Speaking to reporters at the Dubai Desert Classic, the well-respected eight-time major champion Tom Watson didn’t hold back from offering some harsh words for Tiger. Watson believes Tiger needs to own up to his mistakes and apologize:
I’ll let the cat out of the bag. Tiger has to take ownership of what he has done. He must get his personal life in order. I think that’s what he’s trying to do. And when he comes back he has to show some humility to the public. I would come out and I would do an interview with somebody and say, ‘You know what? I screwed up. And I admit it. I am going to try to change. I am trying to change. I want my wife and family back.’
Watson also feels Tiger has disrespected the sanctity of the game with his on-course antics:
I feel that he has not carried the same stature that other great players that have come along like Jack [Nicklaus], Arnold [Palmer], Byron Nelson, the Hogans, in the sense that there was language and club throwing on the golf course. You can grant that of a young person that has not been out here for a while. But I think he needs to clean up his act and show the respect for the game that other people before him have shown.
Tiger has been widely criticized for his punk-ass attitude, but he never took heed to the criticisms because, well, he felt like he could do whatever he pleased. When he does return, odds are the “I am Tiger Woods” mantra will be less tolerated. So, Tiger, listen to your elders, particularly a class act like Watson.