Elvis Presley was a legendary musician who was referred to as the King of Rock and Roll, and he was also widely regarded as the original teen icon, with a significant impact on music globally. Just before his untimely demise, there were reports that he was very overweight and heavily influenced by the drugs he used regularly, making it challenging for him to get through his performances. Critics even suggested that he had become a distorted version of his once energetic self. However, many years after his death, Ginger Alden, his fiancee, has finally debunked popular misconceptions about Elvis and can now lay his demons to rest.
Many years after misrepresentations and turmoil obscured the facts following Elvis Presley’s passing, his ex-fiancée has chosen to correct the information.
According to Ginder Alden, she recorded all of her memories right after Elvis’s death as a way of preserving them. As time passed, she continued living her life, getting a job, getting married, having a son, but during this time, she noticed a lot of false information being spread about her relationship with Elvis, with many things being exaggerated.
Just His Type
Elvis had a talent for drawing in women, but very few were able to grasp his attention fully. He chose to spend his life with just two women, and before his passing, Ginger was the one who was most dear to him.
As soon as the media became aware of their relationship, they promptly observed the striking physical similarity between her and Elvis’ former wife, Priscilla Presley (previously known as Beaulieu). Alden had actually met Elvis when she was five years old, but it took several years until they were reunited.
Elvis asked out Ginger Alden’s elder sister when she was crowned Miss Tennessee, but it was Ginger who impressed him. He found her cheerful demeanor and optimistic personality charming, as well as her tendency to speak her mind and stand up to him when needed.
Alana Nash, the biographer, claims that despite the rumors surrounding Ginger’s death, she was not a willing girlfriend. Even though Alden had reservations about his drug addiction and had unresolved feelings for a previous partner, Ginger’s mom, Jo LeVern, encouraged her to pursue him.
Ginger, a Memphis beauty queen, could easily recognize the unique qualities of the King of Rock and Roll despite the two decades age difference between them.
Although it may seem amusing, upon Elvis’ arrival, I had a feeling that trumpets would herald his entry. He had a striking appearance, and upon swiftly taking a seat, he engaged in conversation with all of us. Our visit to Graceland with him was an absolutely delightful experience, as he regaled us with fascinating stories. Furthermore, he generously bestowed gifts upon us and committed to paying her mother’s mortgage.
According to Ginger’s statement in a 1980 interview, Elvis was unhappy due to the insincere individuals surrounding him. She mentioned a group of companions and staff who constantly portrayed a fictitious world to Elvis, never contradicting him or treating him as an equal.
During an interview that Ginger was present for, she provided an illustration of this therapy. The entire room erupted in laughter as Elvis laughed, but quickly ceased when he stopped. Ginger recollected feeling sorrowful about the occurrence.
Ginger had won Elvis’s heart completely, and he didn’t waste any time in asking for her hand in marriage, even though they had only known each other for a brief period. However, some of his acquaintances were far from pleased with the news and expressed their dissatisfaction.
According to a friend who spoke to a reporter, Elvis had reportedly expressed his intention of never marrying again. Soon after, the media began criticizing him for transforming into a distorted version of his former youthful and energetic self, as described by Tony Scherman.
Overweight & Unrecognizable
According to Scherman, Elvis received severe criticism because he was excessively obese, his cognitive abilities were diminished due to the regular intake of medication, and he could barely complete his short performances.
Before long, it appeared as though every newspaper nationwide was featuring stories about the King’s apparent loss of reputation. The situation worsened with a failed performance in Alexandria, Louisiana, where Presley was on stage for less than an hour and spoke so unclearly that he could not be understood.
Ginger aimed to correct the false information spread by the harsh media reports which claimed that Presley was washed-up and indulging in harmful substances to find solace.
Afterwards, she expressed that what she saw did not match what she had read in books. She observed that Elvis was not the type to sit and eat excessively. He may have been particular about certain foods, but she never witnessed him eating the well-known fried peanut butter banana sandwiches.
Set The Record Straight
When questioned about false information in the media reports, she quickly responded that claims of Elvis being unhappy or frequent arguments were untrue.
Ginger clarified that she waited until her son went to college to address the alleged misconceptions about her. She explained that she took two years to compile her memoirs and set the record straight.
Elvis & Ginger
Ginger’s best-selling book, “Elvis And Ginger: Elvis Presley’s Fiancée and Last Love Finally Tells Her Story,” included her memoirs. As a result, the media highlighted her story, and she participated in an email interview with Scott Jenkins.
He inquired about how they met, and Ginger responded, “We met while staying at the Las Vegas Hilton… He expressed his desire for me to be exclusive with him.” She shared her struggles with the Memphis Mafia, Presley’s group of friends, after his unfortunate demise.
