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Woods dominates agenda once again

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Iain Carter | 22:47 UK time, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Word first surfaced a couple of weeks ago that Tiger Woods was considering a return in the week of the WGC Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain - and the story has proved correct.

Yes, Woods has not teed it up here at Dove Mountain, but he has resurfaced and with sufficient impact to completely overshadow the event backed by his former sponsors Accenture - the company that was most damning of the world number one when it dropped him.

Coincidence?

It's 82 days since Woods' car crash that precipitated his private life being paraded through the media. Bar a couple of statements confirming "transgressions" and "infidelity" early in the affair, there's been nothing. He disappeared from public view and left the world to guess his next move.

Until, that is, the first day of the Match Play and precisely the moment the morning wave of first-round matches were coming to their climax. That was when he broke cover and started to let us back into his life.

According to his agent, Mark Steinberg, Woods plans to "discuss his past and his future and he intends to apologise for his behaviour".

His website, which has also just burst back into life, goes a little further, saying: "While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between him and his wife, he also recognises that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends, and that's what he's going to discuss."

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods was pictured jogging on the day his return to public life was announced

It will be a carefully controlled event. This is Woods taking a grip once more, reasserting his influence. He's already stolen the headlines from the first event of the year, which brings together all of the world's best players. He'll do it again on Friday when he speaks.

"I suppose he might want to get something back against the sponsor that dropped him," Rory McIlroy half-jokingly suggested in an unguarded comment when news of Woods returning to the public arena was put to him.

McIlroy was speaking in a news conference that followed his victory over Kevin Na. He'd come from four down after six holes, and it was the first question he was asked after the standard preliminaries.

Furthermore, his honest answer was removed from the initial transcripts handed out to reporters. Interesting.

"I'm sick of hearing about it and I'm just looking forward to when he's getting back on the golf course," McIlroy added.

When will that be? There's a lot of talk about a Woods appearance at the Tavistock Cup on 22 and 23 March. It's a made for television match between the players who live on the exclusive Isleworth and Lake Nona estates.

But that would mean teeing off his comeback within yards of the fateful crash that began his fall from grace.

Nevertheless, it would be a controlled environment, much like his "event" this Friday, with limited media access. He may come back to the Tour at Bay Hill on 25 March or he may wait until another carefully regulated environment, that of the Masters at Augusta in April.

We do not know, it is still all speculation and at least that should end on Friday. We'll try to keep an eye on the golf as well. Luke Donald putted well today, by the way.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Last paragraph just summed things up perfectly and made me laugh (very happy for Luke!). This whole saga further emphasises how much Tiger has taken over golf. I have loved watching golf for 30 years and have always supported different golfers but I can't seem to muster up the enthusiasm now unless Tiger is in the field. It feels like it is just the B team competing without him. In past eras there were always a few greats - Hogan, Snead and Nelson / Palmer, Nicklaus and Player or Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson and Ballesteros. Now it is just Tiger and nobody else. Is that because Tiger is such a huge force that he has sucked the life out of everyone else on tour or are we just in an era that lacks true greats. Anyway, I will be glued on Friday and will hope he returns soon to try for the Grand Slam. Wow, what a story that would be!!

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Please not another I am sorry I did what I did and will never do it again statement. the only tthing he needs to say is yes I cheated on my wife and am working on trying to fix my marriage.I don't want to know the details and why he did it. he's a young rich guy who thought he could do what he wanted and get away with it and did for years. please don't insult us with the whole rehab thing,it's a joke and you know it! you just went to try and get some good pr because all the details came out after your initial statement did not win you the sympathy vote you wanted. if you truly have a problem then a couple months in a clinic is not going to cure it! stay away from golf until you can save your marriage or go thru the divorce and move on without the distractions.
    Bad decision to handle it this way, with his pet writers and handlers only. Whether it is "our business" to know what he did off the course, one reason he has been so criticized is that he has often come across as arrogant and above everyone else. Continuing that attitude will not help him move forward with the wider public. Sure his sycophants and apologists will still be there but he needs to show some humanity if he eventually wants to get to being the most admired athlete in the world. Those days may have passed, but walking around acting like he is still the most special guy in the world is not the right track. To be blunt, you messed up in public, have the guts to deal with it the same way. Even if he does a great job, the fact that he will not answer questions makes him look either scared or arrogant

  • Comment number 4.

    merv49:
    the reason why tiger looks scared and arrogant is because thats exactly what he is. I dont feel anyone is entitled to ask him about his personal life.
    He is paying for his behaviour in every possible way already.He is one of sports all time giants and ultimately thats what will be remembered about him. I personally think he's a nailed on certainty to win a major this year.

  • Comment number 5.

    We await the return of the King. Long live the King, all hail Tiger! As I've said countless times, what he does in his private life off the golf course is his own problem. He only needs to apologise to his wife, kids and family. His amoral lifesytle off the course has done more for the profile of the game than anything he's achieved on it in my opinion. Real fans care more about what he does on the course. Forget the endorsements, Tiger Woods never influenced me to buy a razor or anything like that. He made me want to be a better golfer. Anyone seeking role models for themselves or their kids need to question who they seek such inspiration from and that's what religion's for not some capitalist concocted view of what/who it should be. The game needs Tiger and that much we've established during his last absence never mind. So await thee, the 2nd coming..... we hope anyway!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    You say that "Tiger is dominating the agenda again" Iain, This is because people like yourself and your American colleagues (especially) allowing him to.
    It's your fault (the media) that he dominates the headlines and overshadows the real golf taking place.
    Please, have a bit of perspective.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree with 3.merv.Having played and watched golf for longer than Iain has been breathing, my view is that the Tiger (Eldrick) effect has been both a force for good,and bad for golf even before his fall from grace. Professional golf has benefited immensly from his presence.Fortunes have been made by mediocre pro golfers because of him, and golf as a sport has raised its profile worldwide due to the marketing of TW. But Golf as a sport must be founded on more than one superstar. It is not healthy to have all your eggs in one basket,this strange and frustrating game deserves better. And perhaps from now on sponsors will be a little more realistic about how they spend their marketing budgets-no bad thing if it keeps the cost of their equipment/services down in these straighted times!

  • Comment number 8.

