Did Tiger win by cheating? Hint: testosterone
Earlier this year, I wrote about Tiger Woods after he lost the World Gold Championship. My theory — perhaps a stretch — was that Tiger’s testosterone was down. He said he had been spending a lot of time with his pregnant wife Elin and their two-year-old daughter. In February Elin gave birth to a son.
All this downtime on the homefront suggests, at least to this observer, that Tiger was hormonally challenged. In the months preceding and following a baby’s birth, fathers’ testosterone levels are lower. Lower testosterone levels make a man less aggressive, less focused, less competitive — and more agreeable and responsive. High testosterone levels have the opposite effect.
Later this year Tiger rebounded to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial Tournament, the WGB-Bridgestone Invitational, the BMW Championship, and the 2009 Presidents Cup this. And now it emerges that during all this winning he had been cheating — on his wife.
Is there a connection here? Again, it may be a stretch, but did Tiger’s philandering contribute to a testosterone surge that helped his game? Lots of illicit sex, after all, could be linked to high testosterone levels. So did cheating help him win? Or did his success and the resulting testosterone-high spur him to cheat?
Or was it a vicious cycle: cheating leading to winning leading to cheating, and so on?