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Iain Carter | 07:00 UK time, Wednesday, 8 April 2009

There are many worse ways to spend 20 minutes or so than to listen to Geoff Ogilvy - one of the most sensible and engaging voices in the game and a genuine contender for this year's Masters.

Ask a question and you will get an answer from the Australian whose 2006 US Open victory was somewhat overshadowed by the collapses of Colin Montgomerie and Phil Mickelson that helped Ogilvy to his breakthrough in the majors.

Not only that, the answers will be well worth hearing. The same, sadly, can't be said of Tiger Woods, who once again left reporters shaking their heads at how unforthcoming he is in the news conference room.

It's a real shame because Woods is such a compelling story and great sportsman. It would be wonderful if he could provide a bit more when he talks to us but effectively all he does is let his clubs do the talking.

Back to Ogilvy, though, because he was fascinating when it came to discussing Woods and the intimidation factor the world number one brings to the tee.

"The first time I ever played with him, that was in Germany; it's a fairly nervous handshake," Ogilvy admitted.Geoff Ogilvy will be a real threat at Augusta

But the recent winner of the WGC Matchplay contends that he always seems to play well in Woods' company. "We are almost the same age. Intimidation probably happens a lot less when you're the same age and you've grown up at the same sort of time," added the 31-year-old.

"I've never really bought into the intimidation thing. It's not like a boxing match where the other guy is bigger than you and it's scary. If there is an intimidation it is that you know he is going to make that putt on the last hole.

"You know if you are going to let him have that putt on the last hole or that you let him have a chance , he is going to beat you - whereas you don't know that about anyone else," said the player who ended Woods' 2008 winning streak with victory at the WGC Doral event.

Ogilvy is a no nonsense sort of guy who has quietly gone about assembling one of the most effective games in golf. His skill around the greens and ability to remain unflappable in the biggest events mean he has a genuine chance of becoming Australia's first Masters winner.

"I guess before winning the US Open I went to majors thinking it would be nice to win one of these one day," Ogilvy said. "I guess now when I turn up to majors I know I can win one; I know if I play well, I'll be competing on the weekend."

And to become the first Aussie to win it? "It probably wasn't a thing before the Shark (Greg Norman) nearly won it - every year it seemed for a while. But it became big, when is an Australian going to win this tournament?

"Pressure? Not so much," Ogilvy went on. We all put enough pressure on ourselves. They are the hardest ones to beat, not everybody else's."

Speaking of Norman it was a delight to sit in on his pre-tournament news conference as he addressed every issue put his way with charm, thought and wit. Tiger please take note.

The 54-year-old will be taking on an Augusta National course that is 420 yards longer than when he last competed in the Masters in 2002. "I've got to mange my expectations properly," he said.

Time and again we probed him on the many disappointments he has suffered at Augusta, culminating in surrendering his six shot lead to Nick Faldo in 1996.

"I balance the good and the bad memories," he said before revealing that he and wife Chris Evert often lament past defeats together. "I talk about the Masters more than anything else when we have those conversations."

But overall he's convinced that he is deserving of "a pretty good" place in the history of this tournament.

I think he's probably right and what's more it wouldn't surprise me if it is Ogilvy who becomes the Aussie to take the mantle that for so long seemed to be heading Norman's way.


  • Comment number 1.

    nobody ever seems to mention Tiger Woods' constant spitting either.

  • Comment number 2.

    What a strange article - Iain Carter interviews Geoff Ogilvy and Gregg Norman and concludes that Tiger Woods doesn't talk to journalists the way he would like him to. And that's worth writing about?

  • Comment number 3.

    This reveals more about ego-centric media than Tiger. Press conferences are a source for lazy journalism. I wish we had more reporting of the sport and play and less focus on invading the individual. Woods and Faldo have suffered badly for not giving journos the easy fodder they want to fill column space.

  • Comment number 4.

    I have backed Ogilvy e/w this week. He is playing really well with two wins this year already + he is leader of the 'fedex cup' points table.

    Not sure what the point was of mentioning Tiger, If he came out saying "I'm the greatest, I will win by ten shots"....Then subsequently didn't, People could have a case to question his media skills.

  • Comment number 5.

    Press conferences don't win matches. Tiger is an exceptional player, a joy to watch, so what if he doesn't excel at media work. When you can beat Tiger on the course, feel free to criticise his media technique. Until then, drop it.

  • Comment number 6.

    I like your blogs and feel free to state how enchanting Ogilvy is but a cheap shot at Tiger is simply not needed.

    All other players understandably do in press conferences is talk about Woods. Tiger like any normal person, surely doesn't want to sit there and talk about how great he is. He's also not going to talk in length about other players as he is so single minded that he doesn't need to worry or think about anyone else.