    What extreme arrogance. Why does he not show some respect, and do this on Monday, and not during a tournament, thus drawing attention away from the event? Why does the PGA tour allow this? It is sponsored of course by one of his sponsors who dropped him, but he is not above the game however his actions demonstrate he thinks he is. It will be hard to find much reported on the tournament on Friday, rather it will all be Tiger. I wish he would stay away for good.

  • Comment number 9.

    Iain,
    I think you owe the British golfers you wrote about earlier this week an apology.
    Nothing in here about Westwood, nothing about McGowan, no Poulter, Casey, Oliver Wilson, a throwaway line in clumsy self-parody about Luke Donald, and Rory presumably used as a vehicle to register your sentiments.
    Not surprising British golfers don't receive the media attention they deserve.
    You'd rather turn your golfing brief into National Enquirer material.
    If that is as it appears to be, perhaps the BBC would care to dispatch a golf correspondent to cover the MatchPlay.

  • Comment number 10.

    Lets not forget how important Tiger is for the game of golf. The game badly needs him back. He is the reason that i and many others watch and play the game with such enthusiasm. Okay he messed up, but i am sure that when he returns to the game everyone will be cheering him and awaiting his brilliance on the course once again.

  • Comment number 11.

    I should have known better - I thought I was going to read an article about golf. It seems to me the "role model" is a phrase dragged out by journalists as an excuse to dig into people's private lives. TW is a great golfer, perhaps the best ever, but that never made him a role model for me, even before all this sordid stuff was paraded by the press. I'm not going to defend him for what we are told he did, but just leave him to sort it out, enjoy his golf and stop trying to pretend that all it takes to be a role model is to be successful in sport. There are more important things in life and a lot of quiet unassuming people who offer an excellent example of how to handle them.
    So let's get back to who's in contention for major honours this season.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thank goodness, I can start watching Golf again on my new HDTV. I miss late Sunday nights when Tiger is in the hunt.

  • Comment number 13.

    It seems rather trite to complain that this item driving the news agenda when everyone on here has excercised choice in clicking to read what was clearly an article on the topic. If you don't like it don't read it and therefore the BBC won't be compelled to cover it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well I know its not the popular view but as a non playing golf watcher I think tiger is probably the most boring golfer to watch. Every shot takes an eternity because he looks at it, chats with his caddie, has another look, another chat, steps back for another look then the a leaf crosses his path so the whole ritual starts again...............boring

    sorry just my view.

  • Comment number 15.

    I hope the journalists don't fawningly oblige Tiger's cop out 'press conference'. If it was me, I'd get an intern to do it or leave a tape recorder there and collect it after he has finished his speech. Is he so programmed he cannot be trusted to say sorry without it having to go through the PR wringer?

  • Comment number 16.

    I tell you what - thank goodness this will be over and done with soon. What is even more irritating than small pointless articles than this is the clamber by the American golfing press to find some sort of saviour in Tiger's absence. Apparently their golf tour is rudderless and lacking a leader... a bit insulting to the tour pros out there if you ask me. Even their supposed rising star, and a star he is btw, was belittled by suggestions that a closing 74 wouldnt be enough if you know who was around. Bah!

  • Comment number 17.

    I think merv_49 is a little naive or totally lost. Give the man a little credit and remember he has done what very few have been able to do - so its literally insane to be a critic without acknowledgment of what is true and circumstances that lead to the outcome of what. I know - if we look into your life we will find bugs bigger than his. Be gentle too.

  • Comment number 18.

    I wonder how Accenture feels about all of this? Will they be embarrassed by it or take the stance that any publicity is good publicity? Will they feel righteous that they dumped a wife cheater and will Tiger feel this is revenge?

  • Comment number 19.

    When the renowned British artist Martin Wolk (1924 -1980) confessed to a string of infidelities, his wife attacked him with a putter. She was a keen golfer but putting was her weakness and she missed him.

    However, the subsequent press coverage of the incident did not help his career and sales dipped. He died forgotten, and rather drunk.

    We must hope that Woods is getting better advice that Wolk (which was basically: "Have another drink Martin"), and that the best of Woods is yet to come.

  • Comment number 20.

    Judging by the comments in this, and earlier, blogs on the subject of Tiger Woods, I must be one of the very few who would be quite happy if he never returned to play. He is arrogant, rude, petulant, bad-tempered and appalling to spectators and fans alike. He is most unsporting in defeat, never giving credit to opponents but blaming his luck, equipment, the conditions or whatever. Above all, I get exceedingly irritated by the sycophantic commentators and the TV coverage of any competition in which he is playing - one would think no-one else was playing. I love competitions when he is not playing, when more equitable coverage is given to the other competitors, but extremely bored and incensed when he is in the field. I, too, don't understand how he has been allowed to hold this 'press' conference tomorrow - he should be forced to postpone it until Monday.

  • Comment number 21.

    At least there is some news to report this time, as opposed to the vacuous speculation of the last 8 weeks.

    Great to see him back, as i guess we will soon. Are there any other sportsmen who account for 50% of the tv audience at times? No, didnt think so. He has been the most iconic sportsman of the last 20 years, so he will dominate the agenda. Doesnt annoy me, may bother some of his fellow competitors though.

    Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the tone changes if he wins a major this year...

  • Comment number 22.

    Totally agree with no's. 6&9
    Iain Carter where is your integrity? This is just gutter press up to its usual practice. You describe yourself as a "golf correspondent" - well correspond on golf then.
    This is a sports website!

  • Comment number 23.

    I agree with what I think are the majority of feelings, that the sooner he comes back and we can put all this behind us and start talking about golf again the better!
    Although, it is going to be interesting to see how he is mentally when he comes back. Will he retain his air of invincibility and almost contempt for his peers?
    Have we seen the end of the Tiger era???

  • Comment number 24.

    Tavy67, you may not like Woods, but he has been great for the sport. To enjoy the absence of a sportsman at his peak is a little misguided methinks. The other golfers want to compete against him, alot of fans want to see his play.

    And while he has not reacted well recently to the odd defeat i agree, generally over the course of his career he has been very courteous and gracious, applauding his fellow competitors (it is the press who beat on his competitors, not him), and credits good luck and good breaks when he gets them. That much is a matter of record. Be fair at least.

