Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey falls flat in 5-0 loss to Northeastern -

January 20, 2018

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Minutewomen stunned by last-second free throw -

January 19, 2018

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

An open letter to Tiger Woods

Dear Tiger Woods,

On Monday Sept. 7, 2009, my cousin Mike and I drove from Amherst to Norton, Mass. for the Deutsche Bank Championship. We drove to see you, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington and golf’s other top players score on a relatively easy course.

Walking down the seventh fairway and watching a couple of other groups play through, we could hear several incredible bursts of applause. The crowd around us agreed – Tiger is coming.

We decided to stick to a spot on the seventh hole, where we could catch you on your second shot on the par-5. We watched in the distance as you nailed your drive on the sixth – again, Tiger is coming.

You approached your second shot. We’d know how it went by the sound of the crowd, those around us said. From that far, we couldn’t see your swing or hear the head of the club strike the ball as pure as it must have, but we could see the reaction.

Gradually, the roar got louder, the clapping was universal, then an entire row of people leapt out of their shoes and the noise was unnatural. Of course, you had knocked it into the pin for an eagle.

Obviously, we followed the rest of your round and though it did not end as well as it began, it was some of the most exciting golf we had ever seen. There is nothing like standing 10 feet away from the Greatest Golfer Ever and seeing him deliver a ball with such force and skill as you did – TV does not compare.

See Tiger, you became all that we had hoped you would. When you beat the field by 12 shots at the 1997 Master’s, at the age of 21, as an African American, all firsts in the record book, you announced the arrival of golf’s Jordan.

When you won the 2000 U.S. Open, you broke six records. You won by 15 strokes – 15! If there were any doubts that you were one of the best, they were wiped away with that singular conquest. When we watched you meticulously measure an impossible shot on the 16th green at the 2005 Masters, gauge the slope of the putting surface, and aim your shot, we no longer had any doubts about your chance of sinking it. Signed. Sealed. Delivered.  

Now, Tiger, you are the greatest golfer walking the planet. You have inspired many to take up the game, including myself. Would I have had the desire to play once a week when I was younger with my father if I could not imitate your celebratory punch, if I could not imagine hitting it as far as you or getting the crowd to cheer as loudly as they do for you?

But, now, Tiger, you have become the punch line for jokes around the world. How many different times has a different comedian made a joke about Dick Cheney shooting the guy? Well Tiger, you have replaced him.

Regardless of what you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish on the golf course, you will be remembered for your indiscretions more than your miracle shots. Your remarkable tenacity and drive to win will fall to the footnotes. You have lost control of this story, Tiger. And now you have lost your legacy.

There are many who have said, “He’s Tiger Woods, we should have seen this coming.” They have said that the past few weeks have shown that you are a human and just as liable as the rest of us to make mistakes.

I disagree, Tiger, you have built a wall around yourself, thanks to an army of publicists and image consultants. The one incredible moment that we saw the Real Tiger Woods shine through was the 2006 British Open. We felt the same sorrow and joy that you expressed through joy. Then, we felt we could relate to a son in tears over the loss of his father. Now, we see that there is more to Tiger than golf, a beautiful family and loving parents.

Often, many, including myself, are willing to excuse a mistake. But this, Tiger, has not been a mistake, your actions have been exposed a second life. Your father once said that you were going to change the world. What would he say now?

As unfortunate as it may be, you will no longer be solely remembered as the greatest golfer ever, but as someone who abandoned his family again and again and again. It is our celebrity-driven society’s fault that we hold you to a higher standard, but for someone as image conscious as yourself, you must have understood the possible repercussions.          

You must break your silence. You must explain – if it is possible – what has happened. Ignoring the story will not make it go away. Fix your marriage, Tiger and we can continue to enjoy watching you stake your claim as the Greatest Golfer Ever.

Sincerely,

An avid golfer

Nick Milano is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at nmilano@student.umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “An open letter to Tiger Woods”
  1. Billy says:

    Tiger Woods doesn’t owe you anything, definitely not an explanation of his actions. It’s your own fault for holding an athelete in such a high regard. Cheating on your wife has nothing to do with playing golf… and trying to draw a connection between the two just shows how bad you are at journalism.

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