HBO’s ‘Tiger’ sheds light on the weird hole in the lives of golfers

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When police found it idling with its brake lights and turn signals on at 2 a.m., the black Mercedes sedan had two burst tires. An empty six-lane road on the side. The man was asleep at the wheel when police arrived at the scene. As police asked him where he was going and where he was, he slurred his words as if he were from the sun somewhere on the fifth planet and not in the Jupiter, Florida, bedroom city.

“And when he added that he hadn’t been drinking, an officer could only inquire, “Are you sure?” Things got worse when the man – who was on prescription medication, it turned out – stumbled out of the car onto the cool black asphalt, in long sleeves, short pants and bare feet, a billowing picture of Florida Man Chic. When he traced a beam of light, he couldn’t keep his hand down, he couldn’t draw a straight line on his heel, he couldn’t recite the alphabet because he felt he was being forced to “sing the national anthem backwards.” When the officer asked him if he had something spiky on him, the guy confessed to having “a couple of screws in his body” after initially denying it. The entire incident goes down, maybe less, in about 20 minutes.

And as the B-roll police camera goes, Boon, that’s pretty G-rated.

It takes your breath away only when you compare it to the gruesome police videos that have filled our timelines over the past six years, and particularly this summer. That’s when you know that may have been the last Tiger Woods we’ve ever seen. Tiger Woods may not be a hero to black people, but he’s an aging beacon. Read more The dashcam footage of drinking and driving stop Woods 2017 is just one of the many crucial moments remembered in Tiger, a two-part documentary about the golfer superstar that debuts in the U.S. on HBO this Sunday, with par par

It’s a traditional HBO sports documentary, meaning it takes a detailed and fair look at one of the most sphinx-like characters in history’s rise, collapse and recovery. You may not be shocked to hear that Woods respectfully refused an invitation to participate in this project, but rest assured that in a wealth of archival interviews dating back to his appearance at age two on The Mike Douglas Show alongside Jimmy Stewart and Bob Hope, his face and voice are well represented. Given that the 45-year-old Woods has been a certifiable celebrity for an extremely long time, you might be wondering what else there is to learn about a man whose life has become our own time marker. (Where were you when he reached Augusta in ’97? Or when on Thanksgiving 2009 he hit the fire hydrant?) But for audiences who don’t mind reckoning with our mutual fascination of “boosting” sports stars and celebrities just to see them crash, there’s plenty of protein here. “The interesting thing to me is how quickly and with how much glee the media – and in some quarters, the public – took his fall,” says Matthew Hamachek, Tiger’s co-director. “In the case of Woods, however, the high standards started with his late father, Earl, who told the renowned Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated that his son was “the chosen one.” In the first half of the documentary, Earl’s presence is unmistakable, and the connection between father and son is unmistakable in the pride and vigor with which the boy frequently refers to himself as black.

It is not until the Nike money starts to bubble up and Earl’s infidelity becomes a threat to the sacred brand reputation of his son (oh, the irony) that Tiger is heard referring to his race as “Cablinasian.” Woods’ drunk driving allegation, downplayed to reckless driving by a prosecutor, sticks in the doc like a slasher film villain.

But among a cast of supporting characters in Tiger, ranging from close family friend Pete McDaniel to lifelong bagman Steve Williams, safe harbor is easy to find – none of whom, sadly, are now near Forests.

“And yet, “What shocked me most about this is that he is all intensely protective of the people who even bitterly parted ways with Tiger,” Hamachek says. “These are people who had a front-row seat to the stresses and demands that were on him and thought that shielding him from the world was part of their work. One of the tougher Woods breakups – by text – was endured by Dina Parr, the golfer’s high school sweetheart.

And still, give her to offer her

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