Maybe it’s time Tiger Woods takes a break from the spotlight, for himself

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tiger needs to step out of the spotlight.

It’s been painful to watch my favorite golfer to ever swing a club fall off the wagon. For the past few years, he’s taken breaks to recover from his back injuries, only to return to the scene and implode.

I suppose it’s my fault for getting excited every time he announced his return. Can you blame me, though? I watched him dominate for a decade. We all did. He was the greatest player. Ever.

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Nobody has enjoyed seeing his fall from grace.

Early yesterday morning, the fall ended with a big, nasty splat. Tiger was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Jupiter, Florida around 3 a.m. The latest CNN report says he was found asleep at the wheel on the side of the road. According to Tiger, who has had too many back surgeries to count at this point, he had an unexpected reaction to some medication he was taking for rehab.

He said in a statement that he did not realize the medication would affect him so strongly.

Then there’s the mugshot. It’s hard to look at it. Tiger looked bloated with a scruffy beard and baggy eyes. He stayed in jail for hours and eventually was released.

Tiger’s off-course problems have haunted him for nearly nine years. After crashing his SUV in 2009 driving drunk as a skunk, and the subsequent drama over his sex addiction, everything seemed to get caught in a downward spiral. It was like he couldn’t control much of anything—his personal life, his golf game, his image.

He still appears in advertisements alongside younger players like Jason Day and Rory McIlroy. Even those seem off, though, knowing Tiger hasn’t seriously competed in a major tournament in years, and let’s be honest, probably never will again.

His best course of action, I think, is to step away from the public eye and step away from the game. This unfortunate development in Tiger’s disappointing latter years leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. No more announcing his return, no more terrible performances, no more news stories.

Out of the spotlight, and out of our minds. For how long? A few years, at least. That’s the only way he’s really going to heal.

I can always watch the endless highlight videos from his golden years.

I’d rather remember those moments than these more recent ones.