  • Comment number 7.

    Every person is different in their make up and that includes their media skills, Tiger woods doesn't tell you how to write sports article and you shouldn't tell him how to handle a press conference. Most times when Tiger is grabbed immediately after a round of golf he is eloquent and humble, and the reason for that is it is an impromptu interview, whereas a press conference is contrived and therefore against the nature of a lot of people, point is, he doesn't have to be a master at public speaking just a master at golf.

  • Comment number 8.

    How nice it is to hear genuine criticism of Woods. He is a great player, and has been a great ambassador for the sport, but I do get fed up of positive press ALL the time. He should know by now how to foster a positive relationship with the press pack.

    Nice one Iain.

  • Comment number 9.

    2 Things. This is Masters week, Tiger is no doubt unbelievably focussed on winning the tournament and wants nothing to get in the way of this focus.

    Secondly, I've seen him do many an interview where he'll go in depth about everything he's asked. I've seen him fooling around with reporters, laughing and joking.

    The key thing about all of them interviews (of which there have been many). They were never during a major week, which is seemingly when Iain ever gets to interview the guy. Therefore this opinion (which he is entitled to) is somewhat degraded by the fact that Iain Carter has never been with Tiger away from the game of golf. People like Mark O'mera say he is so much fun socially and a down to earth guy, unfortunately we can't ever get to see this side in person.

  • Comment number 10.

    Sorry Iain, but I agree with the other posters that it is perhaps you who needs to take a look at yourself if Tiger Woods doesn't give you the answers you need and in the manner you desire.

  • Comment number 11.

    dear 355gts he is a golfer not a politician therefore the criticism is uncalled for in this instance. Also judging by the comment's so far you are in a minority.

  • Comment number 12.

    I love watching the Masters on TV but am dreading the constant bombardment of 'Woods overkill". So he's the worlds best ok but many fine players will be out there and we'll hardly see them play a shot, even if they are within striking distance of the lead. Also by watching Woods's every move it's possible youngsters will copy his bad habits. He should clean up his act and become a better role model.

  • Comment number 13.

    I was just wondering how many people here who are having a go at Iain for questioning Tiger have actually spent any time in the media tent, week in week out, listening to what he has to say.

    Anybody think that Iain might be in the best position to pass comment?

  • Comment number 14.

    Totally take your point Iain - I too wish that from time to time we could understand a little bit more about what it takes to be, and what goes on in the head of, possibly the greatest ever golfer.

    As you can read from the above posts, many people don't seem to quite grasp the challenges of the media conference as a format, and I'm sure you'll agree that it is a highly limited means of interview designed purely to generate inane quotes to spread throughout the world's media.

    However, when all's said and done, there is surely only so much that can be said. What detail/insight are you hoping to address - what are the kinds of questions he evades? For me, you've criticised Woods' performance (which is fair enough) but not really pointed out how you'd like him to do better.

  • Comment number 15.

    I wonder how boring it is to be asked the same questions 200 times a year, with everyone waiting for you to burp or say the wrong thing that they can then twist.

  • Comment number 16.


    Tiger has been dealing with the media for years, and month on month, year on year he gets asked pretty much the same questions.

    Was it not the case a few years ago when he actually took a member of the media to task for asking a ridiculously pointless question, something like 'so are you happy to win?', or did I imagine that??
    I know that more recently he did seem to become extremely exasperated when asked if he expected to win - his answer was something along the lines of "I don't know how many times I can say this to you, I expect to win everytime I tee it up."

    I really don't like the media circus that is the Tiger Woods show, but I can turn over the station when it gets too much - I can't imagine what it's like to be in the centre of it.

    If you were preparing for a huge week in your professional life would you rather be praticing or fielding the same questions over and over and over and over and over and over again, questions which have no more depth than 'What is your favourite colour?'

    He may not be a great interviewee, he may be brilliantly trained to say nothing at all while speaking a lot, and certainly nothing controversial - look at all that kicked up that one time when he did allow a slip of the tongue - but we certainly won't find out when he is asked the same questions over and over again.

  • Comment number 17.

    what did woods say that left reporters shaking their heads? examples please ian!! looking at woods answers to the many questions he received appear to be both honest and refreshing. to quote 1 answer i really wanted to get into contention and feel the rush again on the back nine bay hill was great , to feel that , and just see how my body would react again. its been awhile.

  • Comment number 18.

    This article shows the pull of Tiger Woods. It wouldnt be worth writing if it didnt mention him somewhere, and therefore he is mentioned in the title to grab peoples attention and is therefore only adding to the (almost) monopoly Tiger Woods holds over the publicity of the golfing world.

  • Comment number 19.

    I agree with Iain's comments.

