I have to say that the greatest disappointment at the Quicken Loans National this past weekend was not Tiger’s shabby short game and him missing the cut, but rather his unconscionable decision not to be a presence on the final day of a tournament that has poured so much support into his personal foundation.
The Washington heat and the lack of reps had Tiger in a latherEmbed from Getty Images
This was an opportunity for Tiger Woods to respond to those who criticize him for his unwillingness to reveal anything personal other than a clichéd description of the current state of his game. A friend of mind said, it was a shanda that Tiger was not at the awards presentation to thank the volunteers and patrons for their support and bestow the oversized check to Justin Rose.
This event has struggled in recent years to get a top players to participate. Only a thimble full of guys from the top 20 were present this year and Tiger has flat out refused to recruit in the locker room to enhance the field. The gate and the TV ratings are in serious decline and the head of the major beneficiary of the event is not inclined to try to do anything about it.
Contemplating his ball and not much moreEmbed from Getty Images
Further he could have made that cameo appearance in the broadcast booth on Sunday providing a little personal insight into how the players were coping with the major-like challenges of one of his favorite courses. That would have been worth a tick or two in the Sunday TV rating. With Sir Nick and Jim Nance, the king of softball questions, he would have been in a non-hostile atmosphere that would have allowed him to provide a teeny glimpse of his personal side without revealing any trade secrets. Instead we got a four-star general in a golf shirt telling us how much the rank-and-file appreciate all of Tiger’s support for the military.
Tiger seemed in a hurry to get out of DodgeEmbed from Getty Images
I know the forced time off for Tiger has helped him appreciate his two lovely kids, the yacht, and the personal time in Jupiter but he could have made waffles for the family Sunday morning, hopped on the Gulfstream at noon, and been on the grounds in plenty of time for some positive image exposure and a chance to do the right thing vis-à-vis his corporate patrons.
Tiger’s Privacy…where he likely spent Sunday afternoonEmbed from Getty Images
At their marquee events Arnie and Jack never fail to appear behind a mike on Sunday for some 19th hole jabber and await the winner coming off the 18th green with a big smile and a shoulder handshake. There is a reason for that-it elevates their brand and proves that they are engaged with supporters on a level that has nothing to do with their current or previous golf aptitude.
Entertainment superstars understand the importance of polishing their image and using controlled PR opportunities to tout personal aspects of their lives. It is just good business, especially when it benefits the gates and coffers of events that support their causes. Tiger buffets the criticism that he really does give a hoot about anything but chasing majors when he does not seize these opportunities. If nothing else he is setting a bad example for his children.