Due to her strong interest in Elvis, she confessed that she did not establish a deep connection with the renowned Memphis Mafia. However, this was viewed unfavorably after Elvis’ passing, and some previous members of his circle began circulating false stories about her.
She expressed deep disappointment upon witnessing the behavior of some individuals surrounding Elvis. Some of them spread rumors and lies about both Elvis and her without any reason, demonstrating malice and inaccuracy. A lot of undisclosed circumstances contributed to this speculation.
Ginger criticized the long-held idea that persisted until Elvis passed away, which portrayed him as an unhappy and overweight figure who was not the same old Elvis that everyone knew, and that he had even lost his desire to live.
She claimed that even on his very last day, she came across certain things in books that did not match the person she knew. The person portrayed in those books was not the same one she loved and spent 98% of her time with, especially during the last nine months.
He requested her to relocate to Graceland, but she declined. She mentioned that she never relocated there, to which he replied that he appreciated her decision. Although he didn’t feel the same way back then, he visited Graceland almost every day.
As she reminisced about the joyful moment of his proposal, she expressed that her hand was shaking when they left the bathroom and entered the bedroom while sharing a kiss. She continued to experience trembles in her hand when he repeatedly lifted it to admire the ring and exclaimed “oh boy.”
Presley faced challenges in his final year. At a show in Baton Rouge, he was unable to attend reportedly because he couldn’t leave his bed.
According to historian Samuel Roy, the tour was called off due to Elvis’ excessive stage fright that hindered his communication. Even though he displayed a noticeable improvement during his last concert in Indianapolis, a book authored by three ex-bodyguards, who were previously dismissed, exposed his drug addiction, causing embarrassment. Despite his efforts to halt its release, the book still got published.
Highs & Lows
Ginger later wrote that she had realized she was in love with him after a brief period of time and couldn’t imagine a life without him. However, she also confided that she experienced anxiety and difficulty breathing during moments of intimacy.
Moreover, she stated that he struggled with controlling his feelings. For instance, she recalled a time when Elvis was consuming a large bowl of ice cream and she inadvertently mentioned his weight gain, which was regularly scrutinized by the press. He reacted to the topic by throwing the bowl forcefully against the wall.
A History Of Violence
Ginger remembered that this was not the sole occasion when he expressed his anger. She recollected that he once fired shots at a TV and a phone while he was arguing with Ginger, and threatened to harm her.
However, she remained loyal to him believing that he would understand the extent of his actions and would promptly express regret. Instead of harboring any resentment, she reminisces fondly about their complex relationship. Although there were moments of fury and aggression, she obviously had strong feelings for him and vice versa.
Last Will And Testament
In early March 1977, Elvis executed his final will and testament with Ginger accompanying him. The document did not reference Ginger, leading some to believe Elvis may not have been truly committed to spending his life with her, but rather may have simply been attempting to placate her.
Not long after, he took a trip with around 30 of his nearest and dearest to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel. However, he started experiencing a lack of personal space.
During their time in Hawaii, Elvis consumed pizza, cheeseburgers, and barbecues excessively. Ginger, on the other hand, was having issues with her weight and realized that Elvis’ unhealthy eating habits were not good for him.
It is expected that taking a break would assist him in regaining his composure. Ginger casually suggested that Elvis should reduce his intake of unhealthy food. To everyone’s surprise, he responded calmly, despite his previous outburst over an ice cream bowl. He logically replied that he intends to start a diet once they return to Memphis.
The Next Tour
Ginger reminisced about her unforgettable moments with Elvis during their Hawaiian vacation, which was full of enjoyment. Little did they know that this would be his final trip. Unfortunately, while on the trip, he got sand in his eye, which caused him great discomfort as it led to a scratched cornea.
She remembered that he and Ginger left Hawaii on a plane to Memphis because he didn’t want to meet unfamiliar people there. She stayed at Graceland and nursed him back to health, applying eye cream to prepare him for his upcoming tour.
In her book, Ginger, who nearly became Elvis The King Presley’s queen, recounted the events of the day he passed away. According to her, he was experiencing sleep troubles and therefore, he went into the bathroom with an excuse to read.
Unbeknownst to her, Elvis’ final words were spoken during their conversation. She cautioned him not to doze off on the toilet, as it was a concerning habit.
Elvis Had Left The Building
At 2:00 am, Ginger became anxious as she couldn’t find Elvis in the bed. She knocked on the bathroom door, but there was no response. Upon opening the door, Ginger came across Elvis, who was in a curled-up position, with his knees hugged to his chest and his head buried between them as if he was praying.
