Go with me on this for a second. If you were gonna fly all the way out to Italy to surprise your girlfriend at her job—she's up for a record! this is important to her!—and go through the trouble of letting her family know ahead of time, and having them keep it a secret, you'd probably take a second or two to freshen up for when you saw her, yeah? Especially if you knew you'd be photographed? (You're a great looking couple and people love taking your picture.) Anyway, the point is, if this is your situation and you've gone through all this trouble and also you're Tiger Woods, maybe go that final mile and put in your fake tooth, because that's gross.
The above is a photo of Tiger today, watching Lindsey Vonn win a skiing tournament in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy. He spent most of the day farting around the mountain in his weird mask—just wear a bandana or something, man—being regular, weird Tiger. Then he dropped the mask, and damn, ew.
There's a large existing body of evidence showing Tiger and his weird tooth. Here he is earlier this year—you can see the discolored left-front tooth here (and it's a little weird that Tiger would put in so much more effort to look good for work than he would to see his girlfriend, you know? but that isn't really our business here):
Going back to 2009, rumors came out of Star Magazine that Tiger was in hiding because Elin had thrown a phone at his face and broken his tooth during the Thanksgiving flipout about his infidelities. But looking back through photos of Woods, the discolored tooth is present well before the '09 incident.
Here's Tiger after being named golf's Player of the Year in 2006:
And here he is in 2004, after winning the Dunlop Phoenix golf tournament at the Phoenix Country Club in Miyazaki, southern Japan.
Going back any further is tricky, however, since the fidelity of the images isn't the best, and also Tiger's other teeth weren't yet full-on rich-people-white, making for more difficult comps. So, the timeline on when Tiger actually lost this thing remains open for now. The timeline for when Tiger stopped really trying to impress Lindsey and her family, however, appears settled.
Update: Tiger's agent is said in an email to the AP that a camera knocked out the tooth, and he was not sure when he would have it replaced. We read this to mean that his fake tooth was knocked out recently, and will continue having no idea what happened to his real one.
Mark Steinberg, his agent at Excel Sports, explained the missing tooth in an email. He says during a crush of photographers at the awards podium, a media member with a shoulder-mounted video camera surged toward the stage, turned and hit Woods in the mouth. That's what knocked out the tooth.
He did not say when Woods would have it replaced. Golf's biggest star returns to competition next week in Phoenix, and his smile is sure to produce a stream of shutters from the cameras.
Photos via AP