by Rick Snider

Tiger Woods needs to say goodbye to golf.

Say farewell to chasing the crown of greatest golfer ever. Forget surpassing Jack Nicklaus’ record 17 major titles. So long to even being the game’s best anymore.

Instead, it’s time for Woods to leave the sport because Monday’s arrest for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol shows he’s simply another person who has lost his way in life. Sadly, the golf course isn’t the way home.

If Woods is ever to be happy again, he needs to forget booze and other numbing agents and admit multiple injuries have ended his career. That he’ll never be a great golfer again. Indeed, Woods may never even be a decent golfer again.

And that should be OK. It has been a great career. Since 1996, Woods has won 14 major championships, 106 tournaments and 11 PGA Player of the Year Awards while leading the PGA Tour in earnings 10 years.

Meanwhile, corporate sponsorships made Woods a billionaire, according to Golf Digest.

But like nearly all professional athletes, Woods won’t willingly leave. Sports is beyond intoxicating.

It’s in their bones down to the DNA and nothing fills that void for most. Not being good in business, having a family or helping others is enough. Like many of his athletic brethren, Woods just wants to sink long putts and drive balls out of sight from the tee like he did since peewee days. And, of course, hearing unending applause on every swing.

It’s not going to happen, though, and until Woods understands that it’s time to move to the next part of his life, he’ll just spiral further downward.

It doesn’t take a counseling degree to see Woods has lost his way. It’s as obvious as the mug shot flashed across the internet on Monday after arrested at 3 a.m. near his Jupiter, Fla. home.

In a perfect world, Woods would remain competitive for another nine years before dominating the Senior Tour, too. He would have slipped past Nicklaus’ record and been the sport’s senior statesman.

Instead, the past eight years have erased every ounce of Woods’ legacy. From an embarrassing sting of sex scandals that cost his marriage to knee and back surgeries, Woods has been a shell of the once most dominant athlete on the planet. While many other golfers have endured scandals and slumps only to remain on the Tour, Woods is just too good to stay as a fringe player. It would be like watching a legendary singer forget the words to his hit songs as some casino lounge act.

Remaining in the sport as a TV analyst isn’t even possible. Woods has never had anything interesting to say. His smug personality, overlooked by many because Woods brought unprecedented money and fans to the PGA Tour, is no longer tolerated.

Whether Woods appears at the Quicken Loan National at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm on June 26, which benefits the golfer’s foundation, seems iffy. And even if he does, Woods will only receive sad looks from fans rather than a hero’s welcome.

Woods becomes the latest example of lying not only to others but even more so to himself. It’s time to find a second act rather than act like an idiot.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.

  1. I sure hope you write a follow-up piece…

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