We have seen the intensity, the exuberant fist pumps, the red shirts on Sundays. We have admired the fairway-splitting drives, the miraculous chip shots and the long putts that wind their way across the green before finding the bottom of the cup.
We had seen almost robotic performance on his way to tournament victories. But what we had not seen from golfer Tiger Woods was a lot of humanity. Until Sunday. Woods, who adeptly shields his family and private life, let down his guard on the green after winning the British Open in Hoylake, England.
A brief celebration morphed into a sobbing tribute to his father, Earl Woods, who died from cancer May 3. The son was overjoyed that he could honor his father with a victory, but grief-stricken that his mentor was not able to see him hoist a trophy just one more time.
In his post-match comments, Woods respectfully acknowledged the similar circumstance of runner-up Chris DiMarco, whose mother, Norma, died unexpectedly July 4.
Woods’ reaction showed that those who have fame and fortune may be protective of their image, but we all hurt when we lose a loved one, and those memories can and should evoke heartfelt responses. We’re only human.