Golf superstar Tiger Woods may have regained the support of many of his fans by answering questions from the media on March 22 for the first time since being busted for adultery. But according to USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, he has also lost much support after choosing the Master’s Tournament at Augusta National in Georgia as his first venture back into the professional golf world.
It may still be difficult for women to view Woods in a positive light, especially after another one of his alleged mistresses released a series of x-rated text messages days after he announced his plans to return. According to ABC News, the texts suggest that Woods wanted to choke and urinate on former porn star Joslyn James during sexual intercourse. If Woods’ allegedly bizarre sexual desires didn’t disturb Woods’ female fans, Brennan said the golfer’s decision to make his return at Augusta National on April 8 will.
Founded 76 years ago, Augusta National is one of the most exclusive clubs in the country with a membership roster that includes elite figures such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. The club admitted its first Black member, Ron Townsend, in 1990, but still restricts women from joining.
“Is there something tone-deaf about this decision? Sure, there is. But the male-dominated golf world has never really cared about the issue of discrimination against women at Augusta National,” Brennan said in her column. “That is the place that Tiger decides to come back with these apparently well-documented issues that he has with women is ironic at best, and, I guess you could say, a slap in the face of women at worst.”
Brennan isn’t the only woman offended by Tiger’s choice.
“I only wish the press would get as outraged about women being denied the clear opportunities that Augusta membership represents—membership often purchased at taxpayer expense—as they did about Tiger Woods’ dalliances,” National Council of Women’s Organizations Chair Susan Scanlan told ABC News. “If Mr. Woods is looking for redemption for his transgressions, I find it odd that he would head to a men-only club.”
Eight years ago, the club came under fire after a series of protests led by NCWO’s Martha Burk. But Woods was silent during that time and initially ducked phone calls from the media about the uproar before speaking on the issue in November 2002.
“I think there should be women members,” Woods told the media at the time. “But it’s not up to me. I don’t have voting rights; I’m just an honorary member. As I’ve said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
For now, it appears Woods will remain in the “doghouse.”