She hurried towards him, but he appeared unresponsive. She noticed that he took only one breath when she moved his head and she refused to believe he was deceased so suddenly. She thought that even God would not want to take him so prematurely.
Fulfilling A Promise Cut Short
After the passing away, the families engaged in a legal battle. The media portrayed the situation inaccurately: Elvis’s estate was sued by Ginger’s mother, not Ginger herself.
Elvis had made a pledge to settle the mortgage of Ginger’s parents. However, she clarified that it was not a broken promise by him. Unfortunately, he passed away midway while fulfilling his commitment to Ginger’s mother. Despite rumors, Ginger chooses to focus on the favorable aspects of their association with the King, disregarding his decline towards his unfortunate demise.
Riding With The King
Ginger will forever cherish the pleasant memories such as the time Elvis proposed to her in his beloved room at Graceland. She recollects that he had invited her to his sanctuary, which happened to be the master bedroom, and proposed to her there.
As she recalls, he was always occupied, never experiencing a sense of ennui. He maintained a positive demeanor, which allowed us to enjoy ourselves by laughing and viewing TV together. He also played the organ in his chamber, while at times fulfilling the urge to venture out by traversing on his thrilling three-wheeled vehicles and motorcycles.
Ginger seemed uneasy when questioned about her feelings towards Elvis, pausing before answering. She expressed that she had lost the love of her life and the chance to spend her future with a remarkable person.
According to popular belief, time can mend all wounds. However, after enduring years of intense suffering, the woman has learned to come to terms with her loss. She blinked her eyes to alleviate her discomfort and responded, “Yes, that’s right… although I do regret not being able to witness the rest of his journey and experience his musical talent. He had so much left to offer.”
Like The Sun
Elvis Presley, known as the King of Rock and Roll, the first teenage idol, and someone who had a significant impact on music globally, once stated that the truth is comparable to the sun. While one may conceal it for a while, it will eventually emerge.
Truly, Ginger Alden could not remain silent indefinitely and allow Elvis and her reputation to be damaged. After many years of his passing, she is now able to lay these ghosts to rest.
The Name’s Eldrick
For a period of twenty years, Tiger Woods dominated discussions in the golf community. He was the most infamous golfer ever due to his achievements on the course and personal disasters. This article narrates his remarkable journey to stardom and rapid decline to normalcy. Tiger, whose real name is Eldrick Tont Woods, was born on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California to parents Earl and Kultida Woods. Despite being the exalted golfer in the world, his marital difficulties and legal troubles disrupted his life. Is there a chance that he will regain his former glory?
A New Lady On His Arm
During the 2017 Presidents Cup, Tiger was seen with an unfamiliar woman while attending as a spectator. Although he wasn’t participating in the event, he was accompanied by Erica Herman, the 33-year-old manager of his restaurant The Woods. The new woman was observed wearing a “player spouse” lanyard given to players’ wives and girlfriends. In the meantime, Herman was seen taking pictures with several wives and girlfriends.
An Imminent Return?
Tiger Woods had taken a break from playing for several months to recover from a back injury. Fans are eagerly waiting to see him perform as well as he used to in his younger days. Ever since his personal life started to fall apart, he has struggled to match his previous achievements. However, there is some hope as PGA star Ricky Fowler revealed that during some practice rounds with Tiger, he was outperforming him on every hole. This could be the beginning of Tiger’s return to his extraordinary abilities that he exhibited since his childhood.
Start ‘Em While They Are Young
During his childhood in Orange County, Tiger was introduced to golf at the early age of two. While other children his age were playing with toys, he was already developing his golf skills. His father, Earl, was a skilled golfer with a low handicap and often took Tiger with him to play golf. Because Earl was part of the military, they had access to the Navy golf course in Los Alamitos, which provided Tiger with many opportunities to learn and play the game.
A Star In The Making
Tiger’s first television appearance happened fairly quickly when he and Earl were asked to be on The Mike Douglas Show, a widely watched talk show, after the host saw Tiger in a segment about children playing golf. Tiger, who was just two years old at the time, participated in a putting competition with comedian Bob Hope, who was also a guest on the show. Tiger missed the first two shots, but then picked up the ball and put it next to the cup.
Pops Takes a Backseat
Every young athlete has a desire to outperform their parents in any contest, even during family game nights. Earl, who used to play college baseball and was a skilled golfer, would often win against Tiger when he was still under ten. However, at the age of 11, Tiger finally defeated Earl, and from that day on, he never lost another game of golf to his father.