    What Tiger fails to realise is that he is part of the entertainment industry. Without fans willing to pay large sums to either watch him at an event or on the TV, he would not earn the vast sums he currently does in winnings or be set up for life with sponsorships from big companies. The life of a sportsman is relatively short (especially as I don't see Tiger playing on the senior tour) so is it too much to ask for a little personal insight from him in return for a comfortable retirement?

    If he answers one question in an interesting way, it might encourage journalists to ask him something more challenging...

  • Comment number 20.

    I am sure that throwing your toys out of the pram and writing a public article admonishing Tiger is the best way to change his perspective. He is there to play golf not talk to people like you who cannot even be bothered to proof read their articles and correct the most basic of grammatical typos:

    ' "Pressure? Not so much," Ogilvy went on. We all put enough pressure on ourselves. They are the hardest ones to beat, not everybody else's." '

  • Comment number 21.

    Don't blame him, If I was the greatest who'd ever lived at a sport I would waste my breath on some hack from the BBC either.

  • Comment number 22.

    I agree that press conferences are a lazy form of journalism, I feel that different athletes handle the distraction of the media in different way, Woods clearly looks like a man who is focused, not saying Oglivy isn't but he's not close to losing his world number one status is he?

  • Comment number 23.

    While I agree Ian has a right to be frustrated by some of Woods' answers in press conferences, I am also sure Ian of all ppl knows that Woods' wasnt always like this. Soon after turning pro he gave an interview at the time when he made an off the record off colour joke which was printed by the journalist followingf him at the time.

    He went on to recieve a ridiculous amount of criticism from the press and golfing world alike. Since then he has been very wary of the press and as far as I am conrcerned understandably so. He is required to conduct himself in a flawless manner, win every golf tournament. Two requests that he has a tendency to oblige more than any other sportsman on the planet!!

    Now you think he needs to be your best friend in the news tent though you know there are certain elements in there that would twist whatever he says to make a story? I am sorry but tough luck, THE MAN DOES ENOUGH FOR GOLF, winning on one leg, by 12 shots, by 15 shots...

    p.s wexfordeamon, Woods should clean up his act???? Now there is a joker if I ever met one.

  • Comment number 24.

    Like a few other elite sportspeople, Woods has fearsome focus and drive to be the best and those well-honed skills have taken him to the top of the tree.

    It's also made him a pretty boring individual socially. That's just how it often goes.

  • Comment number 25.

    Good morning from the good'ol U,S of A Iain,
    This is the first blog of yours I've read and on consideration of it's content, it will probably be the last, as an exiled Englishman, I can only assume the BBC have employed you as part of some 'care in the community' scheme? or during some red nose day event you blagged someone into giving you this gig? either way, you're no Stuart Hall are you son?
    Who gives a damn if Tiger won't open up his heart to you lot, I just want to see him play golf, some players are indifferent the media, others court it, some shy away from it, accept it and find something worth writing about other than 'Tiger won't fill my pages for me' earn your paycheck fella!
    you make even Robbo Robson's blog seem worthy of the licence payers cash.

  • Comment number 26.

    If you want better answers from Tiger you need to stop taking what he says as fact and realise he is just giving his opinion. I personally think Tiger is just not the kind of public speaking guy, is it not possible he just gets a bit shy in these kinds of situations? He has never been the best at public speaking, his winning speeches are never the best and his speech at the Obama Inauguration was very nervy. As him the same questions on Sunday night if he wins

  • Comment number 27.


    I am in the minority, and I celebrate that fact.

    I'm just saying that it's refreshing to hear a different point of view of a great sportsman for once. I don't buy into people always being positive. No-one is perfect and it's nice to hear about the flaws for once, however minor they are. I don't think Iain Carter is being overly critical, and I do think that Wood's shortness could reasonably be attributed to his focus, which is undoubtedly a key to his success. I just find it refreshing to hear an alternative view.

  • Comment number 28.

    World's best player or good interviewee? Tough question I guess (especially for a hack) but I think I would rather be the best player and damn the torpedoes.

    PS just like F1, seems that reporting off track rubbish is more important than on track racing BUT then we do love soap operas so much

  • Comment number 29.

    Tell me another player that does this for his fans and tell me he is socially unesteemed. This is Masters week like I said in comment #9.

    The guy has made it clear he is here to win, now he tees it up late tomorrow which means we will get to see his whole round pretty much. I got into golf because of this man, he is top athlete personified.

    Why complain when we are witnessing history year in year out.

  • Comment number 30.

    Funny how parts of the sports media seem far more interested in whether a sportsman is good at feeding them material in press conferences than what actually goes on at the sporting events.

  • Comment number 31.

