Tiger Heads to Pain Med Rehab

Tiger WoodsThis has not been a great year for Tiger Woods, either in the sport that made him famous or out in the public eye. Ever since his very public breakup with his supermodel wife, Woods has been trying to win back his fans and his squeaky-clean image. He’s had an uphill battle, not helped in the least by a recent arrest for DUI.

It was quickly announced that Woods had no alcohol in his system when he was found asleep behind the wheel of his damaged car this past Memorial Day, but the headlines screamed: “Tiger Woods” paired with “DUI” and that was all it took to start the questions once again. Had golf’s once-golden boy completed his downward spiral, or was there more drama to come.

Woods may have answered that question by checking into a clinic that offers help getting off prescription medications. While the stereotypical rock star may be in and out of rehab, people with Woods’ reputation for privacy tend to take these things very seriously. Tiger’s agent, Mark Steinberg, told the Associated Press he was “proud of” his client. “He’s going to get himself right to be able to essentially lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Even if he does well in rehab, Woods has a long way to go. Severe back and knee pain has hampered his golf game and led to the painkiller addiction. Meanwhile, his private life has been a hot headline in all the tabloids since the revelation of multiple extramarital affairs led to a domestic dispute that made all the sports newspapers and networks.

Woods’ physical issues have been just as public. Multiple back and knee surgeries have had fans and sportscasters wondering if Woods could ever regain his championship form. That would be a huge story. Woods once absolutely dominated the game of golf. He was at the top of the game in a way that is rarely seen outside, perhaps, professional tennis. Woods won, again and again. Even when he had a bad round, he tended to stay fairly high up the leaderboard.

After fourteen major tournament wins, some said Woods should step away from golf for a while, rest up and heal, physically and emotionally.

Steinberg seems to think that isn’t necessary: “He’s been in just immense pain for so very long that taking prescribed medication was a must just to be able to get up and move… I don’t think it’s fair to say there is an addiction… (The arrest) shook him up quite a bit, as it should…”

While Woods’ future is up in the air, it’s possible that he could come out of this better able to get his PR narrative and public image back on track. Time will tell.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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