    Selfishness goes with the territory with super-eite competitors. Even Federer was reduced to a four letter rant at the umpire when losing the US Open 6 months ago. While its not acceptable, these guys who have had it their own way do tend to appear precious when they lose.

    I look forward to his return, though doubt he will win a major this year.

  • Comment number 25.

    Loser

  • Comment number 26.

    Tiger has been great for the game. He did something that let down his fans and has suffered the consequences.
    Weather they were deserved or not is a matter of interpretation, personally it is great that he is coming back and that he is doing it during a tournament is not such a bad thing, I mean I don;t hear the players complaining.
    TO those who say he should not do this, eat your hats because it shows maturity and it is not a cop out StandfreeFM.
    Great to have you back Tiger!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Agree with no 6 and 9 aswell. I hadn't heard anything about Woods being in the news until reading this blog (having said that I do like Iain Carter as a journalist and commentator). Yes, Woods is the best golfer in the world (probably ever). Yes, what a stupid (and not very nice guy, in particular)for what he's done to his wife and family - I couldn't forgive that in the same situation. But, we gotta get on with. Yes it'll be news, but I would expect to hear the gossipy stuff from a red top /National enquirer, not a blog on the BBC, with fippant comments about Luke Donald.

    And good on Rory for just being outright honest - we need more of it.

  • Comment number 28.

    Listen, every golfer who plays in a Tournament with Tiger in the field know that generally they are playing for 2nd place. Sure if they play to there potential and get the breaks and if he's not on form then they have a chance of winning.

    Tiger brings out the best in everyone.. They workout, practise, and have strict diets because of him.

    Sure Tiger can be petulant, arrogant and rude. If you were to watch all 144/156 players during a tournament you will find that Tiger is no different to any other player who plays Tour Golf. Whatever brings out the best in you... As a previous blog mentioned all Superstars have some kind of release on the field, court, pitch or Golf course. Its what makes them the best.

    All players and fans alike cant wait for Tiger to come back as they know that with him, he brings all the media attention and puts them in the forefront!

    There can be no better feeling than walking down that fairway and seeing it packed 10/20 deep from the tee to the green... The King is Back!

  • Comment number 29.

    c'mon tiger.. you are the greatest..

  • Comment number 30.

    No chance, he's holding a get together to announce the underlying reason for his recent behaviour is he no longer enjoys the game and he will now focus on what is most important to him, his family.

    Tiger Woods retires from Golf at 4pm Friday 19th February 2010.

  • Comment number 31.

    I just don't buy this "the game needs Tiger" stuff, the game is probably better for him, but it doesn't "need" him.

    Sure, he's probably the greatest player ever, but golf was thriving at all levels before he arrived, and will undoubtedly do so long after he's gone. I haven't missed the biased commentaries, the pathetic and sycophantic interviewers asking him bland and boring questions, and the general media frenzy whenever he does anything.

    Frankly, I think it's typical that he has chosen Friday to break his silence, to try to re-impose his psychological hold over the professional game. He'll apologise profusely, maybe even mention God or jesus, and the American public will fawn all over him as usual. This is all so predictable, and just what the media want to hear.

    When he returns to the competitive arena, I want to see him play the great golf we know he can produce, but there my interest in him ends. I have no interest in whether he saves his marriage, or gets divorced, or has flings with dozens of women. I watch and play the game because I love it, not because of any individual.

  • Comment number 32.

    Rankis - aye right. Go into a bookies and ask for that bet and you'll see how likely it is.

    Fed_Borg - What is it then when his advisors hand pick the journalists who will be present, and then they are not allowed to ask questions and he is simply reading from a prepared statement, all the while there will be a golf tourney going on which is meant to be the level down from the majors. It was Tiger's advisors iron grip on the media and the golf media sheep like fear of criticising 'the great one' which probably allowed Tiger to get away with his infidelities for so long.

  • Comment number 33.

    I agree that Tiger's private life should remain just that, private. While no once can condone his behaviour it is not really the viewing public's concern.

    However one good thing that will hopefully come out of it is maybe the TV media and the press will be slightly less inclined to turn a blind-eye to his on-course behaviour. Yelling obscenities, spitting, throwing clubs, none of it ever seems to be mentioned or condemned.

    He may not behave with decency and respect in his private life but maybe now people will demand he does it on the golf course!

  • Comment number 34.

    satandfreeFM

    you are very unlikely to get a bet on that in any bookies. compose yourself son.

    anyway i for one can not wait for the return of Tiger. he has been missed and the return will only improve the standard of golf

  • Comment number 35.

    I have yo suffer the US commentators whenever Tiger plays and the completely biased coverage. I for one wish he would never play the game again. He is arrogant, full of his own self-importance and disrespects his fellow players. A disgrace to the game and long after Tiger has faded into retirement the great game will continue to flourish. I hope he never wins another title again.

  • Comment number 36.

    American golf is desperate for his return. Ben Crane wins at Torry Pines . So slow it made my eyes bleed. Dustin Johnson wins with a 74 at Pebble. Two players take 9, yes, 9 at 14 in the stretch. Phil is just not that competative on the West Coast Swing he usually wins on. I bet the good old tv folf were desperate for him to come alive. Steve Stricker World number 2. Seriously? Nice guy and all that, but World Number 2. It just begs the question what has the world come to. I dont think he could lace Westwoods boots let alone clean his clubs. European golf just looks amazing compared to its US counterparts. The money in American golf cannot be justified or sustained without Tiger, because without him it is pretty average fare.$1 million dollar cheques versus 300 euros? Just aint right. That is why Poulter and McRoy are out there. It is easy money and lot and lots of it. I just wonder how hard his re-entry is going to be. Yes the Tour needs him, that I think is beyond question. But its how tv will deal with his return that facinates me. Jonhny Miller commenting on Ben Cranes crawl to victory, 'good family man'. Same comment about Stricker in Los Angeles. The target auidiance is white, middle class, right wing and predominantly christian in values. Tiger shook that tree a long time ago. But that was in the day when it was just about his golf. Remember those days? Bring on the Ryder Cup.

  • Comment number 37.

