When Tiger Woods essentially lost the ability to play competitive golf (mostly due to injury), the Tiger myth only grew in the intervening years among golf media/Twitter types. Not the on-course play, but the jokes about Tiger acting as the most confident athlete the sport has ever seen.
The jokes have sort of blended into reality, though, and Tiger’s return to relative prominence has been a nice reminder that we were all pretty close to the mark to begin with. To whit, the U.S. Open is next weekend at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. So how did Tiger arrive? By taking his gigantic-ass yacht up the coast and docking it an hour from the course.
Via Page Six, so you know it’s a fun one:
The infamous sportsman has docked his $20 million yacht — dubiously named “Privacy” — in Gurney’s Montauk Yacht Club as he prepares for the second major of the year, which begins June 14 at Shinnecock Hills, Southampton.
We hear Woods will be staying on the 155-foot vessel, which reportedly requires a crew of nine to operate and costs $2 million a year to run.
This is so good. It’s also fun to imagine Phil Mickelson getting wind of this and trying his best to top it.
There is a way to look at it where it makes sense; Woods has an obvious history of back problems, and presumably he’ll have more control over his mattress, gym routine, and overall environment on his big boat than in a rented historic mansion, or whatever the other options are in the Hamptons for pros playing the U.S. Open. But it’s also just the ultimate power play, and the kind of thing that Woods probably enjoys joking with people about.
And hey, if he’s in the final group on Sunday, maybe it will have all been worth it.
Of course, there’s the inverse of this too, where Tiger shows up with his yacht and shoots 76-77 and misses the cut, giving him ample time to sail back down to Florida. You don’t want to be the guy with a yacht who can’t play. It’s the most ridiculous version of the guy at your local course who rolls up with a staff bag (with his name on it) and brand new Titleist gear en route to a round of 109, all the while claiming “I never hit it this bad.”
That’s the worst. But hey, at least Tiger earned the yacht, and maybe he’ll contend at Shinnecock, the course where Tiger made his U.S. Open debut in 1995. (He withdrew due to injury.) Woods also finished T17 in 2004, the last time the event was held at the course.
This is peak-Tiger Woods off the course. If he can get anywhere close to peak-Tiger on the course, he’ll be in business.