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TheStreet Open House

Why Tiger Woods and Apple Are Cursed

Stocks in this article: AAPLNKE

But -- and it's a big but -- he hasn't won a coveted major since his U.S. Open playoff win at Torrey Pines with a broken leg(!) in 2008. Even he acknowledges the journey won't be complete unless he catches Nicklaus' hallowed major mark of 18. Winning three events last year barely raised an eyebrow because he laid a big goose egg at the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

So, what have you done for us lately?

I love Apple products (I own a MacBook Pro, iPhone5 and Apple TV). They're attractive, simple to use and integrate seamlessly. I gladly pay the premium because my peace of mind is worth it. Millions of consumers obviously mirror the opinion.

Apple revenue has grown faster than a St. Bernard puppy. Their coffers are swollen with more than $100 billion in cash -- nearly enough to cover the total amount of U.S. student loans. Until recently, the stock price had risen faster than Justin Bieber's Twitter followers.

But -- and it's another ample but -- investors didn't see -- or simply ignored -- the dark cloud warnings of iPhone5 supply issues or the lack of ground-breaking innovation on the horizon. Euphoric lemming buying led to panic stock sell-offs for a company with incomparable balance sheets.

Again, what have you done for us lately?

The Woods/Apple similarities are like overachieving twins separated-at-birth.

  • Both are at the top in their fields. No two entities enjoy and endure such a cult following. They are equally beloved and despised. Check out the message board battlefields of fans and enemies emotionally defending their overzealous support or loathing.
  • Both underwent significant changes. Woods completely changed his swing three times, underwent four knee operations and endured a very sordid and publicly dissolved marriage. Apple lost its leader and inspirational soul in Steven Jobs.
  • Both are industry leaders in style. Woods powerful influence instantly made the mock collar acceptable at stuffy country clubs. Apple's sublime design and packaging made every product feel special -- and their competition 20th century archaic.
  • Both inspired their competitors to make wholesale changes. Fitness buff Woods inspired doughy foes to hit the gym. Apple inspired competitive innovation to raise their smartphone capabilities and ergonomics.
  • Both are facing the warning signs of their own mortality. Woods is a not-so-spry 37 years old, struggles with an iffy driver and facing formidable rivals -- especially the No. 1 golfer and new Nike (NKE)stable mate Rory McIlroy. He's also running out of feasible opportunities to nab those hallowed four to five major trophies. To wit, Phil Mickelson's entire career has yielded four major wins.

Apple's lofty perch is threatened by invigorated challengers and without the inspirational Jobs as a guiding rudder. Its bellwether iPhone 5 sold 17 million fewer units than Samsung's Galaxy SIII in the 3rd quarter. And, the company's die-hard consumers are impatiently tapping their feet for the next groundbreaking technology in the pipeline. It's a high bar to maintain.

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