Hit It Hard
When Tiger was only thirteen years old, he got the chance to play with professionals for one of the first times in his life. In the 1989 Insurance Youth Golf Classic, he was teamed up with John Daly, who was 22 years old at the time. Daly was famous for his strong drives and for not looking like a typical country club player. Initially, Tiger was playing better and was ahead of Daly by two strokes after nine holes. However, Daly made a comeback by birdying three of the last four holes, and ended up winning by one stroke. It’s important to note that only two years later, Daly would win the prestigious PGA Championship.
A Non-Perfect Prodigy
In 2015, Woods disclosed that he had difficulty with a speech impediment during his childhood. When he came across a Golf Digest article about a young boy with a similar condition who reached out to stuttering LPGA player Sophie Gustafson, Woods reached out to the boy himself. During his own childhood, Woods would talk to his dog who listened patiently until he fell asleep. Woods also attended a class for two years to overcome his stutter, and eventually succeeded in doing so.
Most Likely To Succeed
Tiger Woods’ journey towards success continued after he conquered his stuttering problem. During his senior year in high school, he was chosen by his classmates as the student most likely to thrive in the future, and their prediction proved true. While Western High School had other accomplished athletes as students, none achieved the level of success that Woods did. He became the first golfer to win three consecutive Junior Amateur Championships and graduated from the school in 1994.
Why Does He Wear Red?
Throughout his career, you can always find Tiger Woods wearing the color red on the last day of tournaments. This superstition started when he was still playing in junior championships. Woods listed his reasoning on his website, “I wear red on Sundays because my mom thinks that that’s my power color, and you know you should always listen to your mom.” It is good to know that he has a bit of a sentimental side.
The Cardinal Comes A Callin’
After high school graduation, Tiger moved on to Stanford University on a golf scholarship. He was heavily recruited but chose to join the reigning NCAA Division I champs. If golf were not to work out, Tiger prepared himself for a “real job” by majoring in economics. Teammate and future PGA golfer Notah Begay III used to tease Tiger, nicknaming him Urkel in reference to the character from Family Matters. The Cardinal had no idea how good of a player he could be.
Age Is Just A Number
Tiger got off to an incredible start at Stanford, winning his first collegiate match at the 40th Annual William H Tucker Invitational. He finished the year as Stanford’s Freshman of the Year, an award given to an exemplary student-athlete across all sports. As a 19-year-old, he followed up his freshman season by playing in his first PGA Tour major, the 1995 Masters. He finished 41st and was the only amateur in the tournament to make the cut.s
We Are The Champions
Tiger did not stay long at Stanford but made the most of his time there. In addition to his school honor, Woods was voted Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year and was selected to the NCAA First Team All-American in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. In his two years at Stanford, he won a total of ten events, capping off his tenure with a national championship. At the end of his sophomore year, Tiger decided to turn pro.
A Good Guy
In his last year at Stanford in 1996, Tiger won the NCAA individual golf championship. They held a dinner to honor his accomplishment, but encountered one problem – Tiger never showed up. The dinner went on without the guest of honor, but Tiger could not forgive himself for missing the event. To show his appreciation, Tiger wrote 200 personal apology letters to the guests. This might have been his first big apology, but would certainly not be his last.
Smashing Amateur Records
Before he set records on the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods was dominating the youth circuit as an amateur. Before turning pro in 1996, Tiger concluded his amateur career by winning 18 straight match-play tournaments. It helped cap off a run of three straight U.S. Amateur Championships, becoming the first golfer ever to do so and remains the only one. Before he stepped foot on Stanford’s campus, he had already become the youngest amateur champion ever at 15.
Sponsorships Roll In
After declaring himself as a professional, skipping out on his last two years at Stanford, Tiger quickly saw his fortune take off. He signed huge sponsorship deals with Nike and Titleist for $40 and $20 million respectively, as well as undisclosed deals with General Mills, General Motors, American Express, and Accenture. At the time, Nike had never endorsed a golfer but would turn Tiger into an advertising superstar as he became the face of the brand alongside Michael Jordan.
The Prodigy Becomes A Professional
On August 29, 1996, Tiger Woods made his professional debut at the Greater Milwaukee Open. Days earlier he had competed in his final amateur event in Portland, Oregon. While en route to Portland, Tiger turned to Earl and said, “I’m never flying coach again.” He was right. The day after winning the tournament, Tiger hopped on a corporate jet to take him to Milwaukee. Tiger finished in 60th but scored a hole-in-one on the final day.
