Tiger Woods wasn’t speaking to you today. Or the media. Or the PGA Tour. Or his friends. Or his Mom. In fact, if it was up to Woods, he wouldn’t have talked to anyone.
(The most powerful person in sports isn’t on the left)
The only person Woods was speaking to today was his wife Elin Nordegren. She is the sole reason Woods intentionally endured public humiliation. And she is the only person on earth who knows when Woods will resume his golf career.
Because Elin holds the key to Woods’ financial future.
We know from numerous, independent on-the-record accounts from Woods mistresses that his marriage to Elin was only for appearances. As a married man, Woods became more appealing to advertisers, which in turn paid him hundreds of millions of dollars.
Remarkably, Woods has been able to temporarily secure the majority of those sponsors despite his bombed-out reputation. But that fortune hangs by a thread, with Elin the linchpin to the golfer maintaining those innumerable millions.
If Elin had immediately left Woods after the car accident, he never would done rehab and would’ve already resumed his golf career. This entire ordeal is not about him eliminating his insatiable appetite for random sexual encounters. It’s about him keeping up appearances for Elin, which in turn helps him maintain his endorsements.
More specifically, it’s about money.
So if you’re wondering when Woods will come back to golf, look no further than clues left by Elin. If she’d been at Woods’ side today, you could guarantee that Woods would’ve announced his return to golf. But her absence indicates that Woods has not won her back. In fact, her absence is the tipoff as to why Woods even appeared today.
If Elin leaves Woods, he won’t be able to get back on the course fast enough - to reclaim the media spotlight and begin rebuilding his financial empire. If Elin decides to stay in the marriage, the millisecond after she informs Woods he’ll be out of rehab and ready to restart his player career.
You could make a case that Elin right now is the most powerful woman in sports. At the very least, she’s the most powerful in the world of sports business. She controls the fortunes of an entire pro sport along with hundreds of millions of sponsor dollars.
For all the talk about Woods being in control of his life, ultimately he’s lost a handle on the most important element of his existence: His ability to make money.
Elin is the ATM, and Woods lost the password.