As much as I admire the work of Dan Jenkins and Golf Digest, I have to admit my initial reaction was negative when I saw his clearly fake interview with Tiger Woods.
As much as anything else, the pictures went over the line. There was an actor portraying Woods sitting in a Perkins (remember Woods reportedly had an affair with Perkins waitress). There was another shot of the phony Woods polishing his Cadillac Escalade. You know, the one that had an unfortunate collision with a fire hydrant.
Definitely low blows. While the statute of limitations may never expire, more than four years have passed since Woods’ epic fall from grace. Golf Digest was reprising old, tired jokes in running those images.
Here’s another key point. His agent Mark Steinberg asked in a letter to the magazine’s publisher: “Would this story have even been considered if Tiger was still associated with Golf Digest?”
Indeed, Golf Digest once paid Woods major bucks to be on its staff of player advisers. The magazine clearly benefited by being associated with Woods during his historic run in golf. Even though the relationship ended, Woods and Steinberg had reason to be upset in being treated this way by a former business partner.
Yet having said all that, did Woods really gain by going public with his commentary over Derek Jeter’s site about Jenkins’ story? All it did was call attention to a piece that nobody was talking about.
Jenkins is Jenkins. Pricking stars like Woods is what he does. Ignore it and move on.
Instead, GolfDigest.com likely had one of its largest traffic days yesterday in the wake of Woods’ rebuttal. People wanted to see what made Woods so upset.
Rick Reilly followed up with a tweet that said, “Hey Tiger, please hate my book.” The title of Reilly’s latest: “Tiger, Meet My Sister…And Other Things I Probably Shouldn’t have Said.”
Indeed, an angry Tiger likely is good for business.