First Professional Win
It did not take long for Tiger to get accustomed to the rigors of life as a professional. He won his first tournament after only his fifth professional start. He claimed the 1996 Las Vegas International, a five-round tournament, over Davis Love III. Even with 90 holes in the bank, the duo duked it out in a playoff hole for the title. Woods earned $297,000 for the victory and rose 146 spots in the world ranking
An Astounding Comeback
Now, in 2019, it seems the Tiger has risen yet again. On April 14th, 2019, Woods made his incredible comeback complete by winning the Masters, which is his 15th Major and the first victory in 11 years. After falling as low as 1,199th in the world rankings, Woods seems to have made a total transformation as he returned to take Augusta as a changed man, the “old Tiger” replaced by a relaxed, happy, and carefree version. After this victory, he has risen again to 6th place in the world.
This victory was astounding in many ways. “It’s the best event I’ve ever covered. And I feel very fortunate to have been in that spot,” remarked veteran sports caller Jim Nantz. As he walked off the 18th green a Masters champion once again, the first people he greeted were his mother Kultida, his children Sam and Charlie, his new girlfriend Erica Herman. The crowds cheered him on wildly, united not just in admiration of his victory, but to honor the total turnaround he has made as a person.
The Race For A Tour Card
When Tiger turned professional in 1996, receiving his PGA Tour card for 1997 was not a sure thing. Tiger only had seven opportunities to finish in the top 125 money winners so he could earn his card. For a mere mortal, seven tournaments might not have been enough time, but for Tiger, it was a piece of cake. He won two of those tournaments and finished with $790,594 in earnings, good enough for 26th on the money winners list.
The First Major: 1997 Masters
If golf fans did not know his name by now, the 1997 Masters launched the legend of Tiger Woods. At 21, he not only eclipsed Steve Ballesteros as the youngest Masters champion ever by 20 months but also registered a record 18 under par, with a winning margin of a record 12 strokes. Since he won the Amateur Championship the previous August, he became the first and only person to be the reigning Masters and Amateur champions.
Meet Frank, His Driver Cover
When Tiger was walking the fairways of Augusta, many took notice of the furry tiger head cover in his bag. Frank, as Tiger calls him, was given to him by his mother Kultilda after she saw it in a pro shop and found it appropriate. Frank was made by Daphne’s Headcovers, owned by Jane Spicer. Spicer claimed she had 10,000 orders for tiger covers after his Masters win. Frank appeared with Tiger in a Nike commercial voiced by a sassy Paul Giamatti.
Officially Number One
The records continued to pile up. In only his 42nd week on the PGA Tour, Tiger became the number one golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings. Although he was barely old enough to drink, Tiger became the youngest golfer ever to hold the top spot. Bernhard Langer previously held the record. Langer broke the record in 1986 at age 29, eight years older than Tiger was in 1997. Woods would become quite comfortable in his number one spot.
Money, Money, Money, Money
In 1997, Tiger Woods was paid like the number one golfer in the world. His successful season pushed his yearly earning to over $2 million, the first time a golfer had reached this benchmark. It would be the first of ten times he led the PGA Tour in yearly winnings. After a bit of a down year in 1998, Tiger rebounded to win eight times in 1999, earning $6.6 million. He won 52% of the possible prize money that he could that year.
2000: The Year of The Tiger
Tiger Woods wasted no time in claiming Y2K for himself. He started the year by winning his fifth and six straight tournaments, the most since Ben Hogan in 1948. His performance at Pebble Beach for the US Open broke nine tournament records, including his 15 stroke margin of victory breaking Old Tom Morris’s 138-year-old record. Sports Illustrated called it “the greatest performance in golf history.” In only his fifth professional year, he became the Tour’s career money leader.
The “Tiger Slam”
In addition to the 2000 US Open, Tiger Woods dominated at the Open Championship at St. Andrews and scratched his way to the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. He became only the second person ever to win three major tournaments in the same season. The following April, he would claim his second Masters title, becoming the only golfer ever to hold all four major championships simultaneously (although not in the same calendar year for a “true” Grand Slam).
Where Did Tiger Come From?
Earl called Eldrick “Tiger” from an early age but was not the first person on which he bestowed this nickname. While serving in Vietnam, Earl befriended a soldier named Vuong Dang Phong. Earl referred to him as Tiger, repurposing the name for his son in honor of his friend. It was during his service in Southeast Asia that Earl met Kultida, a native of Thailand. Earl retired from the Army with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Sportsman Of The Year
Since Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in the year of its inception, Sports Illustrated has awarded (usually) one athlete as Sportsman of the Year. Until Tiger in 2000, no other athlete had ever been named Sportsman of the Year twice. Not Michael Jordan, not Arthur Ashe, and not Jack Nicklaus. Tiger won the award in 1996 and again in 2000 for his utter dominance. He would hold this distinction solely, until Lebron James in 2016 (he firs won in 2012).
