New questions have arisen for Tiger Woods after recent reports that he has a new girlfriend.
Is Woods further damaging his career and can he enjoy a scrutiny-free love life?
After revelations of serial cheating on model wife Elin Nordegren, Woods saw many things crumble. His marriage ended in a divorce, the custody of his two young children are in jeopardy, he lost $110 million in a divorce settlement, his corporate sponsorships bailed on him, his game has declined, his reputation has been shattered, and he has disappointed legions of fans.
Other than that, Woods is doing just dandy.
With recent news that Woods is dating Alyse Lahti Johnston, a 22-year-old college student, it's unclear if Woods will take a publicity hit for this relationship, and face other consequences.
First, there is the matter of the validity of the relationship. Neither Woods nor Johnston has publicly stated that they are together, or have ever been together. The two may very well not be in any relationship at all.
Whether the reports from unidentified sources are true or not doesn't detract from the damage this could do to Woods. Nordegren doesn't want her kids near Woods's girlfriends, and if he returns to his alleged former sexual behavior, Woods may find himself with limited permission to see his kids.
Nordegren taking both children with her to Sweden is also a possibility. How would Woods's children living on another continent effect his emotional and professional life?
Then there's the matter of Johnston. She has known Woods and Nordegren for years, and there is an element of weird behavior on both of their parts to date each other despite them knowing each other since Johnston was seven. Meanwhile, it's been reported that Johnston is or was close with Nordegren.
The tabloids jumped on the fact that Johnston has a DUI, labeling or inferring that Woods is dating a party animal. This fits in with the portrait that tabloids most likely hope to encourage with future Woods stories: the golf legend likes a quiet Swedish model for a wife, but hooks up with wild women on the side.
Then there's the corporate side of this. Johnston is the daughter of Alastair Johnston, an executive at IMG, a marketing firm that helped make Woods a small fortune.
Woods, 35, is in no position to damage his reputation any further if he expects more sponsorships. He has already taken a substantial financial hit since events unfolded after the November 2009 car crash.
The timing of this story doesn't help either. With the Masters just days away, Woods has the opportunity to be in the news for his success on the course - like the good old days - as opposed to his recent struggles on and off the course.
Should Woods falter at Augusta, there will be more than just whispers about his relationship with a young blonde who bears a slight resemblance to Nordegren.
If the relationship reports are true, Woods is gambling with his legacy. The last thing he needs is another off-the-course distraction.
A bad showing at the Masters will fuel more rumors that he has lost his focus. Detractors will point out that not even a sex rehab clinic in Mississippi could save Woods from himself.
Woods stands to lose even more than he already has if he doesn't live a clean life in the eyes of media outlets that are intent on exploiting his already damaged name.
Then there is the matter of Woods the person, and not the brand.
We are dealing with human beings here. Woods and Johnston, no matter what the tabloids try to do with the story of the couple to sell papers, have every right to share a private life together if they choose.
Johnston may have intentionally or unwittingly opened herself up to unwanted media attention. She now becomes a story whether she likes it or not, and every misstep she does may become public knowledge.
As for Woods, the golf legend may never have a normal love life because of the events that occurred over the past year, no matter how hard he tries.
The possibility of regaining his prolific golf form may be teetering on extinction, but Woods deserves the opportunity to at least move on with his personal life.