Tiger Woods: A pretty good career, nothing more, nothing less

Now that we are clearly in the early days of the Rory McIlroy golf era, we can look back at the Tiger Woods era with clear eyes.

Final judgement: A pretty good career, well above journeyman level, but far short of “great” (a very overused word these days).

Numerically, Woods posted good numbers.  However, just like Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods’s numbers are tainted.  Visits from Anthony Galea (doping doctor extraordinaire, and about whom Woods lied) and Biogenesis connections leave little doubt that Woods’s advantage over his peers was the use of PEDs.

And Tim Finchem is probably the most corrupt commissioner in all of sports.  That’s saying something when we consider how Roger Goodell has tried to cover up domestic abuse in the NFL, and how Bud Selig ignored PED use in baseball.  Knowing that dishonesty is rampant at the commissioner level in other sports, is there any doubt that Finchem would cover up or turn a blind eye to connections between Tiger Woods and PEDs?

When it comes to legacy, remember this: Baseball fans still talk about Babe Ruth.  Bobby Bonds is already an asterisked footnote.

Woods won many tournaments, and we can assume he would have won some number of them without PEDs, so it would be far-fetched to say Woods would have struggled to keep his PGA Tour card.  I think Woods would have had a career much like, say, Charles Howell III or Hunter Mahan.  Very respectable.

Why was there such a disconnect between the reality and the perception regarding Tiger Woods’s career?  Let’s put it this way: The only part of Woods’s career that was not overhyped was the hype.

Woods will be long-remembered as the most overhyped sportsman in history.

For social and political reasons, Tiger Woods always received more attention than deserved.  We also live in an age of declining IQ scores in America.  It’s very easy to become a “megastar” nowadays.  Compare the big stars of Woods’s day with Jack Nicklaus’s.  Jack’s peers were Muhammad Ali and the Beatles and and Secretariat.  Woods’s were Paris Hilton and Tila Tequila and YouTube cat videos.  Jack shared the stage with Kareem Abdul Jabbar of the L.A. Lakers, Woods with Paula Abdul of American Idol.  “Famous for being famous” is the buzz phrase of the 21st century.  Deserving of fame?  Who cares!

As we wrote yesterday, there is reason to believe things are changing.  Rory McIlroy is aiming to win the Grand Slam.  Instead of inventing a “Rory Slam” to try to gain fame dishonestly, Rory is grabbing the bull by the horns.

I am elated that golf once again has a hero who is… heroic.

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31 Responses to Tiger Woods: A pretty good career, nothing more, nothing less

  1. Anonymous says:

    Are you sure your precious Rory isn’t on PED’s himself? Remember, he’s pretty jacked himself, and under the same swooshie umbrella.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dumps girlfriend and puts on pounds of muscle in a matter of weeks. No way that happens by simply living in the gym.

    • lannyh says:

      Well, Nike has had more than their share of PED using athletes. And murdering athletes, and wife-beating athletes, etc., etc.
      But I’ve never seen anything reported about Dr. Galea or the like paying private visits to Dr. Galea. Woods’s name is said to be on the Biogenesis list, but until Finchem releases the names, we just have to speculate about what other golfers might be on the list.

  2. sretsam68 says:

    Wow! Scathing article…I agree with much of it – especially the part about Finchem. He’s not only corrupt, but the most boring individual I have ever seen. Zero charisma or leadership. He would be nothing without Beman setting the job up for him.

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. Anonymous says:

    Lanny I agree with your assessment. Obviously the guy has talent, we cannot deny that, and it would be far fetched to say he would have struggled to keep his card. But the whole thing is farce. You used the best adjective when referring to Woods’ numbers “tainted”. Do you think this “doubt” or “I wonder” will follow him forever similar to Roger Clemens? Hopefully in time the truth will come out and Tiger will be exposed for the fraud that he has always been. If this does come out one day do you think the PGA will strip him of his majors?

    • lannyh says:

      It will follow him, but more people will define him by his lying regarding other aspects of his image. If you just take the stuff he’s admitted to, that almost reaches “beyond a reasonable doubt.” I’m talking about the visits from Galea, which were made worse by his indications that there were only four or five when, as “Blood Sport” showed us, there were at least 14. Woods also hid the number, apparently, from Hank Haney so he could use Haney as a stooge to “verify” a low number of visits.

