his game or his career skids to a sickening halt, will tell us nothing about the moral meaning of his personal behavior. History is filled with people who behaved wickedly and enjoyed external success (the Psalmist agonizes over this, see Psalm 37), and people who behaved wickedly and were ruined. External success by itself is not the index of a person’s moral worth. Consider Madonna, a woman who through her deliberate trafficking in perversity and her vast influence on women over the last twenty years has done immeasurable harm to women and to society as a whole. Yet the society treats her like an icon. Does her continuing external success and the respect and fame she enjoys mean that she is not the wicked human being that she is?

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Mike Celizic at NBC Sports is dumping on Woods so bad I almost feel like sympathizing with the guy:

I wouldn’t want to be Tiger Woods right now. I don’t care how much money he has, it’s got to be misery. His life is a toxic waste dump, his golf game is a mess, he’s lost some big sponsors, helicopters hover over his house waiting to collect more salacious tidbits about his sex life to sell to the tabloids and he’s facing a divorce that’s going to trim hundreds of millions of dollars off his net worth.

And, oh, yeah, his neck hurts.

I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anybody crash and burn quite as spectacularly as Tiger has. This isn’t just one aspect of his life that fell apart. It’s everything—physical, mental, emotional—all going kaflooey together. All it lacks is a felony charge to qualify as a total disaster.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 09, 2010 08:47 PM | Send

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