Tiger Woods is at Bay Hill this week and one restless journalist there will ask about the reports that Tiger is now boning an IMG exec's stepdaughter. Maybe two. But if that happens, playful Tiger on Jimmy Fallon reverts back to scowling Tiger and then every writer there will have to work much harder to wrangle a human-sounding quote from Tiger about something innocuous like his swing. So it's back to normal.
"This new girl is the first name I've seen attached to his love life, though there had been various spottings and rumors," said one golf journo headed to Arnie's tournament.
"The first post-scandal girlfriend was always going to get a lot of attention and she had to know it. [G]iven the media's investment in the Tiger scandal he will never be able to enjoy the old levels of privacy, and his girls are gonna get caught in the crossfire."
The new girl is Alyse Lahti Johnston, who went from the mostly private citizenry of being the 22-year-old daughter of former St. Louis Cardinal, Jeff Lahti, and stepdaughter of Alistair Johnston, an IMG bigwig, to Tiger's new blondish girlfriend over the course of a weekend. Her Facebook page was pillaged by blogs and tabloid magazines and her bedraggled looking mugshot from a fairly tame DUI arrest last October was the face of the first post-scandal girl everyone could giggle about.
Although Allastair Johnston did everything possible to prevent his stepdaughter from becoming Tiger's latest conquest, telling his partially hometown paper, the Scotland Sun, that his stepdaughter is not dating him — they're just friends, he says — but it's too late for that. Because in the immediate aftermath of that first report, here's some of the stuff that's been sent along to Deadspin from Johnston's other "friends" who supposedly know her and her history:
* How many guys she's hooked up with in college
* How many guys she's hooked up with in high school
* One guy's rating of her hook-up prowess as "nothing special"
* Details of how she had two abortions while in high school
* How some of her high school friends were intimidated by her and referred to her as "a beast"
* How she's assured others in her current circle of friends that she's not dating Tiger, "just having sex with him"
All of this surfaces about her because of her relationship with Tiger. Or, it could be because she started taking golf lessons in Windermere. She should have known better, I guess.
Granted, here's the one thing that will go surely overlooked before this dies down: Even if he's been rehabilitated and humbled, Tiger's been rumored to be sport-fucking for a while since Elin moved out. The Orlando golf community scuttlebutt is merciless, especially when it comes to Tiger.
"There have been stories about who Tiger's been banging since he left Elin and some fo the names of people were ones who just made you go 'huh?', " said one source close to the situation. "But we all forget that even though he went through all that stuff, he's kind of just doing what most guys do after they get divorced — and we also forget that he's still Tiger Woods."
So even though the rest of this week will give us reminders of the sex-crazed spectacle that followed Woods for a full year after he bashed his car on Thanksgiving night in 2009, it won't be nearly as humiliating and uncomfortable for him as it will be for anyone who dares hooking up with him in the future.
And what of that one golf journalist in Bay Hill this week? Will he ask about Tiger's love life since it's back in the news?
"Nope. Not because I think it's out-of-bounds but because I know he'll be frosty about it and I don't want to give Tiger the chance to be a dick to me."
Because he's still Tiger Woods.