We mentioned yesterday that Tiger Woods had taken exception to an article in an Irish tabloid suggesting his Swedish wife could be found on porn sites, wearing not a lot of clothing.

The technical term for what has happened since is that the sh-t has hit the fan, big time.

Ireland’s major magazine distributor has yanked the offending magazine, The Dubliner, off shelves, saying “a significant number” of customers had demanded its removal. Meanwhile, the mag’s publisher, a man who has aged a lot in a few days called Trevor White, went into turbo-damage control, pleading that the entire article was nothing but satire and it hadn’t occurred that anybody would take it seriously.

Go figure. The Americans didn’t see the humour in a piece with the headline: “Ryder Cup filth for Ireland”, that said Woods’s wife, Erin, “can be found in a variety of sweaty poses on p-rn sites across the web.” It also found the ink to sledge several other wives of American golfers, such as: “Most American golfers are married to women who cannot keep their clothes on in public. Is it too much to ask that they leave them at home for the Ryder Cup?”

Woods demanded a press conference a day before he was due to appear and went straight for the jugular, appearing to be close to tears as he said:

My wife, yes, she has been a model prior and she did some bikini photos. But to link her to p-rn Web sites and such is unacceptable. And I do not accept that at all. Neither does our team.

… I know the media can be a little bit difficult at times, but when you [pause] … it’s hard to be diplomatic about this when you have so much emotion involved, when my wife is involved in this.

ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski has no doubt how this farce will end. Tiger (who hasn’t previously dominated Ryder Cups) will be wearing “his game face” from the moment he appears at the first tee, and the European team will pay the price on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Gene reckons Woods’s lawyers will be just as devastating when they inevitably come knocking on Trevor White’s door.

Next time, The Dubliner might want to put a big sign, reading: “SATIRE!” over any articles written for laughs.

Peter Fray

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