Tiger Woods' Would-Be Role Models: Derek Jeter, George Clooney, John Mayer

Career bachelors show Tiger could've succeeded without hurting anyone.

ByABC News
December 15, 2009, 6:51 AM

Dec. 15, 2009 — -- Tiger Woods didn't have to go this route.

Why did he get married? It's the question so many seem to be wondering as the disgraced pro golfer takes an indefinite hiatus from the sport, mired in a sand trap of allegations of cheating on his wife, Elin Nordegren, not once, not twice, but scores of times with at least a dozen different women.

Woods' infidelity goes against what he said in an interview conducted in Melbourne, Australia early last month, when he was playing in the Australian Masters. The interview was scheduled to be aired Dec. 25 but New Zealand's Sky Sport screened it today in wake of the golfer's sex scandal.

Asked in the interview "family first and golf second ... always been that way?" Woods replied: "Always. Always."

"Always?" Reports beg to differ. Whether because of a sex addiction, the thrill of the chase, a self-destructive streak or some combination thereof, Woods apparently took on partner after partner to satisfy his urges. In American culture, after marriage, and especially after two children, that's just not OK.

But had Woods stayed single, would anyone have cared about what he did off-course?

Probably not. Derek Jeter, George Clooney and John Mayer prove that Woods could've excelled in his career and played the field without hurting his reputation. Below, check out three examples Woods could have followed.

When Jeter broke into Major League Baseball as the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees in 1996, his batting average was as hot a topic as his social life. Tabloids jumped all over his relationship with Mariah Carey, which reportedly started when he showed up on the set of one of her music videos in 1997. She surprised him at spring training the following March, leading fellow Yankee Tim Raines to crack, "Is this baseball or 'Entertainment Tonight?'" Whatever it was, it wasn't true love -- Jeter and Carey broke up in June '98, but that was just the beginning of his illustrious run as a bachelor.