Jan
31
2017
Twilight zone: Tiger Woods flies commercial from LA to Dubai
By Stephanie Wei under European Tour

We’ve been in the twilight zone for quite some time now — at the very least 11 days now, but I’d argue far longer. I know we’ve truly entered golf’s WTF era when I heard the news (first reported by ESPN.com’s Bob Harig) that Tiger Woods took a COMMERCIAL FLIGHT — not a PRIVATE JET — from LAX to Dubai! (However, he did take take a private plane from San Diego to LA.) It was the first time in probably 10 years, he told ESPN. 

Man, it must have been the first time he had ever seen one of the new body scanners that you go through via security, though it’s unclear if Tiger bypassed the crap we, the peasants, must be bothered with. At least he probably remembered that you have to take off your shoes. Maybe? Again, if he even had to bother dealing with security. I mean, since he never flies commercial, he couldn’t have applied for TSA pre-check (and I hear those application requests and screenings take months and months to go through these days — not sarcasm — as they should, with even those lines even starting to look longer than they should be!

However, Woods did face some of the “inconveniences” that normal people have to put up with when traveling. Well, that’s not an entirely true statement since this past weekend was actually quite a unique scenario. Like thousands of others trying to catch their flights out of airports across the country, they had a bit more trouble than usual because of the protests that broke out (with good reason) in light of President Bannon’s Trump’s Muslim ban — whoops, “immigration” policy, because it’s not like POTUS himself called it a “ban.

“We were on the other side of the terminal. You could see it,” Woods said Tuesday on the driving range at Emirates Golf Club. “But we just couldn’t get there.”

Woods had remained in the San Diego area after missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday. After practicing over the weekend, he took the short flight to Los Angeles, which was the site of one of many protests at airports across the United States over Trump’s executive order.

For the first time in what Woods estimated to be at least 10 years, he was taking a commercial flight, mostly because of the convenience of having a nonstop option from Los Angeles. It is unclear if some strings were pulled, but Woods arrived just 30 minutes prior to departure for a flight that left late.

Unclear. I’m going to interpret that as “clear.” But it’s unclear if this “delayed” flight was “delayed” to accommodate Tiger Woods. I’m sure he has Trump on speed dial after their recent golf outing!

I apologize to Tiger for assuming in my last post that he was taking Air Cat One to Dubai, but really, he should have taken my advice and left early for the Middle East for several reasons and it’s obvious he’s forgotten the factors that must be taken under consideration when flying at regular airports. He made some seriously amateur mistakes:

1) More time to get over the jet lag — 12-hour time difference from PDT! I know the ticket was booked in advance since he was flying commercial, but I also know he can afford to pay a change fee or difference in fare or whatever. Perhaps there wasn’t another direct flight on that airline until Sunday? I’d find that hard to believe — Dubai is far away, but it’s a major metropolitan city;

2) Why practice at Torrey when he could have practiced in Dubai and gotten more accustomed to the conditions for this week? (He loves Torrey so much that he couldn’t bear to leave and/or he doesn’t care since he’s already cashing in on a $3 million appearance fee);

3) Should’ve seen this coming after the protests started in smaller numbers Friday night!;

4) The protests grew much larger Saturday, and didn’t he see the millions of people around the country and world that gathered on Day 1 of Trump’s full first day as President?;

5) He flew private into the same airport! Does he not examine terminal maps before traveling??? I mean, don’t we all?? So obviously he should have moved up his flight from San Diego to LAX to account for the thousands protesting and obstructing these innocent people from having to put up with more inconvenience! Which was also completely the right thing to do, might I add, given the extreme circumstances and entirely un-Constitutional and bigoted undertones of the EO. (Don’t even try to tell me it’s NOT a “Muslim ban” — call it whatever you want, it’s still the same thing. And since we’re on the topic, don’t question my concern with “protecting our borders” and “national security” because I can throw a lot of ACTUAL REAL facts back at you if you want. Kind of like Press Sec Sean Spicer seriously claiming a 5-year-old refugee poses a threat.).

6) Tiger should’ve just said, “F**k it, Steiny, go get me some paper and pens, I need to make my sign and join them. There’s always another flight!” I know, alternate universe and more the way I roll, but would’ve been cool.;

7) Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to be in the first row with my hand raised vying for the first question to ask Tiger in his presser tomorrow about his feelings on the protests and EO.

But I digress. Woods arrived in Dubai around 3am and hardly got any sleep — join the club, I haven’t slept well in nearly two weeks and likely won’t for the unforeseeable future. Plus, Tiger doesn’t sleep, anyway! He got to Emirates GC around noon and headed for the range. You could see the European Tour players basically stop what they were doing and watch in awe and nearly fall over themselves to be in the presence of the GOAT. (Lots of big, big fans — big deal for many of these guys who don’t see Big Cat often or ever.)

I loved that Tiger took advantage of the European Tour’s rule of allowing players to wear shorts on non-competitive days! Perhaps he’s trying to send a message to the tour bosses in America? Who knows. I think he just enjoys wearing shorts. Like Lee Westwood — that guys seriously loves sporting shorts.

Over/under Tiger making the cut this week? I have yet to decide, but I think he’s going to struggle with jet lag and sleep and that long flight is likely going to take some kind of toll on his body (even if he’s healthy but I know for sure that no matter what it’s not good for anyone with even the slightest back issue and even for those who don’t have a history of back problems!).

Woods is paired in the first two rounds with Danny Willett, who has actually somehow never met Woods, and Matt Fitzpatrick. The threesome tees off at 8:15am local time on Thursday (11:15pm ET — I know some of you fools are going to be yawning at work Friday morning!).