Commentary

Tiger's return became one wild week

Originally Published: April 11, 2010
By Gene Wojciechowski | ESPN.com

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- An ESPN.com exclusive: Tiger Woods' diary, found under a seat in his charter jet ...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dear Diary,

Geezus Christ! Get me the %#@& out of here!

Oh, I'm sorry -- New Tiger told everybody I'd tone down the swearing, but it isn't easy. I've got a book -- "Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing" -- that I read every freaking night, but did you see what I went through this past week?

On Monday I had to meet the press, which is like eating a pine cone sandwich.

On Tuesday I got National Enquirer'd on a neighbor story.

[+] EnlargeTiger Woods
Rusty Jarrett/AFP/Getty ImagesOn the Monday of Masters week, Tiger Woods played meet the press to a standing-room only interview room.

On Wednesday I got napalmed by Billy Payne, the chairman of Augusta National, for my sex scandal. Then I got seared for my new Nike commercial.

On Thursday I got buzzed by a couple of planes tugging some banners -- and they weren't wishing me luck.

On Friday one of my former "friends" had a strip club gig down the road in Atlanta.

On Saturday I got mocked by Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live."

On Sunday I could have won the Masters, but someone kidnapped my swing, my bunker game and on No. 14, my putting stroke. I hockey-sticked it around from 8 feet. Plus, my allergies are so bad I feel like I've been spray-painted with pollen.

And guess what? I still shot 68-70-70-69, finished tied for fourth and had a Masters record-tying four eagles. If I hadn't bogeyed three of the first five holes Sunday, I might have given Phil Mickelson a run for the green jacket. But it is what it is.

Anyway, I'm more fried than breaded catfish. I'm too tired to even text.

Just like the old days, I wore red on Sunday. So did Lee Westwood, and look where that got him. He had the lead with 11 holes left, but finished 3 shots behind Phil. That'll teach him to bogart my wardrobe.

I'm happy for Lefty. It's been a brutal 12 months for him and his family. Compared to what his wife and mom are going through with the breast cancer treatments, I've got it easy. And I gotta tell you, I was jealous of that hug he and Amy shared behind the 18th green.

I knew it was going to be a rough day. I got to the driving range and turned into Charles Barkley.

My warm-up session was terrible. I got to the first tee box and hooked my drive so far left it almost landed in the Waffle House off I-20. I popped up a tee shot on No. 2 and then left a bunker shot in the sand. I bladed a pitch shot on No. 3, couldn't reach the green on the par-3 No. 4 and hit a low-quack hook on No. 5. Other than that, I really enjoyed those five holes.

I thought I could win when the day started. I always think I can win. But my swing was messier than the McCourts' divorce. There wasn't one time I stood over the ball and thought, "This is going exactly where I want it to."

You can call me lots of things, but you can't call me a jaker on a golf course. I tried as hard as I possibly could to post a number and give myself a chance. But it's tough to win when you're duct-taping your swing during the round.

Overall, it was a good week. I didn't get knee-capped by the Swedish mafia. I got heckled by two planes, but not by actual people. And I got a T-4 despite a five-month layoff, sex rehab and the media sewn to my personal life.

Unfortunately, those boom mikes caught me swearing a few times. So it looks like it's back to the Buddhist superstore for more serenity bracelets.

CBS' Jim Nantz, who doesn't criticize anybody, ripped me on the air for my Saturday GDs. I had it coming. But I was a little better on Sunday, right? Except for the part where I got a tiny bit snarky with Peter Kostis in the postround interview.

I've got lots of work to do. On my swing. On my language. On my marriage. And I'm still struggling with this media transparency thing.

Ask me about the night of the November 2009 car accident and I say, "It's all in the police report." Gotta work on that one.

Ask me about my rehab and I say, "It's personal, thank you." Not changing that one.

Ask me about Dr. Anthony Galea, who's being investigated by the feds for allegedly supplying athletes with performance-enhancing drugs, and I say, "I've never done PEDs or illegal drugs." Really gotta work on that one.

The media kept asking me when I'll play again. I told them I'm going to take a little time off and kind of re-evaluate things. I don't know if I'll be re-evaluating it married or single, but I'll be back.

When I do come back again, here's a list of things I could do without:

-- K.J. Choi.

Played four consecutive rounds with the guy. I've seen him more than Elin. And I am so sick of his "knock-knock" North Korea jokes.

-- Allergies.

-- My Vanity Fair subscription.

All things considered, it was a good week. The Masters fans gave me a bear hug. I survived. I finished fourth with The Swing From Golf Hell.

I didn't deserve to win. Phil did. It's that simple.

Steinie says the plane is on the final approach. Guess it's back to the land outside the Augusta gates. The place where the Pinkertons can't keep TMZ out.

Wish me luck.

TW

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn.com. Hear Gene's podcasts and ESPN Radio appearances by clicking here.

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