Sponsorships Over Salary
As dominant as he had been over the course of 1997-2002, Tiger’s income from golf was nowhere near the outrageous amount he made from sponsorships. At his peak, Tiger earned $100 million annually off the course. He has made $1.4 billion in total since turning professional, but only 10% of that figure is from prize money. Tiger was the highest paid athlete in the world for 11 straight years and is the highest earning athlete of all time.
Dominance Takes A Back Seat
After claiming the 2002 Masters and US Open, Tiger succumbed to the pressure of a true Grand Slam and entered his first career swoon. He failed to win a major tournament in 2003 and 2004 but did take home PGA Player of the Year in 2003. In September 2004, Vijay Singh became the world’s top-ranked golfer, ending Tiger’s record streak of 264 consecutive weeks at the top. However, swing adjustments would help push him back to the top by June 2005.
Tiger Woods: The Family Man
As his golf game faltered, Tiger began to expand his family life. In November 2003 he became engaged to Eli Nordegren. Woods was introduced to the Swedish former model by Jesper Parnevik for whom she was working as an au pair. They married on October 5, 2004, in Barbados with house band Hootie and the Blowfish (singer Darius Rucker is a close friend of Tiger’s). The couple welcomed their daughter, Sam, in 2007, and their son, Charlie, in 2009.
The Death Of His Hero
Woods returned to top form in 2005 and 2006, winning the 2005 Masters and Open Championship, in addition to his first two tournaments of 2006. However, his good vibes quickly turned to heartbreak. His father, Earl, died in May 2006, leaving Tiger without his biggest hero. He returned for the US Open after nine weeks off in which he considered walking away from golf. Tiger fought through his emotions to capture the 2006 Open Championship, which he dedicated to his father’s memory.
Fighting Through Pain
Injuries started to catch up to Tiger by 2008. He underwent his third arthroscopic surgery and missed two months of play. Tiger made his return for the 2008 US Open but visibly played through pain. Woods winced after a handful of tee shots, appearing to keep weight off his left leg for much of the tournament. Tiger beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff to secure his 14th (and most recent) major championship. He required ACL surgery after the tournament, missing the rest of the season.
A Crack In The Dam
Throughout his career, Tiger had maintained a squeaky clean image. He was a consummate winner and refrained from controversy. That would all change two days before Thanksgiving 2009. The National Enquirer broke a story alleging that Tiger had an affair with Rachel Uchitel, a nightclub promoter. They had been photographed checking into the same hotel in Australia. She reportedly told a friend, “It’s Tiger Woods! I don’t care about his wife! We’re in love!”
Thanksgiving 2009 would forever change Tiger Woods. That evening, reports began to spill out that Tiger was in a car accident. After hopping in his Cadillac Escalade, he barely made it out of the driveway before hitting a fire hydrant, tree, and his neighbor’s bushes. An ambulance came and treated Woods for cuts on his face and police gave him a ticket for reckless driving. Tiger issued a statement, referencing the ordeal as a private matter which did nothing to quell the speculation.
The Truth Spills Out
Slowly, the truth about Tiger’s car accident began to come out. That Thanksgiving Eve, Elin confronted him about his infidelity, eventually losing her cool when she saw his last sent text message, “divorce.” She threw the phone at him, chipping his tooth, then pounded his chest and scratched his face. With Elin chasing him with a golf club, Tiger hopped in the car and pulled out as she smashed the rear windows. Neighbors found Tiger in the street unconscious and bloodied.
The Other Women
Two days after his accident, Woods released a statement saying, “This situation is my fault, and it’s obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I’m human, and I’m not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn’t happen again.” He would follow it up by indefinitely stepping away from golf. Over the next couple months, multiple women would admit to relationships with Woods. He would make another apology statement saying, “I was living a life of a lie, I really was. And I was doing a lot of things that hurt a lot of people.”
Tiger’s family life was not the only thing hanging on by a thread following the incident. Sponsors began dropping him left and right in the months that followed. His first significant loss was Gatorade, which dropped him and its Tiger Focus brand drinks. AT&T, Accenture, and Gillette would follow in Gatorade’s footsteps. Even Golf Digest discontinued Tiger’s monthly column. Throughout the scandal, however, Nike stood by Tiger’s side. Chairman Phil Knight called the scandal a “minor blip” and “part of the game.”