    I see many posts argue why Tiger should speak to journalists, when he has the masters to concentrate on. In that case, why bother going to the press conference at all? From the clip I saw, he managed to get plenty of PR for himself by uttering one word – "Always".

    However, that is not the point of the press conference, and he is a golfer, surely he should make the effort. I always used to use the same argument for David Beckham and his post-match interviews. He is, at the end of the day a footballer, and let him play football. But, over the years, he has become a lot more media-savvy, and it has worked to his advantage. If other golfers can open up, why not Tiger.

    I would guess that few of the posters have experience of a press conference. While they may be considered lazy journalism, it is often the only way to get an "interview" with someone, such is the protection that surrounds individuals. Unfortunately, or fortunately, relationships with journalists is part of the job description, now more than ever, and the more that Tiger Woods puts in, the more he gets out.

  • Comment number 32.

    Woods won't give anything away for nothing at Press Conferences, if you want 'interesting' it'll have to be a paid exclusive.

  • Comment number 33.

    Tiger....great golfer....but zero personality...

    I'm sure he doesn't want to say anything that might offend his corporate sponsors..

  • Comment number 34.

    Iain wrote...'''Speaking of Norman it was a delight to sit in on his pre-tournament news conference as he addressed every issue put his way with charm, thought and wit. Tiger please take note.'''

    I am assuming this is your first trip to Augusta. Your first golf blog. Your first time watching golf on TV. First time reading anything about golf. First time golf has entered your vocabulary. Like Tiger or hate Tiger. Your prerogative. To admonish Tiger to 'take note' of a Greg Norman interview is ludicrous.

    I hope your second attempts at the above endeavors put you on the right path toward sanity.

  • Comment number 35.

    There is a reason why the press, radio and tv etc are called the "media" - they are the medium through which sports stars communicate with their fans and the public at large. The theory is that journalists ask the questions which we would like to, but can't.
    So yes sports stars should try and be accessible, informative and ideally interesting, though some will always be more comfortable than others in that environment.
    Banal answers are insulting to the interviewer and the public at large, though it would certainly help if the questions were more interesting in many cases. Hearing the "how did it feel to win" question must drive sportsmen mad - it certainly does this viewer !

  • Comment number 36.

    The problem with any of these press conferences is that they ask Tiger stupid questions.

    Q. So, Tiger, do you think you can win the tournament this week?
    A. Always

    Q. So, Geoff (or Phil, or Poults or whoever), do you think you can win the tournament this week?
    A. Well, if I strike the ball well and get a bit of luck at the right times then absolutely I'd hope to be in contention.

    To me, all that does is highlight the stupidity of the question. Asking Woods whether he fancies himself to win is ridiculous considering he won his last major on leg that had a snapped cruciate and a double fracture.

    Even with other players, the answer is relatively predictable.

    At the end of the day, none of the fans watch golf for the press conferences. That's only there to fill a media hole in between events.

  • Comment number 37.

    The world's full of people who talk a good game.

    When Ogilvy has finished entertaining you, ask him "As he's about the same age as Tiger and came up with him and is not intimidated by him why hasn't he won as much as him?".

  • Comment number 38.

    Excellent article, Iain.
    The US Golfing Press tend to put Ogilvy and Harrington at the top of their list of good interviews, with Casey also right up there. Ogilvy particularly interesting on course architecture - wonder what he thinks of the "new" Augusta?

    Perhaps some posters on here don't realise the extent to which Tiger manipulates the Press - pointedly declining interviews with those who might have criticised him, Peter Kostis at the top of the list, Nick Faldo not far behind.

    Which is good for Tiger's Corporate image and not for those who hope to find the Press objective and not fawningly sycophantic.

  • Comment number 39.

    I don't agree with Iain that Tiger needs to open up more. Indeed, I rather like the fact that Tiger is somewhat distant and 'unknowable' for want of a better word. Also, anyone who entertains the notion that Tiger has 'zero personality' misses the point entirely. Tiger is a great enigma, who doesn't want - or need - to give too much of himself away. Those close to him will tell you he's a great guy, but as for letting his mask down for the world and his wife (or Iain Carter), so they can feel closer to him, I feel it would actually detract from his aura and character and as the world's greatest living sportsman, I want him to appear distant and remote from the average mortal.

    Also, whenever Tiger is interviewed on TV, win or lose, he always gives full, polite answers and is very gracious. He may not be controversial, but he handles the media scrum better than anyone. What do you want, Iain? Tiger to be a buffoon like Poulter? I can't think of anything worse...

  • Comment number 40.

    Ian Poulter & Retief Goosen.

    These guys had things they said missrepresented and then got hauled over the coals in the media for it.

  • Comment number 41.

    Iain has been fairly criticised but shouldn't shoulder all the blame.

