There is a scene in Superman III where the caped crusader meets his match in the form of a meaner, nastier, all round darker version of himself. This ‘nasty’ Superman, wears a darker costume, looks a bit more frayed around the edges and prowls around doing mean things with a constant scowl on his face.
It was that image that came into my head when I saw Tiger Woods’ controversial behaviour at the Dubai Desert Classic over the weekend.
Woods, once the golden poster boy of the sport and the one kids, amateurs and fellow pros alike looked up to, has seen his image nosedive in the wake of the scandal in late 2009 that ended his marriage.
Since his return to the game from a self-imposed absence Woods has not only failed to rediscover his form but his general behaviour and attitude is that of a man who still has personal issues to resolve, and to make matters worse his latest golf scores show no sign of improvement.
Woods started the final day one off the lead, but bogeyed two of the opening three holes and put a wedge into the water at the last from 100 yards. The double-bogey finish left him in a share of 20th place, seven shots behind winner Alvaro Quiros.
The round was one filled with expletives and clubs flung angrily into the ground as the world number three let his frustrations get the better of him. He also failed to acknowledge a crowd of young autograph hunters – still sticking by him despite all his troubles – and capped a miserable and controversial day by spitting in anger on the final green.
A dirty enough habit as it is, but to do so on a green, where a fellow player may have to put or walk over said phlegm, is totally unacceptable. Anyone following the livescore would have been deeply unimpressed by what they saw.
A few weeks ago Pardraig Harrington was disqualified for accidently moving his ball a few millimetres when replacing his marker. He took the decision – a ludicrous one in my opinion – with good grace and sportsmanship.
Woods should face a similar punishment for his far worse crime and hope he remembers his duties as a professional sportsman when he receives it.