    Tiger Woods would forever remain in my memories the greatest golfer of the 21st century. His off the field antics might have damaged his image in my short-term memory but he still remains the reason why i have not watched any golf tournaments since he took an indefinite leave from golf and now am excited that i would definitely watch golf again if he plays. All sport personalities from different sporting code are human and therefore subject to make mistakes once in their lifetime like any one of us though the scrutiny into their mistakes is more but Tiger is no alien,,,he is human and lives on this planet Earth where we have many like him. Even Presidents do it, who is Tiger Woods?

  • Comment number 38.

    31. At 1:24pm on 18 Feb 2010, Vic wrote:

    I just don't buy this "the game needs Tiger" stuff, the game is probably better for him, but it doesn't "need" him.

    Sure, he's probably the greatest player ever, but golf was thriving at all levels before he arrived, and will undoubtedly do so long after he's gone. I haven't missed the biased commentaries, the pathetic and sycophantic interviewers asking him bland and boring questions, and the general media frenzy whenever he does anything.

    Frankly, I think it's typical that he has chosen Friday to break his silence, to try to re-impose his psychological hold over the professional game. He'll apologise profusely, maybe even mention God or jesus, and the American public will fawn all over him as usual. This is all so predictable, and just what the media want to hear.

    When he returns to the competitive arena, I want to see him play the great golf we know he can produce, but there my interest in him ends. I have no interest in whether he saves his marriage, or gets divorced, or has flings with dozens of women. I watch and play the game because I love it, not because of any individual.
    ....................................
    Sir, you seem angry forgetting that it is the media who makes those statements. Have you ever heard Tiger boasting that the game is bigger because of him, no no sir. Do not swallow everything you read from newspapers otherwise you might "die" of heart attack.

  • Comment number 39.

    This is NOT a press conference. This is a glorified Video News Release that it is designed to clip the wings of the World Match Play Tournament and get revenge on a sponsor who has dropped him because they could not afford to keep him on after what tiger did. Tiger isn't even allowing questions.

    Tiger doesn't get it. He really doesn't. If he wants to talk about what has happened and what he did, he would allow reporters to ask him whatever they wanted. Granted that will be uncomfortable, and maybe a bit graphic. However, if he really wants to move on he is going to have to do it. I know it's going to be painful but eventually he will have to do it.

  • Comment number 40.

    The guy is a loser off the field. I'm so bored with all these celebrity sportsters who, while being good perhaps at knocking a little ball in a hole with a glorified stick (of what real use is that to society?)or some other pointless "skill", in their private lives they seem to be "ice men" emotionless walking ego's with no sense of morality or remorse. Their sin or "transgression" as far as they're concerned is not committing the act, it's the being caught, it's the losing of the endorsements and sponsorships and the public image or facade - for that is all it is. That seems to be the only thing that "hurts" them - the pain of financial loss, not loss of self respect or loss of respect from wife and family. Sad lot they are.

  • Comment number 41.

    Abidingly amazed by how much coverage this guy Woods continues to get.

    Seems to me he's a jumped-up nobody whose main characteristics are

    1) Thinks the world owes him a living
    2) Can't keep it in his pants
    3) Is a keen golfer

    Really, let's take a permanent raincheck on this bozo.

  • Comment number 42.

    Want to bet old man Brendan, 20 seconds of looking, odds 25-1 i.e. not very likely which was my original point.

    ASF - Of course he doesn't get it; he's programmed to be a winning machine only caring about winning golf tournaments and especially majors. It's made him a fantastically driven and supremely gifted golf player, but as a human being? Questionable at best. I reckon he is biding his time to see how much contrition he has to show before he can start playing competitive golf again. Judging from some of comments from people on here who only watch golf when Tiger is playing, it could be very soon.

  • Comment number 43.

    Tiger statement should read thus: then read out all the names of the journalists in the room who have been cheating on their wives. thank you and goodnight.
    why this obsession with the mans private life i don't know and americans of all people are in the worst position to morally judge anyone.
    Screw em Tiger hope your back soon.

  • Comment number 44.

    Maybe Tiger should take a leaf out his 'great friend' Roger Federer's book - fire the incompetent management team and let his wife look after his affairs (business ones!!). How hard can it be to manage the number one, most marketable commodity? Like Roger's wife, Elin can travel with him and keep an eye on him. It seems to work for Federer.

  • Comment number 45.

    Tiger Woods will be welcomed back by the American media like the second coming of the lord. I personally think the reason for his popularity over the years has much to do with easing the American conscience over the way it treated black people in the past. Had one of the lower ranked players committed adultery, on 14 occasions if stories are to be believed, would they be given the same grace as Tiger? - I doubt it.
    I also think that his facing the media and possible return to golf has been driven by his agent,advisers and the PGA tour in general. The public will undoubtedly flock back to see him and many of them will be the finger pointing/sniggering minority that he can well do without.
    He should perhaps have waited a few more months in order to let all of the hype settle down but with it being Tiger he could wait for a year and cause the same excitement whenever he returned.
    Problem solved for the tour though - the golden goose has laid another egg.

  • Comment number 46.

    Bad move by tiger's bunch should have been better advised as this is a definite slap on golf, its fans and his fellow golfers!! I dont personally want to know details of his shenanigans but the least he owed everyone was to go about his reintegration the most contrite manner. Accenturea & other had every right to pull the wrong on him after misbehaving and at a time of recession, he doenst want major sponsors considering pulling it out in future. His golf is dep but his respect for golf is very shallow indeed. Golf is bigger than tiger and he would be nothing without it. Tim is a whimp for letting tiger use the PGA tour like this!... i am a big tiger fan but this is poor showing and frankly shows how immature and amateur he is, i wish the players would get together and call him on this move

  • Comment number 47.

    Maybe Tiger will surprise everyone and play Pheonix next week, hence the friday press conference?

  • Comment number 48.

    'Yes, Woods has not teed it up here at Dove Mountain, but he has resurfaced and with sufficient impact to completely overshadow the event backed by his former sponsors Accenture - the company that was most damning of the world number one when it dropped him.'

    Lets be honest, it has probably increased the world wide exposure Accenture are getting. Most people in the wider world would not have even realised this event was happenning.

