Expert Commentary: Why Tiger Woods Should Already Be Back

On Tuesday (March 16), Tiger Woods announced that he’s making his return to golf in April at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, following a tabloid-fodder cheating scandal. ESPN Columnist Jemele Hill thinks it’s about time. But will his comeback be a huge media distraction? And, more important, will he win?



I thought Tiger Woods should’ve come back before this. He kind of put a scarlet letter on his chest that was completely unnecessary. I realize that he said he had some therapy issues to deal with, but the fact that he chose the Masters illustrates that this was a very calculated move. Everyone knows that the Masters credentials are a lot more difficult to get than your average tournament. The tournament Marshalls do an excellent job of keeping it a controlled, traditional environment and just the location of where it is makes it kind of impossible for any circus-like atmosphere to develop. From a strategic standpoint it makes perfect sense, but I’m just not sure it made a lot of sense from a golf standpoint, or in terms of him getting his life back together. 

Because at some point, he’s going to be before an uncontrolled mob. He’s going to have to address it again. We’ve seen a lot of public figures who have made these kinds of mistakes before—the former President of the United States did—so I never understood why he felt he had to separate himself from a situation that we’ve seen unfold many times. Very few people went into the kind of self-imposed exile that he seemed to go into. I think that letting the situation get to this point where you have to bring in somebody like Ari Fleischer, he just let it get too out of control.

“He’s gonna be self-conscious for the first time ever in his professional career.”

He benefited from just releasing a simple statement at the beginning of this onslaught that pretty much told everybody, ‘Yeah, just stay out my business.’ That should have just been his message. It’s not like, at least from of the more mainstream media, he’s gonna give a press conference and one of us is gonna stand up and say, ‘Oh, alleged mistress 13, what can you tell us about her?’ Nobody wants to be a part of that kind of circus. I think he told some very simple truths in that [press conference] statement. He [mentioned] entitlement, plus obviously he is very wealthy and that played a big role in why he decided that the rules don’t apply to him, and I think that’s a very common mindset among athletes unfortunately. They have more money and more means and more opportunity and more options than most and a lot of them take advantage of that, and he was no different, even though I think people believed that he was.

[More on Tiger’s chances at the Master’s and whether women will support his comeback on Pg. 2]