Effect On Sponsors
Tiger’s sponsors had good reason to leave him during this debacle – they lost a ton of money. According to a study by UC Davis, his current and former sponsors lost collectively around $10 billion. The study found that the three sports-related endorsements – EA Sports, Gatorade, and Nike – averaged around a 4% drop in stock price. This totaled $6 billion in losses alone. Before the scandal, Tiger earned around $100 million in endorsements. He lost an estimated $22 million in income.
Rehabilitating Himself And His Image
At the beginning of 2010, Tiger Woods gave another public statement. This time, he revealed that he had entered a 45-day therapy program in December 2009. Reportedly, Tiger was admitted for inpatient therapy at the Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for sex addiction treatment. He admitted to thinking “normal rules didn’t apply…I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to…and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. ”
Tiger and Buddhism
One of the most interesting comments in his apology speech was a mention of returning to the teachings of Buddhism. It might have been a shock to many to find out that Tiger was raised on Buddhist principles. Tiger’s mother is a Buddhist, and he actively practiced Buddhism in his younger days. He hoped that a return to these principles could help him regain some balance in a life that had come off the rails.
The Prodigal Son Announces His Return
After four disastrous months, Tiger announced his return to golf. He planned to make his triumphant return at Augusta National for the Masters. He had never missed the Masters in his professional career and was not about to start. It had been five months since his last professional appearance, a win at the Australian Masters, the same event that first fueled rumors about his infidelities. The world anxiously awaited to see how he would do.
The Nail In The Coffin
Elin and Tiger attended couples counseling after to his return from sex addiction therapy, but could not overcome the obvious obstacles to their relationship. Their divorce was finalized in August 2010. Elin explained that she tried to forgive him and remained on the fence about a divorce until April 2010. She claims the last nail in the coffin was the reveal of a 15th mistress, their neighbor’s daughter whom Tiger first met when she was 15.
Details Of The Divorce
With his net worth pushing $750 million, Tiger protected himself from losing half thanks to a prenuptial agreement. That does not mean he got off cheap, but it did help him maintain the wealth that he had earned. Reports suggest that Elin came away with at least $100 million in their divorce. That comes to $20 million per year that they were married, making it one of the most expensive divorces ever behind famed splits such as Rupert Murdoch, Steven Spielberg, and Paul McCartney.
The Bumpy Road Back
The comeback trail was not easy for Tiger. He came out strong in his first appearance at the 2010 Masters, finishing fourth, but could not get on the winning track. He did not win a single tournament even though he finished the year ranked number two. 2011 did not start off any better. His ranking tumbled to number seven, and he fired long-time friend and caddy, Steve Williams. By August, Tiger was ranked 58th in the world.
Augusta Takes A Shot At Him
If Tiger expected to receive the same support he had in the past, he would be disappointed. Before his return at the 2010 Masters, Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne took a shot at Tiger during his tournament opening address. Payne said that Tiger “disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. His future will never again be measured only by his performance against par, but measured by the sincerity of his effort to change.”
His Biggest Regret
One would think that Tiger would be full of regret for his adulterous ways. He is, however, among all of his sins, none of them place at the top of his biggest regrets in life. Woods told a stunned Charlie Rose that it was not spending another year at Stanford before turning professional that he regrets most. A strange choice for a guy that won the Masters not long afterward. He believes everything he went through, although difficult, has been good for him.
Back To Number One
It took some time, but Tiger finally got his groove back. In March 2012, he won his first tournament in two and a half years. Major championships continued to elude him, but Woods became a winning golfer again. He won five PGA tournaments, bringing him within three of Sam Snead’s record. After a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger reclaimed his top spot on the Official World Golf Rankings, dethroning Rory McIlroy and remaining there for the rest of the season.
Mending Fences With The Ex
In 2013, Tiger started dating Olympic skiing gold medalist Lindsey Vonn. In a strange turn of events, she helped repair his relationship with Elin. Vonn became close with Tiger’s children, and Elin appreciated how she “keeps (Tiger) in line.” They found that they had a lot in common and became friends. Lindsey and Tiger would even go on double dates with Elin and her then-boyfriend Chris Cline, certainly a 180 from the events of Thanksgiving 2009.
The Injury Bug
2014 began a new era for Tiger – the injury era. His knee problems from years past still plagued him, but a bad back wrecked his season. He announced that he would miss the Masters for the first time since 1994 to receive a microdiscectomy for a herniated disc. He would return but was clearly hampered by pain. Tiger’s 2015 was no better, missing the cut at multiple majors, and returning to the hospital for a second microdiscectomy. Woods would not compete in the 2015-2016 season.
