How can Woods leave us any more shocked?

Tiger’s memoir – his ‘de­fin­i­tive story’ – sounds like a re­venge mis­sion, writes James Cor­ri­gan

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Final Whistle -

Tiger Woods in­tends to put the record straight and the pub­lish­ers of his yet-to-be-writ­ten mem­oirs in­sist that “the re­sult is go­ing to be ex­tra­or­di­nary”.

Of course, if this year in golf has told us any­thing other than the fact Ser­gio Gar­cia re­mains a bit of an id­iot, it is that we should never write off the man in the red shirt.

Yet if Woods ac­tu­ally man­ages to force open our eyes yet wider, then we should class it above his res­ur­rec­tion at the Masters in April.

In short, sur­pris­ing the world with a rev­e­la­tion about his life and ca­reer, would be Woods’s ul­ti­mate as­sault on the front pages. Why? Be­cause we know ev­ery­thing, or at least we think we do. What more can the most re­ported sports star in ex­is­tence pos­si­bly tell us?

An en­tire li­brary of books over the years has laid bare the de­tails of that sex scan­dal, charted his des­per­ate de­scent into a de­pen­dency on pre­scrip­tion medicines, and caused our jaws to hit the floor with rev­e­la­tions such as he was on the brink of quit­ting in his pomp to join the mil­i­tary.

Former coaches, former cad­dies, former doc­tors, former friends, former ri­vals, former girl­friends and so many former mis­tresses have filled in the blanks of that deeply flawed icon. So how is he go­ing to make us any more shocked in Back?

By telling us Hank Haney erred in The Big Miss and, in fact, Tiger was not con­sid­er­ing re­tir­ing from golf to join the Navy Seals, but in­stead to sign up with One Di­rec­tion? That writer Robert Lusetich was in­cor­rect in Un­playable in stat­ing Woods’s wife Elin chased him with a golf club be­fore he crashed into that fire hy­drant, when she was in fact wield­ing an AK47? That, no, there were not 14 mis­tresses as al­most ev­ery chron­i­cler claimed, but ac­tu­ally 365 and 366 in leap years?

Ex­cept this course of ex­treme self-ex­po­sure is not what was sug­gested in Tues­day’s press re­lease an­nounc­ing the Harper Collins deal. Rather it sounded like Woods on one of his para­noid re­venge mis­sions. “I’ve been in the spot­light for a long time and, be­cause of that, there have been books and ar­ti­cles and TV shows about me, most filled with er­rors, spec­u­la­tive and wrong,” he said. “This book is my de­fin­i­tive story.”

So what ex­actly do you crave to di­gest? Surely noth­ing more about those ex­tra-mar­i­tals and that degra­da­tion which fea­tured on the front page of the New York Post for 20 days in suc­ces­sion? Well, how about let­ting us in on the think­ing of em­ploy­ing a renowned sports doc­tor since con­victed for im­port­ing un­ap­proved drugs? Are we truly an­tic­i­pat­ing any­thing other than a de­nial on that score? In­deed, on mostly all scores, apart from those of which he has al­ready is­sued humbly-crafted mea cul­pas?

There may well be the odd juicy com­ment con­cern­ing his ri­vals, but when it comes to his game, all Woods can do is to pro­vide an in­sight into his mo­ti­va­tions and in­spi­ra­tions, into what drove him to break down the bar­ri­ers in such his­toric style.

How­ever, he has al­ready done this, cit­ing the huge in­flu­ence of Earl Woods and the de­mands and ex­pec­ta­tions placed upon him by a par­ent who pre­dicted “he will be big­ger than Gandhi”.

Might Tiger go fur­ther and view this zeal­ous men­tor­ship through a neg­a­tive prism? As a son, why should he do that pub­licly and as a fa­ther, why should he dis­close the ex­tent of his ad­dic­tion trou­bles, un­less he feels the need to help other suf­fer­ers who could take hope from his ex­am­ple? Now, there would be an ad­mirable project.

But if not, why is he do­ing this? For more money? To mark his won­drous come­back at Au­gusta by can­nily pub­lish­ing a sure-fire win­ner in the blaze of pub­lic­ity that will greet the run-up to next year’s Masters? To re­claim the nar­ra­tive, if not re­write it, and pil­lory those who have dared use his name, fame and in­famy to re­lease their own ac­counts?

Alas, a typ­i­cally bland PR job would only re-open the hon­ey­pot. Still, those roy­al­ties cer­tainly would be “ex­tra­or­di­nary”.

An en­tire li­brary has laid bare the de­tails of that sex scan­dal

Cham­pion: Tiger Woods cel­e­brates af­ter end­ing an 11-year ma­jor ti­tle drought by win­ning the Masters in April

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