    The BBC is also being lazy. The responsibility for the headline is the editor not the journalist.

    Go to

    You will see the following headlines designed to entice us:
    Ogilvy gives Woods a lesson; Woods confident of Masters glory; I expect to win - Woods; Blog - Tiger bares his teeth; and Archive 1997 - Tiger wins his first Masters
    Oh, and the other two, to be fair... - Pundits give their Masters predictions, and Augusta tee-off times.

    The BBC is wrongly assuming that unless Tiger's in the title, we're not interested. Have they done research to back this up, or are they just following the lazy media circus? It's true that he dominates the game, but there is surely so much more to golf than one man. So I say come on BBC, stop insisting that everything has to be Tiger-related - including Iain's articles about other golfers' interviews - interviews in which Woods isn't even mentioned!

  • Comment number 42.

    Its part of his phycology its a form of getting rid of the shot like slamming a club.

  • Comment number 43.

    Those critics who upbraid Iain Carter for expecting - or hoping - for a little more of Tiger Woods, press wise, might remember that this is Pro golf, televised precisely because it has an entertainment role. Indeed, the players are contractually obliged to talk to the media as part of their hugely rewarded efforts - Woods is one who's appearance money alone dwarfs the earnings of many of his peers. Sure, he's entitled to be tight-lipped if he wants to once in front of the media - but his privacy is hardly being "invaded", as one comment suggests, simply because, like other competitors, he's asked about the prospects for a tournament.I don't expect every pro to be a barrel of laughs, and Tiger's contribution to playing may never be bettered. But, hey - for all that loot, a minute or two more about his approach to the game might be enlightening as well as engaging. Shouldn't be a massive call for an intelligent professional.

  • Comment number 44.

    So David Beckham gets abused by one and all for actively courting the press. Tiger gives the press more than they could ever wish for in terms of excitement and is the sole reason why golf might make it on to the front page away from the majors and the Ryder Cup, but he gets abused for not opening up to the media?

    Don't get me wrong, I love reading interviews with Monty and the like who are willing to bare their souls but why should Tiger have to do the same just because he is the best? I agree with the others, it's lazy journalism. There are plenty other stories you can print without complaining about the man we missed so much while he was away.

    And Kwiniaskagolfer, what is your problem with Tiger? It seems to be a theme of yours. Feel free to correct me though.

    Cheers all. Hope it's a great weekend. Come on Sergio!!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    I enjoy your blogs Iain and rarely feel the need to post a response but on this occasion I totally agree with Kencharman. Your time would be better spent writing about what's actually happening out there... For instance... How have the players been doing in practice? Describing the mood around the place? How is the course playing? How much time are players spending on the range? What are they doing around the course?Anything bar poking holes in tigers demeanor in press conferences.

    This article seems to have been met with the majority in agreement with you which is dissappointing.

  • Comment number 46.

    Iain, you've lost the plot completly with this one. Why you felt the need to mention Tiger Woods in an article about Geoff Ogilvy is beyond me.

  • Comment number 47.

    How is it lazy journalism? Without players opinions and thoughts on their round, their fellow pros, the course etc there would be no need to report anything other than a leaderboard in newspapers and online.

    The only reason Tiger is able to play the game he loves for a living is because the public want to see him playing it. It is not too much to ask for a little insight. Harrington is capable of it, and he has all the attention, sponsorship commitments etc that come with winning the last two majors.

  • Comment number 48.

    Tiger gets enough media coverage, give some other guys a chance.

  • Comment number 49.

    mjaym65 - "But, hey - for all that loot, a minute or two more about his approach to the game might be enlightening as well as engaging. "

    So what would you like Tiger to answer in response to "Do you expect to win?"

    Ask him something interesting, he might have an interesting answer. Certainly, the comments published elsewhere on the beeb about the reasons he's not practiced much (because the conditions will be different later in the week) are pretty interesting and inciteful.

    It's just that the editorial headline is that Tiger answers a stupid question with a dull response....

    Maybe he should be made to juggle a golf ball or something whilst he's answering just to provide entertainment.

    As I said above, there's little point to these early week press conferences beyond filling empty media space. No one's really that interested until the actions properly starts on Thursday. People don't watch golf for Tiger's interviews, they watch it for his golf.

    As 2UP2TOPLAY says above, there's plenty of more interesting things to report than asking pointless questions to Tiger just so you've got a clip and a photo to put on your website.

  • Comment number 50.

    Tiger Woods is a great golfer, but not a great "sportsman" - too self-absorbed and selfish, winning seems to be the only thing that matters to him. For sportsmanship give me VJ Singh any time.

    However he's not paid to be a public speaker. Some people are naturally taciturn and private, others are touch-feely and garroulous like Obama.

