You gotta hand it to Tiger Woods. He’s a quick study, this fallen-from-grace golfer who’s following last year’s divorce with another break-up. When he backed out of the caddie deal, however, he ran over no shrubbery, damaged no vehicles and required no investigation of police — at least not yet.
The 2010 litany of “he said/she said” morphs to “he said/he said.” Details continue to emerge on the break-up of the one-time world golf leader and his caddie of a dozen years, Steve Williams.
Maybe this planet will remain big enough for both of them, since Woods hangs out mostly in Florida and Williams in New Zealand.
Woods is learning, however painfully, that media adoration of past years can turn ugly when off-the-course conduct becomes public. Now, negative coverage races like a runaway train, with no braking in sight for a former golfing giant who has now dropped from the world’s top 20.
Headline writers are having field days with Williams’ dismissal. With apologies to Chevy Chase and Bill Murray (movie Caddyshack, 1980), how do you feel about this headline possibility: “Caddie Sacked?”
Hey, it’s not too late. This might be an equally clever title for a movie — or, more likely — a book.
Whichever venue, writers can go to town with some “can’t miss” dialog between two guys who were once best friends — even participants in each other’s weddings.
“I’ve decided to go in a different direction,” Woods might decree.
“That’s old news,” Williams could answer. “That’s the direction you’ve been going in since your divorce.”
“You are no longer helping me improve my lies,” Woods might snap, mumbling about Williams’ failure to help his swinging.
“Some of your prevarications simply can’t be improved upon,” the discharged bag carrier could counter, “And I ain’t touching the mumbled stuff.” To Woods’ charge that golf is driving him crazy, Steve will have an easy answer: “That’s no drive, that’s a putt.”
For comic relief, writers should keep in mind a few anecdotes, including the one about the cheating golfer who subtracted one stroke from his score on each hole. He faced a dilemma on the day he lucked out with a hole-in-one. By force of habit, he wrote down “0.” And how about the lady who said she knew nothing about golf, clueless about “which end of the caddie to hold?” She also expressed surprise that the Woods’ divorce wasn’t finalized in Reno, NV, the “dairy capital of the world.” Why? That’s where the cream of the crop goes to be separated.
It’ll seem strange watching some other caddie offering club selections.
If the situation were reversed, Williams would likely settle for random club choice.
Any would work well to wrap around his former boss’ neck.
The caddie, of course, has many options. If he ever carries another bag, it’ll be by choice, not necessity.
He could reap big bucks, of course, with a book. It wouldn’t need to be a “tell all,” just “tell some.”
Big profits could be multiplied several times over if it carries the tease “as told to Elin Nordegren, the former Mrs. Woods.”
H. Roe Bartle, colorful Kansas City mayor from 1956-63, was an accomplished speaker, charming audiences with his lectern repartee. He spoke of figures who’d written memoirs, including Harry Truman and Douglas MacArthur. “The books warmed the hearts of millions,” he said.
He admitted that when he finished “mayoring,” he might himself write memoirs.
“I don’t think I’ll sell many books, but I’ll guarantee you there’ll be several dozen people leaving Kansas City.”
In these days of “cultural contention,” the Woods/Williams break-up won’t make the biggest splash on a planet that is drowning in discontent. Pick the continent, the conflict or the cause, and adherents will be lined up on both sides — maybe even several sides.
Shakespeare’s magical writing, capturing the human condition, still applies. “Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown,” he wrote in Henry IV. We might also do well to revisit a line in Hamlet, “Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice.” Then, a century later, another playwright, William Congreve, penned, “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.” Today, he might equate the same rage to a caddie scorned.
Stay tuned. The plot is bound to thicken.
Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Send inquiries/comments to: email@example.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.