Veteran Mark O’Meara has been one of Tiger’s mentors and close friends since he joined the PGA Tour. The two are also neighbors at Isleworth. Remember the ridiculous e-mail chain story that popped up, like, a dozen times in everyone and their uncles’ inboxes? The one where it was alleged Tiger had been playing poker at O’Meara’s house the night of the accident. Given O’Meara’s comments, it seems less likely there was any credibility to it. He appears to be just as much in the dark as the rest of us.
Since the accident O’Meara has tried to call Tiger to offer his support, but none of his calls have been returned. Speaking in a media conference call for the Toshiba Classic, he confessed:
To be honest with you, I haven’t spoken to Tiger (recently). I care very deeply about Tiger, and I think everybody knows our relationship has been very, very close. I also care about Elin and their children, the family…Until I personally speak to Tiger, it’s difficult to predict or say where he’s at. But I wish him the best.
Which just shows how closed off Tiger has been since he went into hiding. When O’Meara was asked about Tiger’s silence to the public, he hesitated before responding:
I guess he’s got all these advisors. I’m not an advisor. But I would have handled it differently, myself personally. Whether he’s handled it right or wrong, only time will decide that…The reason I haven’t said anything to the media, it wouldn’t do me any good making a comment. I certainly don’t want to offend my friend.
But as Steve Elling reports, O’Meara said Tiger’s decision to not address the scandal publicly is just part of his stubborn personality:
Tiger is being Tiger. You guys have spent a lot of time with him and seen how he is. A lot of times, why I don’t say anything is, it wouldn’t do me any good to make a comment. I certainly don’t want to offend my friend, but if he asked me my personal opinion about something, I’m going to give it to him. That would obviously be between he and I, but I would have handled it differently. But he’s a different guy than Mark O’Meara.
And here’s O’Meara’s take on the whole fiasco:
I realize what happened is not a good scenario. It’s disappointing what has happened. As his friend, I’ll tell him that personally. But that doesn’t take away from the fact I would want to try to help my friend any way I could. But until I get asked, it’s difficult to give advice. I’m in a position where I tried to contact him a few times and let him know I’m thinking about him and his family.
That’s what friends are for, right? Maybe Tiger should remember who his real friends are and reach out to them — you know, like picking up the phone to return O’Meara’s calls. But I’d probably still steer clear of Sir Charles and His Airness for now.