    "It would be wonderful if he could provide a bit more when he talks to us but effectively all he does is let his clubs do the talking."

    It would certainly make journalist's lives easier, but he's not going to change just to give you easy quotes.

  • Comment number 51.


    "There is a reason why the press, radio and tv etc are called the media"

    Actually, TV is called a "medium" because it is neither rare nor well-done.

  • Comment number 52.

    So Mr Carter, now you've finished constantly sniping at our (UK) greatest golfer, you thought you'd move onto the greatest golfer in the world.
    What is it with you and you little clique of serial under achievers? You, Montgomerie, James and Torrance are just bitter little people.
    I have always wondered what your qualification for BBC Golf correspondent was, I still don't know.

  • Comment number 53.

    Somebody called Jimmytwoclubs (I think)wrote that Tiger fails to realise that he is part of the entertainment industry. Sorry ol` fruit but you are absolutely and totlly wrong. A quick glance at TW's activities with the less privileged, the First Tee and the TW Foundation would enable a blind man to see that he is a warm, generous, giving human being and totally aware that he has a great gift which has earned him money and respect, and he wants to repay. He appreciates the media and its importance but does not tolerate fools and foolish questions easily. But I have seen numerous intimate interviews on TV where he has been open, warm, witty and entertaining, as he nearly always is on the golf course. I just wish he would stop spitting.

  • Comment number 54.

    To quote one of the posters above "Ask him something interesting, he might have an interesting answer".

    He won't. Tiger Woods has never said anything interesting in his life. In all the time he has been in the public arena I haven't heard him say anything of note. It's always the same stuff about how he played, what the conditions were like, how many putts he holed, yadda yadda, snore.

    In most of the posts above people have said "Tiger said something along the lines of...", but I notice no-one can actually quote anything from memory, as he hasn't said anything worth remembering.

    When he manages to grow a spine and actually gives an opinion about something, without fear of losing a sponsor, then I'll keep on agreeing with the likes of Ian Carter.

  • Comment number 55.

    I think we're going a bit off subject here. Iain didn't state the extent of his encounters with TW - I'm guessing he has asked and witnessed his peers ask more than "How do you feel after winning" and got a lukewarm response.

    I don't think this is a personal attack on Tiger by Iain, more observations of how a extraordinarily talented golfer deals with the media. Certainly, the article doesn't warrant the direct verbal attacks aimed back at him (#25 and #34).

    And I am sure Iain will have plenty of opportunity to comment on what the golfers are having to eat and how things are at the range (YAWN!!!!) over the coming days.

  • Comment number 56.

    Just watch the interviews Tiger gives as he finishes his rounds over the tournament. He will speak politely to Hazel, Doougie or the boy Line Acre, and will personally namecheck which ever of the BBC reporters get to speak to him. He will be honest and forthright and whether he be 5 over or 5 under will finish with that smile.
    Then listen to his warmth and graciousness in the Butler Cabin on Sunday night.
    As for the spitting, I am not defending him, but many international sportsmen do this; however none have the camera on them as constantly as Woods does.

  • Comment number 57.

    tiger is undoubtedly a wonderful golfer but i do think iain has hit on a point here. you don't need to look any further than those wretched gillette ads tiger does with federer and henry for evidence. all 3 seem to be in thrall to big corporate sponsors and most of their post-match comments are formulaic (and in federer's case increasingly smug). so while i accept tiger does not perhaps enjoy the media glare i personally welcome the monty's and ogilvy's of this world

  • Comment number 58.

    Iain Carter, I wonder if you have what it takes to read the comments here and take heed of the overwhelming consensus that perhaps it is not Tiger Woods that is at fault here. On the one hand we have an average journalist, not noted as one of the world's most ethical professions, and on the other we have a man at the pinnacle of his chosen profession and who is still in the process of trying to be the greatest ever golfer. In that pursuit he has to remain totally focussed on his objectives and the lessons he has learned while accumulating his long list of championships. He is determined, he is dedicated and he conducts himself in a way that works for him, not for Iain Carter. It is up to you Iain Carter to make your own place in your chosen profession, not for Tiger Woods to make it for you as well. Given the material Tiger and his family have given you all so far, I would say that you all owe him big time and that it is highly unlikely that you will ever redress the balance or that Mr. Woods will ask you to. Be grateful Mr. Carter, after all Tiger Woods is giving you the opportunity to report on history in the making, and if that is not enough for you, then perhaps you are not even average?

  • Comment number 59.

    #58 WTF?

    Where did that come from?

    And "the overwhelming consensus"? I suggest you re-read the comments, and then revise your judgement. I think you'll find there is plenty of support for the point the piece is making.

  • Comment number 60.

