COMMENTARY | Life is defined by how one responds to opportunity.
Tiger Woods has been a glaring example of that adage over his career. With the exception of Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus, no man has ever achieved more than Woods on the golf course. He was presented with an opportunity years ago to not only dominate a sport in which he is obscenely talented, but also to do so as a black man in a sport previously dominated by white men. No one will argue that Woods made the most of that opportunity.
Woods was also infamously faced with an opportunity to come clean about his own personal failures, and to do so very much in the public eye. His fall from grace following November of 2009 will forever be tarnished on his legacy. When speaking of Tiger's achievements -- no matter how numerous when his career is over -- people are destined to recall his poor decisions off the course as much as his brilliant actions on it.
Tiger was faced with the opportunity to admit his wrongdoing to the world, which he did in the most public of ways. Now, Woods is faced with another opportunity.
There isn't a person I have spoken to on the topic of Sergio Garcia's racial comments toward Tiger who would blame Woods for never again giving Garcia the time of day. Woods has every right to hold a grudge, keep his head down and eyes forward, and simply ignore Garcia from this point forward. Their disdain for one another is no secret. Life will go on.
Doing so would not solve anything. As the Golf Channel's John Feinstein suggests, Tiger Woods can shock the world by sincerely -- and publicly -- accepting Garcia's apology. It would be an admirable gesture in a situation that has lacked poise and, at times, maturity.
The recent Sergio Garcia-Tiger Woods feud has been enjoyable to watch from a fan's perspective. I would be dishonest if I didn't admit that I like a little gamesmanship at times. It makes things interesting. It keeps sports fresh and intriguing, almost like a game within the game. Who doesn't enjoy a little trash talking?
But as is the case with most sports feuds, it is all fun and games until someone says something he or she can't take back. Emotions run hot and eventually boil over. Remarks evolve from simple bulletin-board material to personal attacks. When a microphone or TV camera is tossed into the mix, things get even messier. Someone always becomes "that guy."
It is not Tiger's duty to accept Sergio's apology. It is not one person's job to throw his hands up and say, "OK, we're all going to be friends now." Feuds don't end that way, no matter how trivial in nature or inflammatory they become. Peacefully breaking a feud must be a mutual effort from both parties involved.
However, if Tiger Woods does want to end this snafu with Sergio Garcia in a manner that would be both admirable and inspiring, he should accept Garcia's apology with a firm handshake, a smile and maybe even a joke.
In doing so, Tiger will have made the most out of yet another opportunity in his career.
Adam Fonseca has covered professional golf since 2005. His work can be found on numerous digital outlets including the Back9Network and SB Nation. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife. Follow Adam on Twitter @chicagoduffer.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Tiger Woods
- Sergio Garcia