Expect Woods to clear this roadblock, too

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Superman has been weakened by the strongest and oldest form of kryptonite: The femme fatale. Or, in this case, apparently the plural version.

Podcast episode

PGA Tour

When will Tiger Woods return to Tour?

Alex Miceli discusses the latest developments with Tiger Woods and predicts when Woods will return to the PGA Tour.

Download podcast

A dozen or so years ago, after Tiger Woods turned professional and started putting golf in a full nelson, I wrote more than once that only two things could stop Woods: injury and the wrong woman. That was common sense, not clairvoyance.

As it happened, injury temporarily sidelined golf’s most prominent figure ever but hardly slowed him down. He won the 2008 U.S. Open on a broken leg and, after reconstructive knee surgery, bagged six PGA Tour titles in 2009.

Next, we will witness how Woods the golfer responds to sex scandal and marital problems.

At issue now are two unanswered questions:

1) In light of what Woods referred to as regrettable “transgressions” in a statement on his Web site, will wife Elin forgive or flee? Will she stay or will she go? This story is as much about the private woman now as about the public man. As human beings, we should wish them peace and wisdom as they sort through the rubble and make decisions.

The first inquiry is linked to the second:

2) How will all of this affect Woods’ golf in 2010? We will soon find out. Time never lies. It also heals.

Some of that answer, of course, depends on the extent of marital damage and the aftermath.

Still, we can speculate because historically Woods has been resilient and focused. He won that Open on a broken leg. And soon after his father died in 2006, he started a streak of seven consecutive Tour victories.

In other words, don’t bet against him on green grass. He has been known to play with a vengeance, in good times and bad. This time, it would be a large understatement to say he’s steamed by the voyeuristic feeding frenzy of the past week.

That was clear today by his statement, in which he apologized for letting his family down and expressed regret for those “transgressions.”

Two things about the statement struck me:

1) Unfortunately, he spent much more space pleading for and preaching about privacy than he did apologizing. Playing defense with offense is nothing new. I agree that everyone should give the man his space; his marriage is a private matter. That said, he has no one to blame but himself – not the news media, not other parties.

2) The statement came via Web site instead of in front of a camera. Woods doesn’t owe us much more than golf performance, but a more personal act of contrition would have been a nice touch for a public that has lined his pockets with a billion dollars. People are a forgiving lot, but they tend to like their apologies in a form that can be seen, heard and felt.

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