June 14, 2024
Tiger Woods

He may be the greatest golfer in history, but Tiger Woods is worried most people will only remember him for his scandals off the course, The Post can reveal.
From his 2017 DUI to his tawdry sex scandal involving dozens of women, the 48-year-old athlete has weathered embarrassing storms by dominating on the golf course.
But now his own career is flagging, Woods has begun a quest to leave behind a legacy that will transcend his scandals — by handing the clubs over to his 15-year-old son, Charlie.

Charlie Woods
Tiger Woods — with son, Charlie — worries that he will only be remembered for his scandals, sources say.

“He’s survived a sex scandal, an accident, an arrest, and a lot of personal turmoil,” says the insider. “But he’s not in his 20s or 30s anymore. He’s knocking on 50. So he’s got to leave a mark that will last forever.”
Charlie has displayed much of his father’s raw talent — but may not have the same legendary focus and drive.

In 2020, Tiger and Charlie competed in the PNC championship, their first father/son tournament together. Afterwards, a visibly proud Woods told reporters that he was honored to compete with his son.

“I don’t think words can describe it,” Woods said. “Just the fact that we were able to have this experience together, Charlie and I, it’s memories for a lifetime.”
But it’s unclear whether Charlie will become the PGA’s next wunderkind. “He’s his father’s son, for sure,” says the insider, “but he doesn’t have the same focus that Tiger had as a teenager. Part of it is probably because Tiger doesn’t push Charlie as hard as [his father] Earl pushed him.”

Tiger Woods himself acknowledges Charlie may not follow in his footsteps. “I’m proud of whatever direction he chooses,” Woods said in an interview with PGA, “whether he sticks with the game or not.”

But even as Woods has reached untold success, his personal life has been fraught with setbacks.

On Black Friday in 2009, Woods got into a bizarre traffic accident outside his Orlando-area home. His then-wife, Elin Nordegren, had taken a golf club to break a rear window, raising speculation the couple had gotten into a fight.

And then it happened: a tabloid reported Woods had been bedding Rachel Uchitel, a VIP party hostess in Las Vegas. One after another, more women came forward with stories of sex romps in parking lots and hotel rooms.

As he lost million of dollars in endorsements, a humiliated Woods entered treatment for sex addiction. When his treatment was complete, Nordegren filed for divorce, taking a reported $100 million settlement.

In 2017, Woods was in trouble again, when he was nabbed in Palm Beach County DUI.

According to a toxicology report, five different drugs were in his system, including hydrocodone, hydromophone, Xanax, Ambien and THC, which is found in marijuana.

Tiger Woods claimed that he took the drug cocktail to combat the pain in his back. “I realize now it was a mistake to do this without medical assistance,” he said at the time.

In February 2021, Woods got in a serious car crash that shattered his right leg. He has undergone multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy.

So is Tiger done with golf?

In 2024, he has only competed in one tournament — and didn’t complete it.

In February, Woods withdrew from the Genesis Invitational in the middle of the second round after what was first described as an “illness” and that Woods later clarified was “influenza.”

On Thursday, Woods announced that he would compete this April in The Masters, the tournament he has one 5 times, most recently in 2019. But Woods is notorious for signing up for tournaments that he doesn’t complete.

“He’s always optimistic,” says the insider. “He hopes his body holds out.”

Off the course, Woods is taking a leadership role within the sport. Last weekend, he hosted a meeting with the head of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to discuss future investment opportunities within the PGA Tour.
Webb Simpson, one of six player directors on the PGA Tour Policy Board, raved to Sports Illustrated about Woods’ newfound leadership. “He’s been super engaged along the way,” Simpson said. “He’s a great leader and I really think he’s taken the position of our leader and we rely on him a lot.”

Woods is telling his circle that he wants to have a lasting impact on the sport.

“He knows his best days are behind him, but he has a lot more to offer,” says the insider. “He wants to leave behind something positive. That’s his biggest concern these days.”

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