Masters 2012: Tiger Woods Is The Favorite But You Shouldn't Root For Him

OPINION

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Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods doesn't deserve your cheers.

Tiger Woods is back -- at least that's the message sent by Las Vegas odds makers when they made him the odds-on favorite to win the 2012 Masters.

Woods is coming off a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and is the 5 to 1 favorite to win this year's Masters, despite not winning a major event since 2008 when his affairs became public knowledge.

The 36-year-old winning the Masters after such a long drought would be a dream for CBS for television ratings reasons, but his behavior off the court has made rooting for the former golden boy harder and harder each year.

His extramarital affairs with strippers, prostitutes, and Las Vegas waitresses are well documented, but those tales are only the tip of the iceberg of his poor behavior.

Hank Haney's book The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods, details the pettiness and insecurity of one of the greatest golfers of all time. Those flaws could be what drove him to becoming such a fantastic golfer, but also make him one of the least likable athletes in recent memory.

It detailed the extreme dislike that Woods had for some of his rivals, including the gracious Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, and Ian Poulter. Haney recalled one story where Woods referred to Poulter as a d-k for joining him on his private plane back to Orlando.

But the worst behavior of all was detailed in a recent piece by ESPN's Rick Reilly. In the piece Reilly meets up with some of Woods' siblings, including a half-brother stricken by multiple sclerosis, who say that Woods has completely ignored them since the death of their father Earl Woods in 2006.

Kevin Woods, who is 18 years older than his half-brother Tiger, was forced to quit his job after MS began to ravage his body and left him wheelchair bound. The older Woods is even on the verge of losing his home, but Tiger hasn't reached out to help him despite multiple attempts by Kevin's family to get in contact with him.

We haven't asked Tiger for a dime, Earl Jr. told ESPN. Not even tickets to a tournament. But Kevin's losing his home. He needs a caregiver and he can't have a caregiver and keep his home at the same time. And we can't do that, we don't have the means. He can't move into Royce's house because of the stairs. And he's got a dog.

Nobody's asking for money here, but [a caregiver] really would be nice for Kevin. It would make Kevin comfortable. He wouldn't have to leave his house. ... But we'd at least like to be able to find out how Tiger is, to find out if he's OK, and to let him know if we're OK.

The family has reached out multiple times to Tiger, but he has only made time for his golf playing niece Cheyenne, who won the 2011 ACC women's golf championship.

The worst part about it is that Kevin Woods isn't even the one asking for the help. Reilly writes that Kevin Woods remains a Tiger fan and will have his face close to the TV as Tiger attempts to continue his comeback at Augusta.

He might still be rooting for Tiger Woods, but that doesn't mean you should too.

In his prime Woods was a pleasure to watch on the golf course. He could hit the long ball; he could make seemingly improbable chip shots onto the green; and make a legendary putt or two.

But those skills are gone today and instead we are left with an unlikable former superstar.

Would it make for an interesting story if Woods wins the Masters this year? Of course.

But there are far better golfers -- both on the course and off -- that deserve that green jacket over him.

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