Few would doubt that, once upon a time, Eldrick Tont Woods put together the greatest decade professional golf has even seen.
This roughly coincided with the latter part of the Clinton administration, on through the George W. tenure, and briefly into the Obama years.
He was winning seemingly everything. Tiger's relentless march toward Jack Nicklaus's all-time record of 18 major titles was almost a foregone conclusion. If was not a matter of if -- but when.
During that time, incredibly, not only was Woods far and away ranked #1, but in many tournaments he was the preferred choice to win over the entire field. That, in itself, showed his utter dominance.
And then the wheels fell off.
First, we were treated to the spectacle of his wife, Elin Nordgren, a beauty by any standards, chasing dear Tiger with one of his own golf clubs. Evidently, she appeared more than eager to inflict bodily harm upon his person -- perhaps take a divot out of his head.
This is what typically happens when a wife finds out her husband has been fooling around with as many as a dozen other women on the side. They tend to be a bit touchy when it comes to such things. Go figure.
In his haste to escape, yon Tiger wound up driving his car into some shrubbery on his own property. Not a pretty sight to say the least.
By most accounts, Tiger's little sexual escapades cost him upwards of $100 million when Elin inevitably and rightfully filed for divorce. She up and moved herself and their kids back to her native Sweden.
Then his golf game fell apart. Forget winning -- Tiger got to the point where he was lucky to even make a cut.
Along the way, he had four back surgeries which, to date, don't seem to have totally fixed what ailed him. Just a thought, but he might want to consider taking his business to another team of surgeons somewhere. How many whacks should they get before they're expected to get it right?
I mean c'mon. This guy's only a golfer. He swings golf clubs, his bag is carried by a caddy, and he strolls along the most luxurious golf courses in the world. It's not like he's a mixed-martial arts fighter in the Octagon. So how hard can it be to get in shape for what he does for a living?
And now, on this Memorial Day, poor Tiger has been busted for a DUI. This happened in Jupiter, Florida, not far from his primary residence there.
Yours truly has a friend and his wife that have a place in roughly the same neighborhood as Tiger (been there a few times), and my friend expressed astonishment that Woods was busted at all. According to "Joe", Jupiter is a place where money talks. If one has enough of it, they can typically BUY their way out of any complications with law-enforcement types --see cops. Evidently, Eldrick had the misfortune of running into an honest one bent on doing the job they are sworn to. Oops.
His booking mug shot shown on TV was -- shall we say -- less than flattering. Woods appeared like he was "three sheets" indeed. But that would be jumping to conclusions.
Yet it's probably a pretty safe bet that a blood sample was taken. So far, results unknown. Remember, this was on a federal holiday, and all the government types get a paid day off. Including the lab folks that analyze such samples.
But it will shortly become a public record and the world will know just what his blood-alcohol content was. The reporters will be all over it until they get what they want and are able to broadcast it. Probably within the next day or two.
Depending on what that number comes back as will likely determine how hard Tiger is punished. Chances of jail time? Virtually zero but, at the very least, it's going to cost him a few thousand bucks (and a former sponsor or three). This is chump-change in his world, of course, but the bigger hit will come to his already not-so-good reputation.
And he's still no closer to making any sort of "comeback", which was doubtful enough even BEFORE this latest "my bad" occurrence.
[As an aside, yours truly always finds it comical when the usual arm-chair anti-alcohol puritans deign to deliver words from on high following such a scenario. They will say Woods made a dumb decision by getting behind the wheel of an automobile after having too much to drink. Well -- no kidding. Hey, if one's already "in the bag" -- see drunk -- it pretty much goes with the territory that making foolish choices is a part of it. Hello?]
Nevertheless, Eldrick Tont Woods may or may not have finally hit rock bottom with his latest charade.
Though this author was never a fan of his, even back in his hey-day -- and yes -- I can root for and against whomever I wish -- one of the few rights that hasn't yet been eroded by Big Brother -- dear Tiger seems to have checked off another box in the category of "you shouldn't have done that".
In sum, a once promising career and wild popularity has pretty much turned into a train wreck over the last several years.
Here's hoping he snaps out of it and makes something out of the rest of his life.
We shall see.......