Tiger Woods is coming back to professional golf on the PGA's grandest, greenest stage; quel surprise. On Sunday, Tiger's tight team decided that they would allow him to speak one on one with a select few reporters for a small window of time with no restrictions on questions (allegedly). When word that two interviews, one on ESPN and one on Golf Channel respectively would air in the evening, newsrooms and twitterati began speculating. Would Tiger finally divulge the dirty details of his illicit affairs? Would the public finally know what really happened between him and Elin and the fire hydrant on the morning of Thanksgiving 2009? But, not to anyone's surprise, Tiger's mini-chats gave us no new information or insight into the guarded golfer's exploits. So why talk? The tone of the interview was all wrong as he did not clarify anything. Tiger's a heavily focussed golfing machine that's constantly surrounded by "Team Tiger" who control his public and professional life so it would have given us some insight if he let the public in anymore, and not just coping out to the "it's a personal matter" excuse. Yes, how many skanky women he gave it to Basian sensation style is very personal, as is the real medical term for the treatment he's undergoing or his newfound commitment to his marriage and religion, but then don't tempt the public. Come out and be relentless, red shirt wearing, fist pumping Tiger. Be the bad guy who will win the crowds over with pure links skills - just be a golfer, not a PR feeler. Team Tiger clearly wants to make him back into the king of the courses, and although they fed him the wrong script, they finally got him in the right clothes.
Team Tiger recently announced that Mr. Woods will change the sponsor logo on his golf club bags from AT&T, a former Tiger sponsor, to the TW Nike logo. TW is the branded clothing line that Nike created for Tiger, who's been with the company since he turned professional at sixteen years old. Before the mistress debacle, Tiger was the most marketable sports star around the world and had more endorsements than a NASCAR ride. He's multiracial, successful and so dominating that he makes non-golf enthusiasts care about the PGA. But now, most of his sponsors have bid farewell.
It was a very smart and deliberate move to have Tiger only wear golf gear, or more specifically TW attire, during his interviews. He finally looked like a golfer, not a playboy or recovering addict. The hat he is never seen without on the course, and choosing white rather than black lightens up his face and shows his logo clearly. The moss coloured sweater layered over a celery green polo is sporty but casual - what a regular guy might wear relaxing at the clubhouse after a round of golf. It also is reminiscent of lush courses and of course, the elusive green jacket. Why not subliminally remind fans that Tiger is back to the green by staying in the same colour family? Although Tiger didn't talk nearly enough about his golf game for a Golf Channel interview and not TMZ or CNN, he at least looked the part.
The outfit he wore on Sunday evening is a vast improvement from the one he wore to his apologetic press conference in February. Tiger has never had great style, especially off the course. Perhaps because he's such an unbelievable athlete, he's going to fall short in other areas where his concentration is not focussed. I may bought his prepared speech if Tiger looked like he put some effort into his overall presentation, as it was after-all, his time to tell his story. But instead, he was one hot mess of a sad man. His jacket is far too big, it needs to hug his shoulder then be tailored to fit him like a glove. It's also far too long goes well below his behind making him look boxy and short. The lapels on his jacket are far too low and the shirt was boring and over starched. His pants were far too big, too and did not match. A simple suit would have given him structure and power and helped emphasize the key points in his statement. I wanted Tiger to look like he was back in control but instead it looks like his mom picked out his outfit for church. Does the man ever make decisions for himself?
Hopefully Tiger can now put this debacle behind him and focus on his job; being the best golfer on planet Earth! As a sports fan, I don't care who he's bedded, which sexually transmitted diseases he's caught and how many times his mother whooped his ass - that's his business. Tiger needs to either put up or shut up at this point, and the first major of the season is a great way to start. My only suggestion is that it's time to retire red as the power colour - I suggest black, as Tiger may rise to become the Dark Nike Knight of the PGA Tour.
High fives & booty taps,