Can Tiger come back now that his divorce is final, Elin had been paid off and the children suitably dealt with?
There is no question that his self confidence has been impaired if not shattered and that his steely confidence has, until now, screwed up the heads of his opponents. The cock of the walk is now an ordinary bird, no longer with the flock deferring to him. He’s lost some huge sponsors and, I suspect, the only reason Nike hasn’t shown him the door is because they have too many golf balls and sportswear with his face on them.
The questions are these – has Tiger lost his swing? Has he lost the mental toughness that made opponents creep? Is he in financial trouble?
In the first place the answer is yes. As a former low handicap player and professional instructor I’ve been saying for some time that he’s been what is called “dipping” or letting his head drop at impact. That I could see that and his instructor could not tells me he should go back to Butch Harmon, son of a former Masters Championship, who by all accounts is a superb teacher, and the one who coached him to his marvelous career start.
The second question is more difficult to assess. That he’s lost his ability to spook other golfers, at least for now, is clear. What is also obvious is that if he cannot summon up that massive confidence he had, he may be just another good golfer.
Amazing though it may be, he could be in financial trouble. He’s lost big contracts, as mentioned. He will no longer get $3 million to appear in a local tournament. He’s hardly improving his cash flow on the golf course either.
But there’s more – if he gets a lower cash flow he may have to sell assets and that could be a problem for no matter how expensive your home, your private jet and yacht are, they’re not easy to sell especially in this market.
I hope I’m wrong but you can be sure of this – what he’s gone through (through his inability to keep his pants zipped up) has scarcely helped his golf game and now he knows that unless he can come back to the head of the pack again, more endorsements will go too. Going broke isn’t a pretty sight – I can tell you that from personal experience. Once the first couple of stones start down the mountain, a deluge follows. So it is, in the world of the rich.
I personally think that Tiger will come back to be amongst the best in the world but no longer the unstoppable force he once was.
He has, however, lost 2010 where two majors were played on courses that Tiger knew very well.
He must work towards 2011 and I for one want him to make it because he has made watching golf a great pleasure. His rivals want him back too for it is he who has driven the purses up and only a healthy, physically and mentally tough Tiger Woods can keep them there.