Tiger Woods failed to make the cut yesterday at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C. – the second straight year he has done so.
It is the first time in his otherwise illustrious pro career he has missed the cut at the same event more than once.
Tiger attributed his failure to make the weekend in Charlotte to swing changes he has been working on with his coach Sean Foley.
But I don’t think it has anything to do with swing changes. I believe Tiger’s on-the-course struggles – not only this week, but the past two years – have everything to do with his faith life.
Indeed, for much of his golf career, Tiger was blessed on and off the course.
He won 71 times on the PGA Tour from 1996 to 2009, including 14 major championships. He married a loving, supportive woman who bore him two beautiful children. He amassed a net worth of more than $500 million between his golf earnings and commercial endorsements, according Forbes magazine.
Woods believed he did it all on his own. Not once did he give God glory for his extraordinary success.
I think it was no coincidence that God came calling on the prideful golfer on Thanksgiving Day 2009. First there was Tiger’s car accident. Then public exposure of his secret sin. Then his stunning fall from grace.
Tiger thought he could put it all behind with his February 2010 apology, which was broadcast live on national television.
“I am deeply sorry,” he said, “for my irresponsible and selfish behavior.” And he promised “to be a better man.”
Part of following that path, Tiger added, was returning to Buddhism, which his Thai mother taught him at a young age, but from which he had drifted in his adult life.
But Tiger has found no redemption in Buddhism. Because the redemption he longs for comes only from the one true God, not false deities like Buddha (or Vishnu or Ra or any other).
Until Tiger recognizes that, until he asks God’s forgiveness for his sins, until he acknowledges that every good and perfect gift with which we has been blessed comes from the Almighty, the fallen golfer will remain a lost soul – on and off the course.