    Brewster's Millions, some Tiger quotes for you;

    “Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps.” (not wholly original, but still)

    “A child born to a black mother in a state like Mississippi...has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.”

    "I did envisage being this successful as a player, but not all the hysteria around it off the golf course.”

    "I don't see myself as the Great Black Hope. I'm just a golfer who happens to be black and Asian. It doesn't matter whether they're white, black, brown or green"

    “Green and black go well together, don't they?” (just as it's Masters week)

    "I've always thought that that hole is too gimmicky for the 17th hole of a championship. As far as the 8th hole, I think that would be a fantastic 8th hole, but not as the 71st hole of a tournament or 17th hole of your round." (talking about Sawgrass, not exactly controversial but a good way to annoy the PGA as they have their HQ their and position it as one of their top tournaments)

    No-one's saying that he is a rent-a-quote golfer in the making and there is no disputing that he is very well media trained, but if the questions he's asked consist of;
    How do you rate your chances? How's the knee? What do think of (insert name of young golfer here)? etc, etc What do you expect him to say?
    "If I don't win i'll top myself, everyone else here is well below me"
    "My knee's great but if you want to talk about body parts, let's talk about the rack on (insert name of hot female golfer here)"
    "I don't know why these youngsters keep trying to take me on, i'm gonna choke the life out of his golf game, i'm gonna send him home to his momma crying."

  • Comment number 61.

    Chillidipper - with the exception of the first quote, most of those are pretty much instantly forgettable. Actually, I do remember that particular quote, but he did borrow it from someone else. Point is, unless you are a big fan of Tiger you are unlikely to be able to recall any of his great pearls of wisdom.

    I know it's not entirely his fault. He is very well media trained, and must be fairly sick of having people ask the same questions over and over (especially the ones you highlight). But he always steers as far away from controversy as he possibly can, to the point where he actually can talk a lot without saying anything at all. The Sawgrass quote is about as controversial as it gets (with the exception of saying that he "played like a spaz" - which he didn't realise would cause offence).

    I'm sure he's a nice chap, and away from the media a delight. But I just find him a bit dull. I can say that I have no idea what his opinion is on anything outside golf.

  • Comment number 62.

    to be honest Brewster, I don't think I could comment on most golfers opinions on things outside of golf - sure there are a few like Faldo, Monty, Zoeller, Trevino, Feherty who can have a good line or a quick comment but they are few and far between.

    If you actually go back to this article and read what is written, what is Ogilvy talking about in much of this interview?? TIGER WOODS.
    It's easy to praise the best in the world, but what would people say if Tiger came out and blew his own trumpet? It is golf after all, it's not boxing. I've heard many interviews where Tiger gushes about meeting Jack or Mr Palmer (now that is something that sticks with you, not Arnold, not Arnie - MR Palmer. A real touch of gentlemanly class, much better than controversy). To hear the best around gush about a current peer would just sound fake, although he has praised McIlroy a good amount recently.

    The other quotes from Ogilvy will have been covered by Tiger numerous times in the past - first major? Definitely. First Australian? transfer in any number of other things for Australian and you know it has been.

    What did Norman say that was so wonderful? Augusta isn't what it once was?!?!? Everyone has been saying that - Mike Weir went so far to say that some of the magic of the event has been lost as you're unlikely to see the famous Sunday back 9 charge anymore.

    Tiger probably does between 5 and 10 times as many interviews as anyone else and, for the most part, he is probably no worse than anyone else. Sure, he could be more gregarious, he could spout his theories on everything but most sportspeople and musicians who do this are extremely tiresome and appear sanctimonious - what's worse, slightly boring or Bono-esque self-rightousness?

  • Comment number 63.

    Chilli - "Tiger probably does between 5 and 10 times as many interviews as anyone else and, for the most part, he is probably no worse than anyone else". Very true. In today's media-trained sporting world he is just one of many who are tight-lipped when it comes to personal opinions of anything outside his chosen sport. Which as you point out isn't necessarily a bad thing - Bono is an excellent example. But he doesn't appear to ackowledge anything outside the world of golf.

    I just think that for someone who is in the spotlight so much, it's a bit bizarre that we have no idea of what makes him tick. With Roger Federer, even though I'm not his biggest fan, at least he slips occasionally and says what he really thinks about his fellow competitors. But with Woods you always get a very guarded response, you just never know about his real thoughts. Compare this with perhaps his closest rival Mickelson, who seems much more open, and at least signs autographs for his fans. Norman never really said anything great, but he does seem to speak off the cuff a bit more, which may come out wrong more often than not.

    For the most part I think he comes across very well - "gentlemanly" isn't far off, and I think he seems to have less of an ego than others in a similar position. I just can't seem to find him interesting, other than what he does on the course.

