Perhaps Woods would have been able to withstand this horrible year if there were an actual person behind all the ads. But there isn’t. Athletes like Woods and LeBron James were raised to cultivate a brand identity, and when you’re raised that way, your brand identity becomes your actual identity. There’s no separating the two. Woods spent his entire life cultivating his image, and when that image was destroyed, he was destroyed. There was no actual person to fall back on. No separation of church and state.
When Tiger Woods had the image of being an indestructible force of nature, he was precisely that. He needed that reputation. It fed him. And now that it’s gone, he has nowhere else to draw strength from. Tiger Woods built his perfection upon the illusion of it. And that’s why, as far as major championships are concerned, Tiger Woods’s career is now over.