I'll tell you a story about Makhaya Ntini. He's a cricketer from South Africa.
When South Africa had its referendum to end apartheid, the sporting teams had very few black faces, owing to the poor schools in the rural areas. If you recall, swathes of the population were not allowed to attend schools in the city, they had their own schools and were generally impoverished.
Now Makhaya Ntini was the first successful black player to enter the South African cricket team. To say he was a superstar would not be enough. He could do nothing wrong. He got player of the year every year. He was not left out the team if not for injury. One could say that his form was irrelevant. He was loved. To put it in context, a few months ago he was left out of the team for lack of form for the first time. It sparked a political row which ended with the entire selecting panel being fired.
Now what does this have to do with Tiger Woods? There have not been very many black golfers (in the US). I stand to be corrected but I believe there has been limited success for black golfers otherwise. Golf being an expensive sport, it is out of the economic range of the poorer players. So the racial context is comparable to the South African case. He's the first successful black player in a sport otherwise only for the upper classes.
And he was loved. The advertisers loved him because they could target other markets (wealthy nonwhites). The politicians loved him, I imagine, because he was living the American dream.
And I imagine for people like Makhaya Ntini or Tiger Woods, they can't help but come to think of themselves as blessed, as holy. They are gods among men. And I imagine that petty squabbles with the wife are beneath such people. How can one squabble with a god? I'm Tiger Woods, I'll just get another if I care to.
And then to fall from grace (which, for those still thinking about him, has not happened for Makhaya Ntini) is like a god becoming a man. Of course he wants to be godly again and he'll apologise if that it is what is required. Anything to get back on that high.