May 25, 2011
On Tuesday, during Tiger Woods' press conference from Aronimink Golf Club, a reporter asked about the contract situation between IMG and Tiger's agent, Mark Steinberg. Tiger answered how you'd expect; with love for both parties, and a commitment to both.
"I'm committed to both, with IMG, and Mark's my agent. It's been a great relationship. I've been with him ever since I turned pro. I had a chance to go through a lot of -- basically my entire professional career and learn a lot about the business.
"It's been a lot of fun for me going through all the dinners I used to have with [IMG's Mark] McCormack over the years until he passed, then obviously my relationship with Mark. But I'm very happy with both."
Little did he know (or so we're thought to believe) that later that day, Steinberg and IMG would part ways, meaning another obstacle in this new life of Tiger Woods. But is this really going to change anything with Tiger, or is it just a part of the business when you're the biggest name in sports?
It seems not much will change. As the AP's Doug Ferguson pointed out, Tiger will have the option to leave IMG if he wants to continue with Steinberg, and even though it seems the departure was not mutual between Steinberg and IMG (according to Liz Mullen), it has always appeared that when someone is loyal to Tiger, Tiger is loyal to them (professionally, of course).
Tiger will most likely follow Steinberg wherever he goes, because there wasn't anything wrong with that relationship, and if Tiger could ever find a way to be productive again on the golf course, the sponsors would return and make the job of whoever Tiger's agent is a lot easier.
The real issue here is the old saying about rain. For Tiger, nothing has been easy. Nothing. If it isn't his personal life it's his golf swing, and if it isn't his swing coach it's his health. He has lost sponsorships, world rankings and popularity around the world, but the good news for Tiger is, the day he finds his game on the golf course, it seems his life could round back into shape.
But for now Tiger is with an agent without a company. I never thought we'd reach the day when the best comparison for Tiger's life is actually one of the characters from "Entourage."