enough to know that every strength is a weakness."
That one is
sufficiently Zen to stop my nodding. "Is he a new Tiger?" I ask.
"Is he playing more than one game?"
running the foundation, now that his father is gone. That's a pretty daunting
part-time gig for a 31-year-old." Wood shakes his head. "But no, he's
still focused on winning majors."
Of course he is.
But Tiger doesn't sleep a lot . . .and if he can use those otherwise wasted
hours before dawn to, say, plot a white-knight takeover of a PGA Tour
Or perhaps I
should call it a coup, inasmuch as the AT&T National, scheduled to debut in
or near Washington, D.C., around the Fourth of July, will be played within
eavesdropping range of the White House. "If you ever have to choose between
announcing a golf tournament sponsorship or testifying before Congress,"
AT&T chairman Ed Whitacre says at a March 7 press conference with Tiger and
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, "my advice to you is to take the golf
tournament." The new event, hosted by Tiger and run by and benefiting the
Tiger Woods Foundation, replaces the International in Castle Rock, Colo., which
folded in February after 21 years.
Here's where an
auditor has to get creative. Looking at first quarter 2007, I see that Tiger's
seven-event PGA Tour winning streak ended on Feb. 23, when he lost to Nick
O'Hern at the Accenture Match Play. But there's no compensating line item for
Tiger's 10-and-8 reaming of International founder Jack Vickers in the
Who-Gets-to-Host-a-Tour-Event Classic. The 81-year-old Vickers, a one-time oil
tycoon, is the guy who complained that Tiger's failure to play in his
tournament since 1999 had halved television ratings and made it impossible to
land a title sponsor. "If something isn't done," Vickers tells me over
a bowl of asparagus soup at Castle Pines Golf Club in February, "you're not
going to have a Tour. Right now, it's a one-man show."
Yes, I think, and
as an astute Wall Street analyst once shouted at Tiger, "You da
In any event, I'm
checking commodity prices on Bloomberg TV the other day when the network runs
video of Tiger, in coat and tie, paying courtesy calls to House speaker Nancy
Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid. Then Tiger is behind a nest of
microphones, explaining how he and his dad had always dreamed of running their
own Tour event. And because Earl had been a Vietnam vet and a career soldier,
Tiger's thrilled to be hosting a tournament celebrating America's birthday
while honoring America's warriors who, by the way, will be offered free
admission to the tournament, as will children under 12. At this point there
must have been a technical foul-up, because there is no video of fireworks
bursting over the Washington Monument. But Finchem and Whitacre are practically
floating off the dais, and I'm reaching for my checkbook to contribute to the
Tiger Woods for President exploratory committee.
on, but I picture Tiger stepping back from the podium and delivering one of his
signature fist pumps.
I THUMB a message
to Vickers on my Blackberry, quoting Andy Grove, the cofounder and former
chairman of Intel.