All we've ever asked from Tiger Woods is for him to be honest with us. It's a rather ridiculous request, since none of us actually KNOW Tiger, but we've invested so much time into his career, as fans and writers and watchers and golfers, that we feel that honesty is really the best way for Woods to give it all back to us.
On Wednesday at Doral, Tiger had an uncomfortably honest moment during his press conference, when someone asked him about his limited schedule. For full disclosure, Tiger has always had a limited schedule, because he can. He doesn't need to play in any tournaments he doesn't feel like playing, and for all those writers that think Tiger owes it to the tour to play in some of the smaller events, I've never really been in that camp. Tiger has earned the right to play in whatever he wants, and if you win 70 or so PGA Tour events, you would probably be more likely to pick and choose the better events just like Woods.
But Tiger was asked about why he isn't playing so much this year (he's only played in two PGA Tour events so far in 2011, with his third coming this week in Florida), and he gave a curt, but truthful response.
"Well, because I have a family. I'm divorced. If you've been divorced with kids, then you would understand," Tiger said.
We don't get to see a very beaten down version of Tiger very much, but these few words offered that up. No divorced person (well, no divorced, sane person) enjoys talking about their relationship struggles with strangers, and Tiger is about as closed up as it gets on personal matters to the public, but it was interesting, and genuine, to see him say something like this.
Divorce is a hurtful operation, and it probably isn't any easier when every person on Earth knows you were the reason your marriage failed. So yes, Tiger isn't playing as much because he has to deal with his kids. No matter if you're someone living paycheck to paycheck or a billionaire deciding on the boat or the plane, when you have kids, and your marriage ended, there is a sense of responsibility that is just human instinct.
Tiger has his schedule picked out this season, and that isn't going to change just because he's struggled at his first two tournaments. Even Tiger Woods has a title that goes far beyond 14-time major winner; he's a dad, and dads are important, important people. It's nice to see Woods understands that.