On the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, golfer Tiger Woods' carefully crafted image — one he spent more than a decade painstakingly polishing — started to unravel. At first, fans gasped at the thought he was involved in a horrific car accident, one that some reports said left him clinging to life. But as the hours and days passed, tales of infidelity, threats and a double life emerged, shattering the belief that the athletic icon was a faithful husband and family man. Over the next few years, his golf game suffered along with his reputation, Woods losing his No. 1 ranking. Soon, he was considered "just another golfer" on the PGA Tour. But over the past few months, Woods' game — tweaked year after year with caddie after caddie — returned, and so did the wins. His love life turned, too, as he recently revealed he is dating famed skiier Lindsey Vonn. But while he may be back at No. 1, has his reputation fully healed? PULSE looks at all the angles:
RETURN OF THE KING: Woods has found his game again ... and we can all take pleasure in that
We all reserve the right to change our lives. That's the underpinning of everything from self-help hustling to religious conversion to psychoanalysis to "The Biggest Loser" to many of the greatest novels. The New Me may be the biggest schlock business in the world or the deepest philosophy. Some of it's bogus, some of it's gold, who knows which is which, and to each his own. But nobody denies our right to a new leaf, a radical reinvention of ourselves or the correction of deep personal problems. You take it where you find it. Tiger Woods seems to have found it, for the time being at least, and longer we can hope, in Buddhism, sex-addiction therapy, a putting tip from Steve Stricker and a romance with legendary skier Lindsay Vonn. "It's a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack." CLICK HERE FOR MORE
POWER COUPLE: Can athetes rack up wins and relationships together?
Call us naive, but frankly, we think this Tiger Woods-Lindsey Vonn thing might work. We'll stipulate that how they took their relationship public Monday was little odd. A big announcement on Facebook — who does that? Although there's some savvy in getting ahead of the rumors, one celebrity PR maven argues, "They said way too much," overspinning and oversharing (those photos!) in a way that looked like a publicity stunt and made us all a little uneasy. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Page 2 of 2 - IN ADVERTISING, JUST WIN, BABY: Nike ad causes a stir while announcing Woods' return
No sooner had Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and regained the No. 1 ranking in the world than Nike celebrated the moment on Facebook and Twitter. The company that sponsors Woods proclaimed, in his own words, “Winning takes care of everything.” It’s a phrase he often uses when talking to reporters about himself and other golfers. But because this is Tiger Woods, Nike’s swaggering post is also being perceived as a reminder of his not-so-positive, womanizing past. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
HATING ON TIGER, HATING ON GOLF? How we view Tiger through the prism of scandal
It's officially Masters week, or as many folks in the sports media world call it, Tiger Woods versus the Field week. The Masters is the official start of major championship golf season, which not only begs the question of whether Tiger is "back" and if he is a safe bet against a field that features 92 of the world's best golfers, but, still, how we feel about the best golfer of his generation. Do we still hate Tiger Woods? Did we ever really hate him? And if you answered yes to either of those questions, does that mean you actually hate golf? CLICK HERE FOR MORE
MASTER-FUL: Tiger "comfortable" coming in, but is that the Tiger of old?
He’s got a swing he can finally trust, a putter that shows flashes of the old magic, and a string of wins to prove that it’s all finally coming together. The superstar girlfriend is an added bonus, though by now so much time has passed that the debate about Tiger Woods revolves around the state of his game, not his personal life. Winning may not take care of everything, as his latest Nike ad claims. But six wins in his comeback are a confidence-inducing tonic for Woods, and the commercial is certainly more upbeat than the one Nike ran two years ago with his late father ominously asking him what he could have been thinking. CLICK HERE FOR MORE