Tom Watson Finds Tiger Woods' Swearing as Distasteful as his Infidelity
While golf undoubtedly needs Tiger Woods and his giant fanbase to return in order to help the PGA's bottom line, there's always been a network of golfers who haven't been particularly comfortable with the adulation and success Woods has had in his pro career.
Major off-course fails in his personal life have now emboldened people like Tom Watson to say some things they've had on their mind for years:
"I feel that he has not carried the same stature that other great players that have come along like Jack [Nicklaus], Arnold [Palmer], Byron Nelson, the Hogans, in the sense that there was language and club throwing on the golf course," Watson said. "You can grant that of a young person that has not been out here for a while. But I think he needs to clean up his act and show the respect for the game that other people before him have shown."
Translation: you can't behave like that in a country club, Tiger.
Unlike Jesper Parnevik's criticisms of Woods in December, which were solely based on his friendship with Elin Nordgren and the fact that he felt some responsibility for introducing the two to each other, Watson seizes the opportunity caused by the negative press Woods' has received to highlight something that is basically a cultural difference.
Watson is old. Golf in may ways is an old man's game. Woods grew up in an era in sports where showing emotion and frustration outwardly is OK. Watson grew up in an era where it wasn't. Whatever the damage is to Woods caused by his love of the ladies remains to be seen. But eliminating the on-course emotion he shows will not matter one iota when it comes to gaining his following and sponsorships back. People who share Watson's feelings probably were not Woods fans even before his marital problems surfaced.