      I don’t think they will strip him of his majors, especially as it appears he’ll stay south of Nicklaus.. For one thing, those majors are overseen by four different governing bodies, right? If Woods goes on Oprah someday and admits to doping, yeah, maybe then, but as long as a narrative can be crafted to maintain he didn’t take PEDs — no matter how obvious it becomes that he did — they will stick by that. [Of course, golf didn’t ban PEDs until relatively recently, so there couldn’t be an official objection to those wins, anyway. However, it would add to the “Tiger is a joke” reality people are coming to accept. One other thing, often a narrative is more powerful than a reality. Woods’s bulking up and breaking down means more to many people than Galea and Biogenesis. They may say, “Woods gained muscle mass, he took steroids,” and feel validated in their view. Or they may say, “I gained weight lifting weights and never took steroids, therefore Woods didn’t take PEDs.” Humans can come to firmly-held views based on nothing more than narratives they badly want to believe. Most people said they didn’t think Lance Armstrong used PEDs right up until the Oprah admission.]

      It’s a real mess, though. I think it will really hit the fan when we find out who all Finchem has been covering up for. Because of DJ, we now know the question of coverups by Finchem is not “if,” but “who.” Woods’s believability rates 0 on a scale from 1-10, so he’s definitely the type to cheat.

      I saw today that Lebron James has lost 40 lbs. Coincidentally, the NBA is going to test for HGH this next season. Too funny. Of course, the Biogenesis list was a long one, linked to many sports, but we’ve only officially heard baseball names.

      There will probably be a desire by the golf media to refer to Woods as a “golfing legend,” but I don’t think it will work or matter. Woods’s appeal was to television viewers, and those are, to the golf industry, ultimately of little importance. Equipment manufacturers, course owners, instructors, etc., care a lot more about people who actually play.

      The world revolves around personal enrichment (money or power), but golf itself stands apart from that. There’s something fun about whacking a ball with a stick and trying to get it to go where you want better than your buddies. The whole Tiger Woods hype machine revolved around money and power, and, ultimately, that has no relevance to the native fun of the game.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well said. Thank you for answering my question. What are the odds Woods and Mcilroy will be paired together in the first round at the Masters this April?

    • lannyh says:

      I don’t have a guess on that one. I’m drawing a blank on how they do pairings there. The only first round pairing I can even recall was Rickie, Rory, and Jason in 2010.

  6. Rory and Tiger will not be paired together as Rory won two majors and Tiger did not. Sorry lannyh try as you might Tiger will go down in history as one of the top 3 to ever play the game. No one can say he or Jack or Ben were the best ever because different eras are impossible to compare in my mind.

    You are living in a fantasy world if you think Tiger or any other golfer for that matter who is up near the top of the game would ever use drugs to help them win. Outside of use for treatment which they can get waived by requesting a TUE there is no benefit for using PEDs. Bulking up only helps with part of them game and would hinder another important part of the game which is touch around the greens.

    It’s funny how you claim he used and then stopped using and he can’t win majors now…what is this miracle “majors winning only drug”? The only thing I give you credit for is you don’t try and hide your “dislike” for Tiger and you are up front about it. The rest of what you spew is all conjecture and “hopes and dreams” you will be right!

    It has been 6 years of drug testing on the PGA tour and yet the only one busted was poor old Doug Barron. He told them he was taking drugs so he could live a better life outside of golf and they did not let him off the hook so he failed the test. That is it! Those will be the only types that fail the test because golf is clean of PEDs.

    It’s a disgrace that anyone acting like they love golf would try and tarnish the game with these conspiracy theories like you and a couple of others. But, if you like a good conspiracy then one only needs to look at Rory McIlroy as we all saw with no shirt on after Ryder Cup this kid is way to cut to not be on PEDs! If any golfer is juicing its Rory McIlroy.

    He has shown some of the other traits of a juicer…problems with women. Displays of anger and acting childish…bending club at USD Open at Merion and then walking off the golf course and then saying a bad tooth. Cursing repeatedly on the golf course and then in the WGC in between the two majors he won he slams the club into his hand so hard he took a chunk of flesh out of his hand.