    Now that Woods has announced this, journalists such as yourself will keep writing 'overshadowing accenture' who as a result will get world wide press coverage! Its great exposure for them.

  • Comment number 49.

    A few posters here have clearly lost the plot. According to some, he's a nobody (??), he's graceless to his opponents (??? not true), the game is better off without him (??????? not even his competitors agree with this, they want him to compete again soon)....

    If you dont like him, say so. Just dont invent garbage to support your case. you dont need a supporting case if you dont like him, its a perfectly valid position.

  • Comment number 50.

    celebration of bad behaviour is so rife in our culture today that no celebrities never get a proper slap on the wrist anymore. all everyone wants to do is wax lyrical about how amazing the guy is but cant even discern that this a clear insult to golf and all involved. I'ld like to keep golf on its pedastal amongst world sports and to let one man be so bullish is just wrong. All the greats took there measure of flack when they behaved badly in public...why not tiger?...cut him down same as John Terry...if you cant enjoy your golf without tiger, you simply don't get it, go somewhere else

  • Comment number 51.

    Els feels sorry for the sponsor because of the timing of the announcement as it takes the limelight away from the tournament. Looks like the sponsor Accenture are going to be feeling sorry for dropping Tiger once the main talking point over the weekend is going to be him, purely based on a press conference which has been arranged - with what will likely be his return to golf, Although nothing is set in stone but it’s quite likely a 95% certainty that this is what the press conference will entail.

  • Comment number 52.

    Tiger Woods should just keep his mouth shut. I don't think he owes anybody but his wife and mother an explanation for his behaviour. The rest of us should just get a life and leave the man to hump or not hump as he sees fit.
    Nobody is ever really sorry for what they do; they're only sorry they got caught doing it. And the pressure onlookers place on well-known figures to bare their chest and weep crocodile tears in public is just disgusting. It is humiliating to both to the person watching and the person doing the weeping. Why do we get off on this kind of display? Why do we demand that people caught in indiscretions humiliate themselves even further in front of the entire planet? What kind of pleasure do we get from this?
    If you are disappointed in Tiger or feel you can't worship him anymore then find some other sports god to worship (since obviously you are the kind of person who needs to worship someone or something). But for the love of all things decent stop demanding that people whose lives barely impinge on your own grovel for your amusement.

  • Comment number 53.

    Tiger Woods has disgraced himself. Els, as well as Garcia, have every right to believe Woods is having the press conference to spite the sponsors. Woods' agent should keep his mouth shut too!

    Woods has proved himself to be a lying, cheating and deceitful person in the past, so why should we believe that his motives are pure now??

    Well done to Ernie for speaking out, whilst the rest of the pack "bend over a take it" from Woods, yet again.

  • Comment number 54.

    Beautifully done by Woods. Accenture dropped him, he's stealing their thunder. It's a bit of revenge this, selfish? Very but the guy has won 14 majors, you don't win that many without being selfish. He is a boring interview normally so he can argue what's the big deal? Els really should concentrate on form, its like Montgomerie coming out and haing a go!

  • Comment number 55.

    Nice gag at the end Iain but all you are doing with the blog is perpetuating the idea that the life and times of Tiger Woods' are bigger than the game of Golf. You are the BBC's golf correspondent at the first big tournament of the year!

  • Comment number 56.

    ernie stated today tiger is selfish - of course he is sure he cheted on his wife.
    tiger woods doesnt care less about the game of golf or his fellow pros. he's only interested in himself.
    he was acting the big man few months ago cheating with all these women and then when he's found out he goes and hides for 3 months in a clinic. pathetic. thats what tiger woods is - pathetic. and he is being controlled by 'team tiger' the same team who turned a blind eye to his seedy little secrets.

    if tiger thinks that a 2 minute statement is gonna making everything go away then god help him. he will be hounded with question after question. and what he has experienced over the last 3 months is only the tip of the ice-berg, wait till his children get old enough to understand what he did to their mother!

    people have said its his private life and it should stay private. but tiger protrayed himself of being squeeky clean and the great family man. he also said in a statement that he is only 'human' but yet he acts like a robot on and around the golf course.

    its team tiger who is controlling everything, because the man himself is a clown. how could tiger 'take control' of anything when he thought he could get away with cheating on his wife. he must be the dumbest man on the planet.

  • Comment number 57.

    StandfreeFM 25-1!, is that all! Initially I was joking, but that is some pretty short odds where this guy is concerned. Go back to October and tell me what the odds were that he'd be a foul mouthed, serial adulterer who's money and influence thought it would buy invincibility. Somewhere in the 1000's-1 I think.

    25-1 got to be worth a tenner though...... then again if it is true, Stricker becomes the new world #1!! He he he

  • Comment number 58.

    Much as it pains me to say it, Woods has gone even further down in my estimation by timing his first public announcement following the sordid media revelations to coincide with a WGC event he isn't even participating in. It shows not only breathtaking arrogance, but also a fundamental lack of respect towards his fellow pros.

    He should be ashamed of himself - but I suspect the word shame does not even enter his vocabulary.

  • Comment number 59.

    ZZZZZZZ.

    Unless he's swinging a golf club, on a course, in a tournament, then I dont want to hear about him. It's that simple.

  • Comment number 60.

    I used to be a big fan of Woods and found myself defending him to some of my friends but I have now been converted. His arrogance really does seem to know no bounds. It's a shame because he is arguably the greatest golfer ever, he's certainly up there with the best. But he will never again have the respect that he once did because he seems to think he's better than everyone else. His family, the fans and his fellow golfers seem to be after thoughts. All he cares about is himself and I won't be surprised if he comes out for his press conference talking about how difficult this time has been for him rather than show any sort of humility. I hope I'm wrong and this is the start of him realising that he's not above everyone else but I just don't see it happening.

  • Comment number 61.

    #49 sandeep bhatia - it is you who has lost the plot. If you don't think Tiger is graceless to his opponents try watching the last 3 holes of the 2009 USPGA.

  • Comment number 62.

