Affairs exclusively wife's business

MICHELE MANDEL, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

It's none of our business where Tiger puts his driver.

The golf billionaire hasn't committed any crime. He hasn't run for office on a morality platform. He hasn't muscled up on steroids or cheated on the back nine.

If Woods has been caught dipping his Big Bertha where he shouldn't, that's his wife's business, not ours. If Tiger is pawing a string of buxom bimbos across the U.S. of A. and sexting with cocktail waitresses, that's his affair(s), not ours.

So the notoriously private pro has every right to tell us to tee off.

"I am dealing with my behaviour and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone," he said in a reluctant mea culpa statement released yesterday morning.

"Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means."

Really, Tiger? What exactly did you think would happen if people discovered the most famous athlete in America was stupid enough to have mistresses across the country -- including a dim-light cocktail waitress who thought releasing your panicked voicemail to US Weekly would somehow bring you two closer together.

Let's not be naive.

He gets into a bizarre entanglement with a tree and fire hydrant outside his million-dollar home. Rumours swirl that he and his former-model wife had been fighting about his alleged affair with a New York party girl.

The tabloid gossip mill then goes into overdrive and lovers start popping up faster than gophers on a golf course.

Now faced with hundreds of reporters and video cameras camped outside his exclusive gated community in Orlando, the beleaguered married father of two is holed up in a bunker and begging for "some simple, human measure of privacy" as he tries to deal with his transgressions.

"Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions," Woods said. "Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone."

He's certainly got a lot of explaining to do -- but not to us.

Why the public outrage and demands for a David Letterman monologue?

He's hardly the first athlete who turns out to be a hound dog on the road -- and certainly not the first husband to step outside his marriage.

The statistics in the States are something like one in four men are unfaithful to their wives, so Woods is hardly unique.

Why do we expect him to uphold a higher standard? He isn't a politician elected after a campaign championing public trust and family values.

He's not exactly the American president. Then again, they don't have much of a track record, either.

Trust me, I'm not condoning his bad behaviour. I hope Elin takes him for everything -- after he hands over a $4- million Kobe Bryant special.

But Woods owes us nothing but a superb, sportsman-like performance on the golf course. He doesn't owe us the details of what goes on in his bedroom -- not at home and not on the road.

He's admired and paid the big bucks not because of his (previously) squeaky clean image, but because he is the world's greatest golfer.

If it turned out the duffer was using an illegal golf ball -- is there such a thing? -- then it would be time to cue the boos from the gallery.

If he was caught betting on the PGA, bring on the calls for a public confession.

Those are transgressions that involve his public life.

Sending salacious text messages to a bar tart, as in "I will wear you out"? That should be the stuff of divorce court and not the current voyeuristic obsession of every news agency.

But we're an insatiably curious bunch, aren't we? We adore celebrity gossip masquerading as news.

And we especially love rubbernecking messy car wrecks as we creep along the road of our own imperfect lives.

Read Mandel every Sunday, Thursday and Friday. michele.mandel@sunmedia.ca or 416-947-2231.


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