    Leaving not one but two management companies and having lawsuits all around him from management to sponsors. He even has a lawsuit against a fellow player in GMAC. Sounds like things could get interesting for the next great player!!

    • lannyh says:

      I didn’t get a chance to carefully read what you wrote, but I already see some nonsense. Where did I ever say Woods stopped during his majorless streak? I don’t know when he cycles on and off, but I do know that Biogenesis broke only 14 months ago (well, Woods’s connection to it, from Terez Owens’ report), and that was well into his majorless streak.

      I can only laugh at your contention that golfers use PEDs to bulk up? Do you think that’s why Lance Armstrong used them, too? Did he look like Hulk Hogan on two wheels?
      Marathon runners have also been caught using steroids, one of them weighing 92 pounds. Have you ever read the PGA Tours Anti-Doping Policy Manual? If not, do so right away. They list many ways PEDs aid golfers.

    • lannyh says:

      Wait a minute. Golf only tests urine, and any doping doc worth his pay can mask steroids in urine in his sleep. By the way, Lance Armstrong — subjected to much tougher blood-testing — never failed a test either.

      I don’t know what you mean about Rory on the course. He walked off the course, yes, that’s one. And I saw him scream “F—!” once (around the same time). Other than that, I don’t know what you have in mind. Woods, of course, had such outbursts every round he didn’t shoot well.

      Of course, there’s this question: What effect does Rory’s behavior have on Woods? If Rory turns out to be a combination of Lance Armstong and Keith Richards, would that make Woods’s doping hunky-dory?

      • Well, the Biogenesis court issues appear over and we anxiously await the release of Tiger using PEDs. Are you expecting me to believe that not one person involved in that court case that would have knowledge that Tiger Woods was involved and nothing has been released yet outside of the gossip column and your blog….

        well your blog is as close as you can get to a gossip column or at the very least the new reality blog of conspiracy theories! You keep waiting for it to come but I would say Rickie Fowler has got a better chance of getting that 2nd win that’s for sure!!

      • lannyh says:

        The Biogenesis court case? Taking HGH and steroids is not illegal, but it is against PGA Tour rules. Tim Finchem is covering up for Woods, just as other sports commissioners have tried to cover up.

        You are low on logic, but obviously high on emotion. Look, your hero turned out to be a zero. Get over it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You are living in a fantasy world if you think Woods would not do whatever it takes to beat Nicklaus’ record. You also stated no top golfer would do drugs to help them win or tarnish the game they love. You obviously haven’t given much thought to the type of mindset Tiger possesses. He will look and use whatever means necessary to gain an edge and accomplish is goal. People can say what they want but all the evidence is there regarding PED and steroid use, you just need to take the blinders off. Woods has soiled and disgraced the game several times without so much as a mea culpa. His behavior should be a lesson to all on how not to conduct yourself as a human being. The cussing, the spiting, the club throwing, the tantrums, all actions of a little spoiled brat who can’t handle the fact that something didn’t go his way.How many times has he been caught cheating? (Four times alone in 2013) Even after the drop at the masters he still refused to take responsibility and maintained he did not break any rules. A person with any real love and respect for the game would have withdrew for signing an incorrect card but he once again put himself above the game and his peers. And let’s not forget the famous “I thought the ball oscillated” (Give me a break that ball moved a mile) we had to choke on that sound bite for weeks.
    I have given much thought to the changes in young Rory as of late. It does make one wonder. And who knows maybe his new mentor Tiger schooled him on to get away with it.

    P.S. Please don’t throw the race card my way. One of my favorite golfers of all time is Lee Trevino. I’m also a big Jim Dent fan as well.

    • Please enlighten us as to the 4 times he cheated in 2013. As for the Master’s rule he did not disagree with the rule so you are wrong with that statement. Tiger took his 2 stroke penalty and went on about his business.

      Why should he have DQ’d himself when it was the committee that caused any problems. They were informed before Tiger finished his round and they should have brought it up to him when he completed his round not the next day.

