On Sunday afternoon, Tiger Woods -- the most iconic and best golfer of my generation -- won The Masters Tournament for the first time in 14 years. It was his first major championship in more than a decade.
I'm not a big fan of watching professional men's golf despite having a healthy respect for the athletes. Personally, I love to golf, but watching it does nothing for me. But, 15 years ago, Woods made it wildly entertaining.
In 2009, Woods' personal life imploded, though it was first reported as a "car wreck" in his own Orlando driveway. Well, he did crash his car... at the end of his driveway... while attempting to escape his golf club-wielding wife. Within hours, news reports outed Woods as a chronic philanderer with the details of his cheating revealing... ick. It was bad. On top of it all over the next years, he came across as an insincere, self-centered asshole at worst, an enigmatic, troubled, socially-stunted prodigy at best.
Then... he won, again. Out of seemingly nowhere. Just like Tiger used to do -- the mental toughness, the amazing shots, the fist pump.
Though, the sight of Woods hugging his children at the triumphant end nearly produced a gag reflex for me -- I'm just not a fan of kids as props for the cameras -- there was something about the rest of it that made me happy for Woods, that just oozed redemption and excitement. But, I couldn't shake the utter disgust, the disappointment, the "he doesn't deserve this" feelings.
I had already spent too much time untangling my mess of feelings when I came across Sarah Spain's short, direct and perfectly-timed ESPN column. It was perfect. It's the best thing I've read this week.
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup: Media, Fandom, and Soccer's Biggest Stage is available online from Palgrave Macmillan. (Hardback available in September 2021.)
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.