    I'm so pleased to read that not everyone has had their eyes shuttered to the appalling behaviour of TW. My anti-TW stance has nothing to do with his much-publicised trangressions - I couldn't stand him before these were revealed. Sure, he may have been a great golfer although how would he have fared against the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer etc in their day. Golf doesn't need his disrespect for fellow competitors, his rudeness to spectators and fans (who at the end of the day pay his 'wages'). There are plenty of other golfers out there who are just as interesting to watch but who don't spit, fling their clubs, disrespect their spectators/fans and generally behave in a gracious manner. As for the analogy with Federer, I equally don't like him as he also is far from gracious in defeat in the same way as TW ie not giving credit to those who beat him rather than admitting they were beaten by a better player on the day.

  • Comment number 63.

    nobody can or will deny TW is the most gifted golfer ever and i wamt him back and much as teh next person, but anyone who says this was a cool move, is damn right stupid or doesn't know the first thing about golf.

    Action speaks louder than voice and the fact that he has chosen this moment underlines how much change and contrition he feels. GOLF is bigger than tw, never ever forget that and dont get confused, he will come and go, but golf lives on...dont let entertainment cloud your judgement. I couldnt care less what he did but dont insult GOLF.

    all this talk of the tour needs tiger, i reckon a larger proportion of his fellow golfers would rather not have him on tour and take a cut in tournament prizes.

    I can tell you now where the ryder cup is going or should i say not returning to this year

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    At the end of the day, Woods behaves just like any other egotistical prat.

  • Comment number 66.

    Im not so sure the tour should be welcoming him back. There are a lot of unanswered questions not only with regard to his of course activities but his relationship with the doctor arrested by the Canadain police for administering banned substances on the WADC list. No one is suggesting that Tiger used any of these, but a quick drug test would calm everyones nerves.

  • Comment number 67.

    Good to see so many pros speaking out against him now.

    Els, Garcia, Casey, McIlroy, Oliver Wilson etc...

    He is generating a barrelload of ill feeling right left and centre, and one feels he may not be long in discovering that his position in the sport is not as secure as he thought.

    If he thinks all he has to do is give a whining press conference with a half-hearted apology and a wholehearted whinge about media coverage - all delivered with his characteristic self-righteous ill-grace - then he's in for a rude awakening.

    He'd better hope his advisers have persuaded him to kiss arse - otherwise he'll be out on it.

  • Comment number 68.

    The game of golf is older, bigger and more resilient than Woods. With this petulant act, Tiger has chosen to question this fact and do the PR equivalent of trying to distract a player during their swing. How he is ultimately remembered in the game has everything to do with his attitude from now on rather than his achievements.

  • Comment number 69.

    "This is Woods taking a grip once more, reasserting his influence"

    -------------------------------
    ???

    This is Woods & his team managing & maximising his image.

    Don't make me laugh.

    I hope he misses every cut for the rest of the year, so he can contemplate the karma.

    If he wants to make some sort of sacrifice to atone for his sins he could miss a major or two.

  • Comment number 70.

    Mark Steinberg says we will find he has a very good reason for the timing of his announcement. Could be part of Woods' rehab programme - we shall see. Either way the players are not happy at him overshadowing the matchplay. It's been a great tournament so far and the British boys are going very well - Donald, Casey, Wilson and Poulter. Of course we'd rather be talking about the golf, but to have ignored what Woods is doing and more significantly what he is doing to the game at this moment would have been a deriliction of duty on my part.

  • Comment number 71.

    @Realgolf3r.

    No i have not lost the plot, I did watch the PGA, and yes, as i said in my post, Woods did not react well to this recent defeat, tis true. But it is also true that until this, and for the vast majority of his career, he has been courteous and graceful to his opponents. Just listen to all his acceptance speeches when he wins majors. He always compliments his competitors, always talks about the pressure they put on him, more often than not acknowledges good breaks where he gets them, and has conducted himself well on course. The sponsors would not have been there if his on course behaviour has been the disrespectful, arrogant, unhelpful villain that some here have argued.

    I agree that during 2009 there was some more petulance, and the PGA did not cover him in glory. But he has been around for 13years, and a few incidents in 2009 on course should not colour the fact that he has conducted himself well on course for the vast majority of time. And as i said before, even Federer was reduced to a four letter rant when things went awry at the US Open - same applies to him ; despite this, Federer is well behaved.

    Of course, there are those who think Federer has become arrogant and disrespectful. I guess these guys have big egos, it bothers some people, just not me, and not i suspect the majority. Generally they behave well, do alot of good for the game, and if occasionally they let themselves and their sport down, well so be it as long as it is occasional. Its a small price to pay for raising the bar and providing such drama.

    Wanting to see the back of Woods is perfectly defensible as a matter of personal taste, just dont argue it is good for the game, as it does not stand up as an argument.

  • Comment number 72.

    Had to laugh at Els's fake naiveté! What does he expect Tiger to do? Give Accenture a pat on the back & wait for them to cash in before shuffling in surreptitiously through the back door?

    They dropped him like a hot potato. He has every right to steal back every iota of limelight they WOULD have shared with him if they hadn't ditched him.

    Looks to me like Els is angling for a little contract himself. I thought he was a bigger man.
    Great honesty from McIlroy though who is clearly a bigger man himself.


    @#39: You just opened your eyes but you still don't get it yourself, do you? The whole point is that Tiger DOES get it! And will continue to do so. No-one rushes to the telly with "[The Sponsor*]" on their lips, do they? They sponsored him so THEY could cash in on HIS celebrity. Since they dropped him though he's a free man. He can talk about what he likes, when he likes, to whomever wishes to listen, however much you or anyone else believes he has some innate obligation to be the "role model" you might like him to be.

    I'm not even a fan. I prefer PH. But I have no time for Big Business & Big Media who try to run the show rough-shod on a whim over any particular individual.

    (* Not wishing to drag the host site into any perceived brand favouritism)

  • Comment number 73.

    Rankis - Stricker No1? Perish the thought. Nice guy, great putter and all that but would be least talented no1 that I can remember. In the last 10 years his best placing in a major is tied 6th. Just shows how the vast amounts of money on offer in the PGA Tour can skew the rankings. No wonder Rory, Poulter et all are so keen to play over there.

  • Comment number 74.