  • Comment number 64.

    'Not only that, the answers will be well worth hearing. The same, sadly, can't be said of Tiger Woods, who once again left reporters shaking their heads at how unforthcoming he is in the news conference room.

    It's a real shame because Woods is such a compelling story and great sportsman. It would be wonderful if he could provide a bit more when he talks to us but effectively all he does is let his clubs do the talking.'

    Sorry, but that simply isn't good enough. You take a pot at Tiger's media skills without reference to any quote that he made in the particular interview that you mention. (Sorry if this point has been mentioned before. I haven't read all of the other responses). Perhaps you think that as a sports jouranlist, you can make digs like that and expect us to take your word for it. Doesn't work like that, I'm afraid. This isn't so much lazy journalism as utterly out of order journalism which only cements my view that with the increase in media coverage, both digital and in print, there are far too many people paid to publicise their opinions who simply aren't qualified for the task in hand, as is the case here.

  • Comment number 65.

    Proves the point, you need Tiger to make your article have substance. Not necessary at all.
    he's the best golfer, maybe if the rest of the media darlings stayed as focused as him at the Majors, they just might win one.
    Not everyone is a great interviewee(even though Tiger isnt that bad)....leave the Big Cat alone...he's got Jack Nicklaus' record to overhaul. The rest can keep on entertaining the media!

  • Comment number 66.


    Good article and agree with your assesment of Ogilvy.

    I saw of bit of Ogilvy's press conference and he appeared very much to the point when a question was put to him by an interviewer and he didn't seem to side-step any questions.

  • Comment number 67.

    Unnecessary potshot at Tiger by Iain. He's there to win the golf tournament; he doesn't need to be matey with the media as I'm sure he has enough hangers-on as it is.

    He is in the entertainment business but doesn't seem to be turning people away from the sport; viewing figures for the Arnold Palmer Invitational were the highest since his US Open win last year.

    It seems you can never please everyone if you are at the top of your game: any opinion Federer gives gets sensationalised whilst Tiger is labelled dull for avoiding such opinions.

  • Comment number 68.

    BlogCabin - Take your own advice and read the posts. Out of 67, I make it 39 in favour of Tiger, 12 against and 16 neither one nor the other.
    In addition, how many people writing here actually have a clue what it takes to be No.1? Does anyone really give a hoot what Tiger thinks of the current financial crisis or the political implications of Korea having a nuclear capability? Truth be known he probably has a better handle on it than most, but we do not listen to him for that. If he did comment he would be criticised for doing so and some would say "Stick to golf".
    It sounds to me like Tiger is playing with the press and doing a pretty good job of it too. Just judge him on his golf and try to understand the emotion he exhibits when he plays.

  • Comment number 69.

    wow blown away how interesting Ogilvy is...i can't wait to tell everybody..Iain Carter should really write an interesting blog for once. As someone said earlier , press conferences are great for lazy journalists

  • Comment number 70.

    I'm coming a little late to this discussion. Iain Carter complains about Woods' lack of openness with the press - surely he realizes that the Woods "press persona" is the sum total of his experiences and interactions with the media over the last 14 or 15 years. Early in his career he was much more forthcoming but any slip or indiscretion became an instant headline and/or a firestorm of criticism. Over the years he has learned that, in general, journalist are not his friends and that he must be careful in what he says or does in their company.

    As far as personality is concerned, we know a lot about his intensity and attention to detail; we know that he sees nothing wrong in showing a great depth of emotion in public (how many sportsmen are prepared to be seen crying?); we know that family is a central focus of his life. I'm not sure what else I want to know - but I'm sure that we'll learn a lot more about his opinions on non-golf subjects when he hangs up his clubs. Until then I'm prepared to wait.

  • Comment number 71.

    Nice one ravelston, Exactly what I was pointing out. At last someone that manages to hit the nail on the head. I would like to see how the rest of the tiger bashers would handle the media when any time they say something remotely controversial its put into every newspaper.

    Most of them would probably avoid the press like the plague. Also while I will defend Iain's right to his opinion any day of the week, as a journalist I would think if you are going to criticise someone for their lack of openness to the press you would at least acknowledge what your side has done to create the situation!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    Iain Carter, where are your nuts man?

    You know you're wrong!

    otherwise you would not have changed the name of this blog from a veiled critism of Tiger to this rather bland easily forgetable one. Took me ages to find it again.

  • Comment number 73.

    As long as Tiger remains at the top of the game, competing for majors, it is inevitable that he will continue to be standoffish with the media; mainly because he is so focused on winning.
    However, once his powers start to wain and he is unable to compete for major titles I believe he will drop his guard and and be more forthcoming with the media.
    What a joy that will be!


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