Whatever you think about Tiger’s decision to begin his comeback and image rehab at the Masters, it’s certainly the most self-serving decision he could have made.
The very tightly controlled environment of the Masters will make it easy for him to dodge embarrassing questions. The highly persnickety Southern gentlemen of Augusta National certainly don’t want a media free-for-all at their golf club, and they’ve demonstrated in the past that they don’t have a problem with kicking people out. Commentator Gary McCord earned a lifetime ban for insufficient mannerliness and use of a joke that may have involved scandalous words like “bikini.”
Also, anyone who’s been following Tiger knows that one of the main goals of his existence (aside from humping every cocktail waitress in Vegas, apparently) is to catch and surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major wins. The Masters is the first major of the year, and Tiger will be dad-gummed if he’ll let anything trivial like the slow-motion explosion of his marriage and personal integrity stand in the way of the record books.
I’m not going to spend too much time on this, because goodness knows, unless you lock yourself in your storm cellar with a bucket over your head, you’re going to get plenty of Tiger over the next few weeks. But it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out. He may be hailed as a hero on his return. Certainly the sponsors will glad to see him. His fellow golfers, who lose to him but enjoy the financial benefits of working with one of the Eight Wonders of the Modern World, will probably be glad to have Mr. Ratings Boost on the course. But I don’t think he’s doing himself any favors image-wise with this particular route back to the spotlight.