On Friday, Tiger Woods will “break his silence” and make an official statement Friday morning from the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass, the headquarters of the PGA Tour in Florida. Like a sports analyst giving pre-game commentary, here’s my take: His statement needs to do four things: 1) Express believable self awareness. It has to be real, maybe even a little bit raw. 2) Make us see a little bit of ourselves in his description of his fall from grace. 3) Remind us of how much we love golf BECAUSE of Tiger Woods, without actually coming out and saying it. 4) He needs to mean every word he says. If this is lip service or an acting job, it’ll fall flat. Falling flat probably won’t hurt his golfing career, but he’ll lose the hearts and minds battle (which means loss of endorsements, ultimately).
I thought it would be fascinating (morbidly perhaps) to draft MY version of what Tiger should say during that press conference. Just so we’re clear: Tiger Woods is not my client. I don’t have any connection to him whatsoever.
Thanks for coming. Given how many things in the world deserve our focus these days, I am deeply ashamed that my problems have hijacked so much of our collective attention. For this, and so many other things, I am sorry.
For the past several weeks, I have been going through what can only be described as a hellish journey of self discovery. Anyone who has struggled with and conquered an addiction knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Like many addicts, I had successfully kept parts of my life compartmentalized, living several different lives at the same time. It allowed me to justify disgusting behavior, and allowed me to lie to myself and others. And for a long time, it worked. Then of course, one tiny thread was pulled, and my entire life unraveled, taking my wife, my children and my career down with it.
Coming out of an intense period of revelation, tackling some of the darkest corners of my mind and my experiences, I can say with all honesty –I’m not “healed.” I’m not “whole.” But I’m working on it, and crawling my way out of this self-made nightmare one day at a time.
Part of my recovery and journey back to integrity is to devote myself wholly to my true loves – my wife, my children and my sport – Golf. The matter of my family is a private one. But my love of the sport is a public one.
It is my intention to get back to the game that has given so much to me. I grew up in the company of golfers – professional and amateur, and I crave their company and the experience of walking the green, and making contact with that ball. I know I don’t deserve it, but I’m hoping that you - the fans and the golf community - will allow me back into the sport.
As we all now know, I’m not the role model I made myself out to be. But maybe there’s room for a different kind of role model, one who can tackle his own terrible flaws head on, and show that it is possible to heal what has been so badly broken.
Now… let’s see what he actually says. I’ll be on the edge of my seat.