Tiger Woods Design
While injuries had taken Tiger out of competition, Woods began diligently working on a new project – golf course design. He had initially attempted to start the business in the late 2000s, but the 2008 financial crisis set back much of the planned construction. He opened his first course in Mexico in 2014, and his first US course in 2015.
The End Of The Athletic Power Couple
Things with Lindsey Vonn seemed to be going well for both of them, but after three years together, they surprisingly broke up in May 2015. Vonn described to E!, “It was essentially being in a fish bowl. Everybody’s looking at you and judging you and commenting on what they think is right or wrong and it was hard.” They claim to still be friends, even amidst rumors that the relationship ended due to Tiger’s infidelity with another golfer’s ex-wife.
Tiger Is Addicted To Video Games
Up until his scandal, Tiger was the face of Electronic Arts’ golf video game series. Tiger Woods PGA Tour became Rory McIlroy PGA Golf in 2015, but that has not stopped Tiger from indulging in video games. In fact, Tiger is obsessed with Call of Duty. In 2016, Tiger, as a guest on The Late Show, told Stephen Colbert that he plays eight hours of video games a day, with one 30 minute lunch break.
Thanks For Choosing Us
Although Tiger’s transgressions have plummeted his marketability, some sponsors are still thrilled to have him in their pocket. His recovery from a back injury limited him to one tournament in 2017, but Bridgestone Golf, his golf ball provider, loves having him on board. CEO Angel Ilagan said, “The payoff has already occurred for us. His endorsement value is what’s really important for us. He picked our ball as the best ball out there. This is just added gravy for us if he plays.”
The Fear Factor Is Gone
When Tiger does eventually return to the links, he will no longer have the edge that made his the best player on the planet. Other players used to fear going head to head with him each weekend. His numerous scandals not only removed him from the game but gave his competitors a mental edge. PGA Golfer and TV analyst Paul Azinger said, “[Woods’ scandal] made players start to think that they might actually be more disciplined than him.”
Cranky Old Man
Tiger has gotten a bit crankier in his old age. He is preparing for his first tournament since back surgery but made sure to get some digs in on the modern golf ball. “We need to do something about the golf ball,” he said. He is unhappy with how far the newer balls travel, and believes that it could lead to even longer courses in the future. Unfortunately for Tiger, the USGA will likely keep the ‘juiced’ balls in play.
The Return To Rock Bottom
On May 29, 2017, Tiger reached arguably his lowest point. Woods was arrested for DUI. He was found asleep at the wheel with his car running stopped in a traffic lane. A breathalyzer indicated that he had no alcohol in his system and he has stated that the incident occurred from an adverse reaction to prescription pills, most likely pain medicine for his back. Whatever the case may be, it has been long fall for golf’s prodigal son.
As speculation subsided, details of Tiger’s DUI began to leak out. When he was found at the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz, the car was damaged on the driver’s side, and both driver’s side tires were flat. In his police report, Woods mentioned taking Xanx, Vicodin, and two anti-inflammatory drugs, one of which has been off the market since 2004. He made a public statement apologizing for the event and informing the public that alcohol was not involved while thanking the Jupiter (FL.) Police for their “professionalism.”
Struggle For Recovery
Under two weeks after his arrest, Tiger Woods checked himself into a rehab center for an addiction to prescription pain killers. At the time of his arrest, he was described as “very dopey” and struggled to speak or walk. He agreed to begin a 28-day treatment program in an effort to retain joint custody of his children, Sam and Charlie. It is rumored that his custody agreement states that he could lose custody if he is “caught up in a scandal.”
No Major In 10 Years
After dominating the world of golf for so long, with so many titles and achievements to his name, it seems like 2008/2009 truly was the turning point in the career of Tiger Woods. After his 2008 triumph in the U.S. Open, everything seemed to turn on its head for the talented golfer. His personal troubles seemed to directly impact his golf life. Amazingly, Woods hasn’t managed to win a major tournament in the last decade. However, it seems like that might be changing…
Back On Track
After so many troubles, both on and off the golf course, it seems like Tiger Woods might have just about found his mojo again. He has shown considerable promise in the last few months after admitting that his battle with injury has been difficult. “This year is going to be different,” Woods said. “This year I’m healthy and I can play. I can compete.” It looks like Tiger is a man of his word, especially after his most recent triumph…
Finished 2nd In PGA 2018
Nine years after finishing 2nd in the PGA, Tiger Woods finally saw some form of redemption and achieved the same feat at the 2018 edition of the competition. “I didn’t even know if I was going to play golf again,” he said. “I didn’t know what my schedule would be. I didn’t know how many tournaments I would play this year or if I would even play. So each tournament brought about its own 2challenges.” This might just be the start of a new run of success for Tiger Woods.