Mercer Baggs of GolfChannel.com has a good piece on Tiger Woods turning 40 on Dec. 30. He notes that after all these years, we still don’t really know who Woods is.
However, it isn’t as if Woods hasn’t talked. From the column:
Tiger’s talked a lot over the last two decades. Did you know he has 1,364 transcripts on asapsports.com since 1996? That’s about 72 transcribed interviews a year during that span. Well more – over 200 more – than Phil Mickelson has given in a greater time frame. And that only counts when a stenographer was around.
Also, I had forgotten about this:
Back in the day, the early professional days, Tiger regularly came into Golf Channel studios. He did interviews. He even viewed tape. We could peek into the window of the library screening room and watch him watch footage of past majors, gleaning knowledge on an unfamiliar venue. We were told not to bug him, and we always kept a respectful distance. Think he drove a Mercedes.
Tiger seemed relatable back then. Like, if you just introduced yourself that would lead to a chat. A chat would lead to more casual conversations. That would lead to some level of friendship, and maybe this superstar athlete would hang out with some regular folk throwing darts in a Winter Park pub and drinking bourbon two hours after close.
Probably too much of an ask, but we were kids. A bunch of young, single people, fresh out of college and beginning their professional careers, living in a fairly vibrant Orlando area. We saw the same in Tiger.
Alas, that was about as close as anyone at the Golf Channel, or anyone else, would get to Woods. The above is a 1996 interview Peter Kessler had with Woods.
Baggs’ main point:
It’s astonishing to look back and recount what Tiger has accomplished since then. And after all these years, after all we’ve seen and all we’ve heard, after witnessing his preeminence and the proclivity that wrecked his personal life, we often wondered: Who is Tiger Woods?
Arguably no athlete has ever spoken more than Tiger and, comparatively, revealed less.