    This is yet another chapter of Tiger's life being choreographed by his merry band of obscenely over-paid advisers.
    Another bad decision which will back-fire or be a complete sham.
    His fans and the general public (which are not necessarliy the same thing) want to hear him answer questions under serious media scrutiny.
    What we'll get is a sanitised version and guess what, no questions!
    Apart from his serial philandering (admitted), what happened whilst driving 2009 his Cadillac SUV ultimatley hitting a fire hydrant, then striking a tree.
    If this was a regular guy it would have police investigation writ large.
    Instead on December 1st Woods is issued with a traffic citation for careless driving and a $164 fine (£103) with the officials declaring the investigation over.
    All of this has called into question "Brand Woods", and to renew focus on his on course behaviour such as throwing clubs in hissy-fits all of which has bubbled to the surface denting his Mr Super Clean image yet more.
    No one questions that he is the best player on the Planet but many are getting pretty steamed up about the fact that he is "untouchable".
    On a personal note I think he should get rid of his arrogant caddy Steve Williams. His comments about Phil Mickelson were an absolute disgrace and who does he think he is, other than Tiger's bag man.
    Interestingly Tiger's repsonse to William's outburts was that he was "disappointed" with his comments.
    He went on record as saying that "The matter has been discussed and dealt with, adding that Mickelson was a golfer "I respect".
    However Tiger's habit of a lifetime, to avoid giving a forthright reply to questions he finds uncomfortable answering is surfacing yet again with his latest broadcast.
    Rhetorically what would have happened if Mickelson's caddie had dissed Woods. The answer would probably been for Mickelson's caddie to fired, such would be the wave of outrage fuelled by the Woods PR machine.

  • Comment number 75.

    Iain,

    Any chance of some correspondence on this weeks WGC event??

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    8. At 08:51am on 18 Feb 2010, Richard1959 wrote:

    --------

    Because he can and golf owes it to him... someone asked a couple of weeks ago whether 'golf needs Tiger or Tiger needs golf'.

    I think the answer is right here - no-one is discussing the golf they are waiting on Tiger's press conference!! I hope he makes Accenture 'double his wages when they come crawling in a year or so..

  • Comment number 78.

    Not good enough, Iain,
    You could so easily have given prominence to the success of the British golfers AND added any Woods comments, but you chose the tabloid way out.

    In fact, you offer more ink on some British golfers comments regarding the Sawgrass soap opera than you do on their golf.

    Yet you have the nerve to scrawl a blog on the lack of publicity for British golf success.

    Your readers deserve better and British golf certainly deserves better.



  • Comment number 79.

    By the way the media is following this story, Tiger must be the only golfer who has ever had an affair or crashed a car! His private life is exactly that, Private.

    So what if he decides to hold a press meeting during one of his ex-sponsors tournaments (Ex being the definitive here). I hope he excludes all the tournaments sponsored by Accenture, AT&T and the other corporates that dropped him so quickly. If only these big corporates were so quick to drop Board Directors and CEO's when they do much worse things!

    He will be back soon on the course, will win a major this year, take the heckling in his stride and maintain No. 1 without breaking sweat.

    Ernie El's had to take a cheap shot at Tiger as he can't do it on the course where it really matters.

  • Comment number 80.

    This is typical of Woods. Every single player and coach states that Tiger by choosing the time and date is acting selfishly.
    Others have said that it is an act of spite towards his old sponsors.
    Tigers famously carries grudges, never forgives and is uber selfish.
    By acting in this way he proves that 'treatment' has done nothing for him. If treatment had worked he would have learnt that often things are his fault, he would have learnt that as well as asking for forgiveness he must also forgive.
    Tiger has obviously learnt none of the above.
    This single act proves that he is as hatful, selfish and unforgiving as ever, This also means he will be back to his old antics sooner rather than later.

  • Comment number 81.



    Arrogant, self centered and if his wife stays with him that simply sums up the 'American dream' to me....a whole heap of BS sprinkled with dollars!

  • Comment number 82.

    Deary me, I'm reminded of the words of a song " Oh what a circus, oh what a show " -- as the Woods bandwagon kickstarts it's way back into action. I know the guy is box office, and as the worlds undisputed best player it is the duty of the worlds media to cover his comeback -- but am I alone in already reaching for the sick bag as this stage managed event is forced upon us. I don't know about anyone else, but I've rather enjoyed the last few events without the presence of the great one -- it's been good to have fairways bereft of his great gobs of spittle floating everywhere, flying clubs and not forgetting his surly bad manners.
    Still, at least we are beginning to see his fellow pro's break from the " golf needs Tiger" mantra thats been trotted out over the last couple of months -- perhaps the "unfortunate" timing of this announcement bang in the middle of a World Championship has convinced them of what I have long suspected, that he is a serial self publicist who thinks he is bigger than the game. He may well beat Jack's record one day -- but he'll never match the affection and respect that Jack is held in by golf fans worldwide.
    Bring on the clowns.......

  • Comment number 83.

    macsporran I agree with you 100%, I think you have echoed the feelings of many people who respect and admire Nicklaus as the game's greatest, even if Woods does beat his record he will never be respected by many sports fans in the way that they admire big Jack.

  • Comment number 84.

    re 77 Lokacious - Woods has demonstrated a complete lack of class. Golf doesn't owe him or need him, I'm sure it will manage without him. And you'll be waiting a long time for Accenture to ask him back.

  • Comment number 85.

    Its good that he will return to the game from a golfing perspective. He is no doubt brilliant.

    However when admiring his drives, being dazled by his chips and monster putts most people will forever think in the back of their minds:

    WHAT AN IDIOT.

  • Comment number 86.

    hate him or love Tiger is one of the greatest sportsman. I wonder why most people are adopting a 'hollier than thee" attitude over this issue. Sponsors like Accenture included. Why must he care about the Accenture event when the same guys were quick to pull the plug. Bottom line is that Golf needs Tiger more than Tiger needs golf

  • Comment number 87.

    If the GWAA does not want to attend Tiger's press conference, well, fine, so be it. Tiger has no intention to tarnish the game itself he just want a window to express himself. The GWAA should stick to the game and not to the side show that has nothing to do with this great game.
    Yes Jenaguru is right "Golf needs Tiger more than Tiger needs golf". Just ask CBS,NBC,ESPN,The Golf Network...Should I go on?

  • Comment number 88.

