RESPECT for ourselves guides our morals while respect for others guides our manners, they say. Golf superstar Tiger Woods seemed to have lost both as he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (of alcohol or drugs) by the Florida police last Monday.
Be it in sports or any other field, we consider successful people as role models. We expect them to behave with a lot of self-respect and also in such a manner that they’re respected by the society.
The 14-time Major champion had seen it all for more than a decade. During the first 10 years of his career, from 1996 to 2006, he had a meteoric rise.
In April, 1997, he became the youngest-ever winner at Augusta National and, two months later, rose to world No.1. From then, it was a dream run for him.
But then, two tragedies struck him, the first in 2006 when his father Earl died and the second in 2010 when his wife Elin Nordegren divorced him. He never recovered from both.
Earl had a big influence on his son. He was not only Woods’ first golf coach, but was also his mentor. Their relationship manifested in different forms as Earl was his best friend, source of inspiration, disciplinarian and even psychologist.
Ten of Woods’ 14 Majors came when Earl was alive. And four years since his death, the son’s married life too capitulated. This shows how crucial a role he had in his son’s life!
Though Woods’ erratic driving was the effect of medication rather than alcohol, his “extremely slow and slurred speech” at the time of arrest (3am) raises serious concern about his present lifestyle.
According to agency reports, the police mug shot of Woods looking bleary-eyed and unshaven went viral on social media, underscoring the protracted fall from grace which has befallen the superstar athlete once renowned as a clean-living, corporate pitchman.
A series of debilitating injuries, back and knee, has also ruined his career. He had undergone a fourth surgery recently and was hoping to get back into competitive action soon. But last Monday’s arrest seems to be another big blow to his aspirations and, at 41, it looks doubtful whether he could make a comeback to the top.
Our ability to handle life’s challenges is a measure of our character’s strength. Sadly, Woods proved yet again that he doesn’t have a strong character. Or at least he lost what he once had.