He's also sharing it with a rookie. Billed as an advertisement of the game's Ryder Cup features, some take the pairing with Rory McIlroy as more fallout from Tiger's inability to abstain from sex with women not named Mrs. Woods.
An EA Sports news release described the new cover but, understandably, said nothing about his marital infidelity scandal - which has sent Woods to rehab, indefinitely delayed his return to the PGA Tour, and sent big-name sponsors running for the hills, EA not among them.
Instead, the statement focused on the inclusion of Ryder Cup play, allowing players to choose from U.S. or European teams and participate in the tournament's varying competition formats. As for the cover, "Tiger Woods denotes the U.S. team and Rory McIlroy represents the Europeans." And he's a perfectly good choice.
McIlroy, 20, of Northern Ireland, is technically a rookie, though he is regarded as the future of the game, is ranked ninth in the world, and Woods has said very complimentary things of him. Some might think this is a prudent time for EA Sports to begin preparing for life after Tiger.
But golf legends' names - Palmer, Nicklaus, et al. - far outlive their competitive prime and besides, EA's had no problem publishing a game by the name of Madden, without his face on the cover since 1998. Then, as the NCAA Tournament begins next week, take note of how many ads will feature any of Woods' four victories. Granted, he's not even a confirmed participant. But nor is his absence confirmed, and marketers are definitely minimizing connections to him.
Back to the game. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 will feature an intriguing online team play mode accommodating up to 24 players, with teammates capable of communicating strategy with one another between shots (on Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.) A slew of other capabilities and features have been mentioned in this posting on the game's official blog. The game is out June 8.