It all started with what appeared to be an innocent vehicular accident that involved Tiger Woods leaving his California Home. The world held its breath as reports of the world’s #1 golfer was said to be in serious condition – never mind that it would later turn out to be the result of a domestic scuffle when Elin Nordgren, Tiger’s wife, discovered that her husband had an affair.
While the alleged mistress, Rachel Uchitel, was milking her fifteen minutes of fame, Tiger Woods had to endure a very public scandal that ultimately revealed he had affairs with 12 other women including a porn actress. A very messy divorce ensued that resulted in a fall out Tiger may not have anticipated.
The things Tiger lost
Following the divorce, Tiger handed over $750 million dollars in the divorce settlement and legal custody of his kids to his wife. He also lost millions of dollars in endorsements and his game was greatly affected.
Although Elin Nordgren has clarified in an interview that her marriage to Tiger did not involve any violence of sorts, and has been gracious about the whole affair, the divorce has blasted Tiger’s reputation to smithereens. Never mind that women were popping left and right claiming to have an affair with the golfer or that infamous voicemail that showed Woods begging a woman he had an affair with to change her voice mail greeting.
Woods may have had legal custody of his children but his wife gets physical custody of Sam and Charlie. This means that he only gets to participate in major decisions involving them and visitation rights.
As a consequence of the Woods’ admission that he cheated on his wife and in an attempt to shield her children from their father’s womanizing, Elin imposed a no girl friend policy that required Woods not to expose his children to any woman he is not married to. Only women not romantically linked to Woods and personal staff know to Nordgren will be allowed around the children.
To make matters worse, Tiger lost $100 million in endorsements from Accenture, AT & T and Gatorade. His golf bag, that clients fought over just to get their brand, carried only his name. Nordgren also discovered that Tiger was worth more than what was initially believed after she hired a private detective to dig up her husband’s interests and assets. She also got hold of financial documents that showed how much Tiger was really worth.
During that difficult time of his life, Tiger failed to win the PGA Tour for the first time. In the nine of the 13 tournaments he joined, he finished a career low placing 68th on the money list. His biggest paycheck was only $330,000 when a year earlier he was getting an average of $618,127 for every tournament he played.
His competitors no longer intimidated; the constant butt of jokes wherever he turned, it wasn’t a good year for Tiger Woods simply because he cheated on his wife.
After a self destructive year that saw Tiger Woods at his lowest, he has apparently gained a new perspective in life mending relationships and getting his game back. He has even found a new love.
Realizing that the public will always remember his downfall, he doesn’t play dumb but goes on to apologize for the mistakes he has made. His emotional resilience tested at his limits he has since accepted that he may not be able to control what other people thought of him.
He has also admitted that during the divorce his mind was not on his game and he would miss not having his children around during tournaments. Not wanting to remain beaten up he has since written a guest column for Newsweek accepting consequences and taking responsibility with the ongoing struggle to learn from his failings.
Woods has since moved on after his divorce when he declared on his Facebook page that he has found new love in the person of Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn.
Was it worth in the long run?
Although it never fails to surprise us, celebrity scandals always get our attention. Tiger Woods defined golf in such a way that he was the face of the modern sport. Despite his success, it has not made him immune from scandal. The backlash of his indiscretion has resulted in his fall from grace and the loss of his endorsements. In an attempt to save his marriage, he also had to spend 2 months in therapy.
While Tiger is slowly working his way up, he could have avoided this messy chapter in his career by staying faithful to his wife. Nothing good has ever come out of Infidelity – something celebrities and athletes should keep in mind. Having your family beside you is certainly better than having to deal with the consequences of infidelity: a divorce that may not necessarily leave you better off than when you first started out playing around.
This certainly is a very costly lesson for Tiger Woods. Hopefully, he has learned from it well enough to move on and change.