The Rise and Fall of Tiger Woods

Round 3. Contestant 1B  of the 1st FAM Writing Tournament. Contestants volunteered and were paired and given a random topic to discuss. The authors can write on anything, including parodies. Then 5 judges reviewed the submissions based upon humor, creativity, grammar, and clarity with the chance to win bonus points. More rules can be found in the forums. This pair was given the topic:  Tiger Woods

The Rise and Fall of Tiger Woods

by: M4

The Introduction of Tiger Woods

Once upon a time, there was a little African-American kid named Eldrick who could hold a golf club (and by hold a golf club, I mean he would become the greatest golfer ever). Well, he was part African-American. He was a whole smorgasbord of racial ethnicities, if we’re keeping track. African, Caucasian, Native American, Thai, Chinese, Dutch, and probably a handful of others that he didn’t even know about. He called himself Cablinasian, a nod to his diverse racial makeup, but everyone else just called him Tiger.

Anyway, the kid pried his way out of his mother’s womb with a 5 iron, hopped off of the delivery table, chipped the placenta into a nearby garbage bin, and with a steely, robotic grin, asked the doctor what his handicap was. It was December 30th, 1975, and as Eldrick “Tiger” Woods first laid eyes upon this world, the future of golf braced for shock.

From the jump, this kid took to golf like Irina Shayk takes to a bikini.  This little sonofabitch shot a score of 48 over 9 holes at 3 years old, or so the legend trolls. At age 5, he made the cover of Golf Digest. He even found himself on television; putting with Bob Hope, and was featured on the popular show “That’s Incredible”. If that wasn’t enough, at the ripe old age of 8, Tiger won the Junior World Golf Championship.   The kid could have hit Alcatraz from the Golden Gate Bridge with a 9 iron, he was just that good. “Wonder-boy” Tiger Woods was a natural born golfing prodigy, and he knew it.

At age 8, he first broke 80 (over 18 holes). At age 11, he broke 70. I repeat: at age ELEVEN, he broke SEVENTY! Clearly, this guy was hated on from an early age. Perhaps all of the dirty looks and consternation he surely received for dominating a sport that frequently turns rational, confident men into sniveling puddles of estrogen, helped him develop the icy, unshakable nerves that he would later become known for.

Throughout his teenage years, when other boys his age were sneaking into “R” rated movies or insulting each other’s moms, Tiger continued to hone his craft while kicking ass up and down the golf course. First ever three-time U.S. Junior Amateur champ? Check. Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year? Check. Golf World Player of the Year? Golfweek National Amateur Player of the Year? Then-youngest ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship? Check, check, motherfuckin’ check! He lined ’em up, and he knocked ’em down. At age 18, Woods was named “Most Likely to Succeed” by his graduating class. They thought they knew, but they had no idea.

-Eye of the Tiger-

Tiger attended Stanford University, and his college years were really just more of the same: he played golf, and he won. He won his first ever collegiate tournament, he defended his U.S. Amateur title, he won PAC 10 Player of the Year, he won the NCAA individual golf championship, he was named NCAA All-American, and in 1995, Tiger Woods played in his first ever PGA tour event – The Masters. Tiger would not win this edition of the Masters, though he was the only amateur to make the cut en route to finishing 41st. He would, however, set the stage for the most dominating performance that Augusta National would ever witness.

In 1996, Tiger Woods turned pro, and a new American Idol had emerged. Nike and Titleist signed him to immense endorsement deals. He was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” as well as the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, and in August, 1997, he absolutely curb-stomped the competition to win his first Master’s title. Tiger set tournament records for margin of victory and total 4 day score, and became the youngest ever Master’s champion. Tiger was a shooting star, racing through the cosmos and owning the golf world like no one else, including the previous master chef of the golf world, the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus.

The rise of Tiger Woods was in full effect, as the dude set the record for fastest ever ascent to the #1 world-ranking. All of a sudden, everybody liked golf. Kids in the ghetto liked golf. Housewives in the suburbs liked golf. People who hated golf suddenly found themselves glossing over Tiger’s accomplishments by the water cooler. Tiger was no longer just the best golfer in the world, he had become a cultural icon.

Over the next 6 years, Tiger’s reign of terror over the highest level of golfing competition was Mike Tyson-esque. His aura appeared so invincible, that many an opponent were effectively beaten before ever teeing off on the first hole. Tiger finished 1999 with 8 tour wins, which hadn’t been done since the 70’s. In 2000, he reeled off 6 straight wins, including the U.S. Open, which he won by 15 strokes. This performance was hailed by Sports Illustrated as the most impressive in “golfing history”, and the hits kept coming; Tiger won, Tiger broke records, Tiger made bank, and the world rejoiced.

By now, you get the picture. Hurricane Tiger had a couple of “down” years (by his standards), but for the majority of 1997-2009, Tiger was far and away the greatest professional athlete in the world. He had 71 total tour victories, including an astounding 14 majors, to go with a myriad of records and accomplishments. He had made hundreds of millions of dollars, and was the media’s golden boy. Tiger married a stunningly beautiful Norwegian model named Elin, fathered 2 children with her, and presented the public image as a proud family guy. Tiger had life by the balls, until one fateful night in November, 2009, when this happened…

   unnamed

Fallen Tiger, Hidden Kitty

There’s no way to sugarcoat the fall of Tiger Woods. Elin discovered what Tiger had kept hidden from the world for so long: the man loved to party. He was a certifiable freak. Rumors trickled out that Elin went through Tiger’s phone (wouldn’t you know!) and saw some pretty damning texts and pictures from other women; from his concubines.

Apparently, Elin had no idea that Tiger got wild with chicks in every major city across the U.S. (and probably the world). He had a problem with painkillers, that problem being that he couldn’t get enough. He ran through more ass than Taco Bell. The dude was getting dome before, during, and after tournaments. Dozens of women would claim to have had a sexual relationship with Tiger. Oh yeah, he got down.

And when Elin found out, she lost her shit like most married women living under the false pretense that her relationship was solid would… she grabbed one of his golf clubs and attacked him with it.

Word got out, Tiger apologized for his behavior, sponsors dropped him like a bad habit, and Tiger’s personal and professional life were now a lot less like Camelot, and a lot more like Jacksonville – a big shit hole.

The man was no longer larger than life, he was just a great golfer who claimed to have fallen into the trap of entitlement. He said he was wrong, apologized profusely, sought therapy, and swore that he would strive to be a better man, father, and husband. Of course, Elin divorced his ass no less than 6 months later, taking not only custody of the kids, but a cool 750 MILLION dollars.

And so goes the tale of the child prodigy who grew up knowing nothing but the feeling of victory, of “win”. He kicked life in the dick all day every day, without resistance. Without adversity. Without fail. He developed a narcissistic, almost mythical sense of himself, believing himself to be the superhuman that the world claimed him to be. Until, in the end, he is humbled, and discovers that he is not superhuman, he is almost human, and he has ungratefully assumed the role of king, only to end up the court jester.

Sure, he’s still wealthier beyond one’s imagination. He is now dating another blonde bombshell, Lindsay Vonn, and he is still recognized as the best golfer in the world. But he has not won a major tournament since the curtain was unmercifully ripped away, and chronic injury has called his future as a golfer into question. As it stands, his only professional goal can be the major’s title held by Nicklaus. A record once so close, yet now so far away.

As Tiger stares into his future, does he feel a whirlpool of regret cascading down his cheek, tears that betray his Ivan Drago-like resolve? Or will he prove to be more like Apollo Creed – an aging has-been champion who crumbles under the pressure of one last grasp at glory?