      Also, no response is needed since you claim ” Give me a break that ball moved a mile” since no one could tell at normal speed and it took slow motion high definition video to even be able to tell any movement.

      I never brought up race but it seems you did…why is that?

      I’d respond to LannyH but he is a lost cause when it comes to Tiger and not worth wasting breath on!!

      • lannyh says:

        Woods knew. He immediately reacted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rules infractions in 2013:
        1. Takes an illegal drop out of a bush at the Abu Dhabi HSBC. Assessed two stroke penalty results in missed cut.
        2. Illegal drop on No. 15 at the Masters.
        3. Takes an illegal drop at the TPC after a snap hooked dive on no. 14 that never saw any real estate from the time it left the tee box. Walks up 250 yards and drops on the other side of the water. (You can watch the footage on youtube)
        4.BMW: Ball moved after attempting to move some sticks and twigs from the surrounding area.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This bothers me. “A pretty good career, nothing more, nothing less”. 14 majors and 79 W’s with 6-8 more years to go? Really?

    By saying that, you’re essentially saying that the Tom Watsons’, Phil Mickelson’s, Nick Faldos’, Lee Trevino’s, Seve Ballesteros’s, etc had horrible careers.

    Tiger would have been a Charles Howell III or Hunter Mahan? With that statement you are saying that TW was using PED’s since his first day on tour. The first time PED’s came up was in 2009.

    From the time TW came on the scene, to 2005, he won 46 times including 10 majors and 10 WGC’s. There was no hint of contact with Galea to this point in 2005. That’s a pretty average career…46 W’s including 10 Majors.

  9. James Langan says:

    Lanny, have you seen the pictures of Tiger at Stanford for Notah Begay’s HOF induction ceremony, held last weekend? It’s incredible how much of his famous muscle has ebbed away post Dr. Galea. Just take a look at some shots of Tiger in his physical pomp (2008 US Open snaps are handy reference points) and compare it to today – the difference is remarkale.

    Why does no one else seem to notice or comment on this? Surely this adds weight to the ‘Tiger was juicing’ theory (theory being generous as you would have to be hopelessly naive to believe he has always been clean).

  10. James Langan says:

    Lanny, have you seen the pictures of Tiger at Stanford last weekend for Notah Begay’s HOF induction ceremony? It’s incredible how much of his famous muscle has ebbed away post Dr. Galea. Just take a look at some shots of Tiger in his physical pomp (2008 US Open snaps are handy reference points) and compare it to today – the difference is remarkable.

    Why does no one else seem to notice or comment on this? Surely this adds weight to the ‘Tiger was juicing’ theory (theory being generous as you would have to be hopelessly naive to believe he has always been clean).

    • lannyh says:

      I have not seen them. I’ll take a look and maybe toss up a comparison photo.

    • Since he has had many months recovering from injuries and especially with a bad back I am sure that is why he may appear smaller. It could be what he was wearing because he still looked good on Jimmy Fallon’s show with Rory!

      I have asked before please tell us when Tiger started feeling the need for PEDs …was it when he was winning the Master’s by a dozen shots his first full year on tour? Or, was it when he won 2 times out of his first 9 events as a pro? Or, was it when he was winning 3 straight US Amateur’s?

      No wait, I know when it was…when he was winning those 3 straight US Juniors at age 14,15 and 16! No, No, I got it…it was right after the Ed Sullivan show when he was just a toddler right?!!

  11. James Langan says:

    Excellent. Keep up the good work, Lanny.

  12. Anonymous says:

    TW when he entered the tour vs. TW now

    Might want to look at Ror’s when he entered vs. now

    People…maturation happens.

  13. Bo Jackson never used steroids…please cite proof. How do you know anything about what he did and didn’t do while competing as an athlete. Back in those days it was so easy to get away with it because there was no rule in football to stop him from using.

    His word means nothing so please show some other proof!

    • lannyh says:

      You can’t prove a negative. If you want to comment here, you need to raise your intellectual level.

      It’s well-known Bo Jackson never took steroids. That you would claim he did shows how desperate you are.

      The charade is over, my friend. Woods had secret visits from Galea, which he lied about. If clean, why would he do that?

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