Tiger Woods could be back in a fortnight

Tiger Woods at the 2009 Australian MastersWE decided early on last year that we wouldn’t get involved in the whole Tiger Woods marital infidelity saga.

That’s why we haven’t published a word about it since the whole controversy began.

What we are pretty well exclusively interested in talking about here is golf, and delving into salacious details about private lives isn’t really part of that picture.

Of course, if you are doing a profile on a golfer, or you’re a fan of a golfer, or maybe just interested in how a particular golfer is performing and developing, you are interested in the whole person.

It is not just a machine attached to the end of a golf club.

Maybe we are disappointed in Woods’ infidelities, like we were disappointed, for instance, in hearing some of the incidents that have graced John Daly’s career, but there is a line there we do not want to cross.

Like we said, we want to concentrate on the golf, not a “tabloid” view of the industry.

Two new developments have spurred us to start writing about Tiger Woods again.

Throughout the whole sex addiction saga and his self imposed exile, I was always of the view that Woods would be back at least by the US Masters, held in the second week of April.

But making the Masters his first comeback appearance you would think would not be highly advisable.

Now there are suggestions Woods could be back to competitive golf in a fortnight – at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championships in Arizona.

The “whispers” are apparently backed by some inside knowledge and the suitability of this event for his return.

While we have no way of knowing the veracity of these reports, at least the thinking is creditable (and we don’t want to sound like one of those gossip magazines).

The stories go that Accenture Match Play is a favourite event for Woods, that the Dove Mountain course was where he made his comeback from knee surgery last year, and that the match play format would lessen his chances of being harassed.

Also, because it is match play if he puts in a bad performance he’s out and doesn’t have to stay in the spotlight as he would at a regular tour event.

Maybe not, but if not the Accenture there should be some movement shortly. Woods’ eye is still on those historic Major victories

Tom Watson comments

The other development involved some recent comments by golfing elder statesman Tom Watson.

Most would agree with Watson’s suggestion – as many others have repeated – that Woods needs to go public in an interview and apologise (You’d think Oprah W would be an ideal option). I’ll repeat those comments in a moment.

But perhaps more interesting were Watson’s thoughts that Woods, when he does return to competitive golf, needs to work on being a “better ambassador” for the game.

“I feel that he has not carried the same stature as the other great players that have come along like Jack (Nicklaus), Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan in the sense that there was (bad) language and club throwing on the golf course,” Watson said.

“You can grant that to somebody, a young person, that has not been out there for a while, but I think he needs to clean up his act there and show the respect for the game that the people before him have shown.”

I’m a little undecided on this. Are Woods’ occasional displays of anger/frustration out of line? Is he allowed to display some human emotions, or should he display an unflappable, inscrutable exterior?

Remaining equanimous whatever happens on the golf course is the ideal, but is it the reality?

Watson’s other comments were easier to support.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how he handles his return to public life,” Watson said.

“He messed up. He knows he messed up. The world knows he messed up. And he has to take ownership of that.

“He must get his personal life in order. I think that is what he is trying to do.

“And when he comes back he has to show some humility to the public in the sense that if I were him, it wouldn’t be at a golf tournament where I come out in public first.

“I would come out and I would do an interview with somebody and say, you know what, I screwed up. And I admit it. And I am going to change. I am trying to change.

“I want my wife and family back – I have to earn her trust back.”


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