    How about we see what he has to say before forming an opinion on the event? One can hardly blame Tiger for all the attention he's getting - I am sure he wishes it was quite a bit less, himself.

  • Comment number 89.

    Predictions...."All I said was, you want a piece of me?"
    ...."Okay, but at least I didn't do steroids."
    ...."Look, Stevie is responsible for lining up the holes for me."

    I don't care what he says, lets just get him back on the course and making the whole thing worth watching, because without out him its nothing.

  • Comment number 90.

    Woods must have been watching the Michael Jackson speech-come on get another life

  • Comment number 91.

    Woods's personal life is our business if he seeks to trade on his 'reputation' for financial gain. I pay for his sponsorship when I buy a product of his sponsors.

    I have no respect for him when he snivels carefully crafted apologies which are nothing more than PR to facilitate his further enrichment. I don't look up to him; I feel contempt for him that he should try to manipulate us in this tawdry way.

    I am a man with modest assets who is at least comfortable in his skin, unlike this precious billionaire who wants to maintain the illusion of a squeaky clean reputation and yet have it off with every cocktail waitress he can lay his hands on.

    Erick Woods, your clay feet sully the ground on which you stand. Get real!

  • Comment number 92.

    Woods is a sleaze-bag who has 0 sympathy from me. I hope Elin leaves him and takes him for all he is worth and that he fails miserably on his return to the tour.

  • Comment number 93.

    The speech came across as rather insincere in parts and that he was talking to a bunch of idiots. Never had much time for him as person, he appeared aloof and rude, with not many manners, whcih even showed on the golf couse. But his golf is outstanding. If he comes back this year good, if not he will only be missed for so long.

    In reply to redforever, one man does not make the full game.

  • Comment number 94.

    I have read and listen to the people how only see mr t woods as the saviour of golf and believe he is the only man thats ever played the game he is a lucky golfer but now he as been found out tobe not a nice man so if you wish to welcome him back with open arms so be it but he is just another golfer its been a pleasure watching other golfers playing miracle shoots as true pros can play not just woods and stats prove that

  • Comment number 95.

    91. At 4:18pm on 19 Feb 2010, DoctorQuelch wrote:
    Woods's personal life is our business if he seeks to trade on his 'reputation' for financial gain. I pay for his sponsorship when I buy a product of his sponsors.

    I have no respect for him when he snivels carefully crafted apologies which are nothing more than PR to facilitate his further enrichment. I don't look up to him; I feel contempt for him that he should try to manipulate us in this tawdry way.

    I am a man with modest assets who is at least comfortable in his skin, unlike this precious billionaire who wants to maintain the illusion of a squeaky clean reputation and yet have it off with every cocktail waitress he can lay his hands on.

    Erick Woods, your clay feet sully the ground on which you stand. Get real!
    =======================

    Mate, I couldn't have put it more eloquently. You hit the nail on the head

  • Comment number 96.

    Oh how fast was my heart beating listening to that speech! At several points I thought I was £250 to the good!!! (£10 bet at 25-1 that he was announcing his retirement)

    Then again, maybe he still will, I didn't detect any sign of him coming back soon. I'll hold onto the betting slip!

  • Comment number 97.

    • 3. At 07:52am on 18 Feb 2010, merv_49 wrote:
    “Those days may have passed, but walking around acting like he is still the most special guy in the world is not the right track.”

    ---------
    Good thoughts, merv_49. I even wrote little comments over your initial comment. But will stay on my personal files. For now. I still haven’t read “his apology” story; but I did read Ernie Els’s and Tom Watson’s suggestions and comments.

    I am going to watch once a tour or Major just to see how he behaves ON the golf course…

    Nobody in sports is OVER SPECIAL – if you have the biggest sports achievements and you think you are over special SIMPLY and ONLY because of that YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT THAT SPECIAL.

  • Comment number 98.

    I fully agree with No6.- comment : the media made Tiger bigger then tour , when he comes back I hope media do not repeat the same mistake . The game is above all.

  • Comment number 99.

    I totally agree with no.56 and no.60- the game of golf is bigger than tiger.He is not even interested in the game,but only in himself. His behavior for long has been disgraceful-on the course and with his peers and fans and the public. He throws tantrums, club,spits on grass and swears. Does not like to sign autographs or be civil to media and fans.He is the ONLY GOLFER (OR ATHLETE) who allows himsself this behavior, while the media paints him as A SQUEAKY CLEAN AND WONDERFUL GUY.
    His last act of sellfishness is to interrupthis peers playing golf to read for a scripted statement-- not showing any humility or awareness of what a monster he is and has always been, for years. He was given good advice by Tom Watson, and Bill Dwyre how to appear in public with some humility and remorse--but those words are not in his vocabulary.
    We never thought much of his agent Mark Steinberg, but doubt that he orchestrated all this. All of you talk about TEAM TIGER orchestrating this total control-- perhaps it is tiger himself who controls his team?
    some said that "his team" and others wanted him to appear on Oprah or some other place than PGA-- who are total whimps to even agree to this---
    but he did not listen. He is so totally spoiled that it seems to us he might have insisted on this date and time, and defy the PGA and its sponsors. Let us hear of any agree.Surely many of his peers and others have seen him with some of his 20 or so liaisons, as he never tried to hide it, not from the world,not from his wife, and his liances were in the public eye, not in private.
    I personally have never liked him-watched him life at Wentworth where he was totally disliked-with 5 bodyguards in bright red shirts who were hoping he would lose so they could go home. There were and are too many great golfers and nice persons to watch-especially such as the Ryder Cup teams from Europe at Ryder cup time. They are humans, enjoy being together,playing together, winning together. Tiger only enjoys winning by himself for himself. but---apparantly even that was not enough for him.
    good riddance. stay away.

  • Comment number 100.

    @ 79: Best post so far!

    Who cares about the weepy sideshow? That's there for Hollywood & the media who gob it all like they've been in golf-news withdrawal since Tiger took his sabbatical.

    I didn't see the "live event", but on replays I felt like putting a finger down my throat.

    That said, I'm still more interested in the golf itself, whoever the sponsor is, and if Tiger comes back & wins everything again, then so be it. And yes, if I were him, I WOULD boycott every event sponsored by his ex-sponsors.

 

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