In case you missed it, the world’s #1 ranked golfer Rory McIlroy threw his 3-iron into a lake on Friday.
Immediately, many people started to breathlessly ask: “Whoa… BUT…. what IFFFFFF…. it was #1 ranked TIGER WOODS who did that? Hmmmmm? Everybody would be losing their minds saying how awful, disrespectful and terrible he is to the game. What a bad example to kids! Why the double standard?”
Why? Because Tiger Woods is an asshole. Rory McIlroy is not.
Now, that doesn’t mean that my PERSONAL take on the throw is that it was incredibly bad form, petulant, and disrespectful. Rory should know better, and should absolutely DO better. Now, and in the future.
But I’m not sure there’s any scientific way to measure exactly how much LESS “tut-tutting” from the golf media and fellow players there was than the last time Tiger slammed a club and dropped an f-bomb.
Remember too, Rory has a fairly clean record on this kind of stuff to date. He did withdraw from the Honda a few years back, citing a “toothache” – bad form for any pro to just bail on an event when the going gets tough – but otherwise, he’s not a club-slammer.
Furthermore, the toss into the lake was not accompanied by audible f-bombs in front of microphones accompanied with a scowl. It was as gentle a disposal of a mis-behaving club could be. Hell, it’s not like when Woody Austin bent his putter into a pretzel over his own head.
But ultimately, Rory got more of a pass because he’s pleasant to deal with if you cover golf for a living. He gives refreshingly honest answers compared to many players, and tends to treat those who cover the game the way you yourself would want to be treated.
This buys you a lot of leeway. This should not be news to anyone.
Tiger Woods never needed to purchase that leeway with the media. When he was at his full powers, he just bulldozed the media. And he DID get away with a lot of shit when the entire golf world was collectively scared pantsless to say a peep about him.
Like the time he scrape-raked the green at Pinehurst because he left a putt short at the US Open. Or the billion times he snapped like a psycho at anybody who took an ill-timed picture. He once conspicuously loud-farted while on camera waiting to hit a shot, and then nearly melted down in laughter with then-caddie “Stevie”.
He conspicuously stopped talking to CBS’s Peter Kostis because he didn’t like the critiques of his swing on the ol’ Konica Minolta “Biz-Hub” swing-vision. He gave the most asshole-ish, tone-deaf post-round interview to Bill Macatee after coming up just short in his first Masters after the scandal.
He and his drunk-driving agent “Steiney” tried to get Brandel Chamblee fired from the Golf Channel for a column Chamblee wrote for a completely different employer – all because Chamblee dared to come too close to the truth: Tiger’s cheats.
Not just on his wife. Tiger’s had more shady rules run-ins than the next 10 players on Tour during his entire career. Most pro’s prefer to DQ themselves so that they never get tainted with the “Scarlet C” – Tiger’s stance is always: “Oh yeah, prove it.”
From the crowd-sourced boulder removal in Phoenix, to the bad drop on #15 where he admitted his motivation to taking an illegal drop (” but I went two yards further back and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit”), to baldly lying about his ball moving at the BMW Championship (too bad Tiger, video don’t lie, and the rules officials weren’t buying it) this guy has shown no shame.
So yeah, Tiger Woods – or more specifically THIS CURRENT version of Tiger Woods, the guy who pulls out of half of his starts with some kind of Judge Smailsian injury – would not get away with that shit McIlroy pulled on 18.
It didn’t hurt Rory that Donald Trump is such a blowhard showman, that he commissioned a scuba diver to go fetch the club in the middle of the 3rd round – the absurdity of it all, helping to soften the breach of golfing etiquette. I also have a suspicion that Rory played with 13 clubs the following day as a quiet, un-announced “self-penalty” but I have no proof.
Oh, and one last thing: Rory actually apologized for it afterward, said it wasn’t his proudest moment, and admonished kids not to do it because hey, your dad ain’t gonna scuba dive into a croc and snapping turtle infested lake to get it back.
Tiger Woods has never, ever, ever ever ONCE been contrite or honest after one of his outbursts. Never.
Lastly, let’s dismiss that one thing you just KNOW will be brought up by some people: the race card. Tiger Woods is as black as Bryant Gumbel, and actually asked to considered “cablinasian.” This is hardly a “let’s give the white guy a pass” moment.
Sergio Garcia once threw his shoe (his shoe!) at a sponsor board in Europe, and spit IN THE CUP after missing a putt at Doral. Everybody ripped him a new asshole for that. Same thing when Bubba Watson last year acted like a total pussy at the PGA Championship. Same thing when Paul Azinger destroyed Rory Sabbatini when he “played through” his own pairing at Congressional due to Ben Crane’s slow play.
Lots and lots of white guys, acting badly, getting ripped by the white golf media.
Racist double standard? Yeah, right. Run along people.