The Rise and Fall of Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is (er, … was?) one of the greatest golf talents ever.  His meteoric rise to dominate the golf scene is historic.  I still remember watching in amazement as this 21-year-old golfer won the 1997 Masters by 12 strokes!  He looked unbeatable.  Over the years, I have very much enjoyed rooting for him to win.

Jack Nicklaus saw it coming.  In an interview with Billy Morris, on April 10, 1996, Nicklaus said, “Arnold and I both agree that you could take his Masters and my Masters and add them together, and this kid should win more than that. This kid is the most fundamentally sound golfer that I’ve ever seen at almost any age. … I don’t know whether he’s ready to win yet or not, but he will be your favorite for the next 20 years. If he isn’t, there’s something wrong.” Well, seeing the above chart, something is wrong.

For 719 weeks in a row (almost 14 years), Tiger Woods was ranked as #1, #2, or #3 in the world.  Yet, now, he has fallen out of the top 50.  It is no accident that his fall has coincided with the exposure of his sexual sin (in November 2009). He hasn’t won a tournament since.  The reason he didn’t lose his #1 ranking earlier than October 2010 is because the world rankings take into account all the golf tournaments for the past two years.  He was so dominant that without even playing very much (or very well), it took nearly a year to lose his #1 post. I’m hoping that he can regain his form and be #1 again.

Learn the lesson of Tiger’s fall.  Sin will destroy you. Don’t be deceived, “be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). Sooner or later, your sin will come to light.  When king David kept silent about his sexual sin, he said, “my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. … My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.”  After more than a year, David finally confessed his sin to the Lord and found forgiveness.  He spoke of the blessing that  “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!” (Psalm 32:1-5).

What’s David’s counsel to us? “Let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found” (Psalm 32:6). So turn to Christ today, while grace and mercy awaits and know the joy and relief of forgiveness of sins.

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