By golly, Tiger Woods is a new man! In the spirit of change — or just normal human decency — Tiger has committed to two tournaments much earlier than previous years.
With more than a week left until the deadline, Tiger announced he would play in The Players — excuse me, THE PLAYERS Championship — where he’ll return to the site of his humiliating February 19 public apology at TPC Sawgrass. Oh, the memories!
He also announced his entry into the AT&T National, a tournament he’d hosted in previous years, but when AT&T dropped its sponsorship of him, the agreement also relinquished the hosting duties of one of its more active texters. The event, however, is still run by Team Tiger and proceeds will benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation.
While THE PLAYERS and the AT&T National have been on Tiger’s regular schedule in recent years, he’s always been infamous for waiting until the last moment to officially announce his entry. Last week he committed to next week’s Quail Hollow Championship with ample time, too.
Perhaps these gestures are signs of his commitment to show more respect and appreciation for the tournaments and the organizers. Or he just wants to make sure they have enough notice to implement the added security measures that will be necessary to ensuring his safety.
Either way, these moves have appeared to harness good will for Tiger. At least he’s not forcing everyone to play the guessing game, and more important, causing tournament organizers to waste money and resources on the chance he’ll enter or scramble to make last-minute arrangements to accommodate him.
Is this all indication that he no longer gets to set the rules? Or is it just an extension of the past precedent in line with the new world order?
To evoke the words of the great Bobby Jones, “You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.” You know, because these earth-shattering early(ish) commitments are basically what’s expected of every other Tour player.