Tiger makes case as millions pause to watch

By Associated PressFebruary 19, 2010, 10:00 pm

NEW YORK – Across the media landscape, time stopped for 13 1/2 minutes Friday as Tiger Woods took a swing at getting out of the rough with an extraordinary video apology for his sexual escapades, telecast around the world.

Dozens of broadcast networks, cable news outlets and online streams carried his scripted statement live, allowing a global audience to see and hear from Woods for the first time since his public image went into free fall nearly three months ago.

Viewers by the millions paused to watch and listen as the golf great spoke from the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour, in Ponte Vedra, Fla. Meanwhile, news anchors, TV pundits and morning show hosts sat ready to pounce with their reviews.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos called the speech “one of the most remarkable public apologies ever by a public figure.”

“He (Tiger) left nothing on the table,” Stephanopoulos said. “This is a man who has thought a lot about what he did.”

Rick Cerrone, former New York Yankees public relations director, disagreed. “What I saw was arrogance. … It was basically an infomercial,” he said on CNN.

“I think he was very genuine in his responses and his statement,” Debert Cook, publisher of African American Golfer’s Digest, said on BBC News 24 television in London. “I think we are entering a whole new era spiritually and emotionally for Tiger Woods. There’s always going to be the doubters out there but I think we have to take him at his word and watch his actions.”

CBS’ David Feherty, who has covered Woods on the circuit, said, “I have never seen him appear so vulnerable. … I was very impressed with what he said.”

“The vast number of people just want their Tiger Woods back,” Feherty said.

Covering Woods’ appearance were networks as far-flung as the Golf Channel and business network CNBC (which had a digital countdown clock on the screen beforehand and dubbed Woods’ remarks his “Media Culpa”).

It was unusual for such a broad swath of TV outlets to hand several minutes of precious airtime to any public figure with a message to peddle, no questions asked.

On the other hand, Woods’ message was short, dramatic and – no matter if you bought his remorse or not – gripping when he declared, “I was unfaithful, I had affairs, I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame.”

For many of the networks – especially cable news and sports-oriented ESPN – his news-making confessional was a welcome rallying point, rich grist for the mill for such talk-dominated TV. It promised to fuel hours of fresh debate on All Things Tiger, a favorite sport since Woods ran his SUV over a fire hydrant and into a tree outside his Florida home on Nov. 27. The resulting scandal has imperiled Woods’ towering status as an athlete and commercial brand.

Moreover, in the Western United States, Woods’ appearance was perfectly timed for the major broadcast networks, whose morning news shows were airing at that hour. (NBC was covering the Winter Olympics.)

The stock market slowed at 11 a.m. as traders watched Woods’ remarks. Volume on the New York Stock Exchange leveled off, then picked up momentum after he fell silent.

But the fact that Woods’ remarks were scheduled on a workday meant many viewers in the U.S. were following from their offices in front of computer screens.

Live streaming online has become more commonplace for big, daytime events since President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Though of considerably less historical importance, nearly as many Web sites offered up live streaming of Woods’ apology. Among those who streamed it live were CBS News in partnership with UStream, Hulu.com (which is co-owned by NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment and ABC Inc.), YouTube’s Citizen Tube, CNN.com and many others. The Associated Press streamed it by way of Livestream.com.

Other TV outlets where Woods didn’t make the cut, such as BET, streamed his remarks on their Web site.

As might be expected, ESPN had the most robust multimedia coverage. The Walt Disney Co.-owned cable network had the broadcast not only on ESPN, ESPNEWS and ESPN2, but also on ESPN.com, ESPN radio and ESPN Mobile.

The network’s previous most notable foray into video news was when it quickly streamed its interview with Alex Rodriguez – another megastar making a mea culpa – on ESPN.com just as it was airing on its flagship network.

Though Woods’ apology was carefully orchestrated, online chatter – which has not been kind to the golfer since the scandal broke – was dramatically messier. A popular thread on Twitter was what “tigershouldve” said. The suggestions were overwhelmingly sarcastic and full of vulgar puns.

In the middle of Woods’ apology, the Onion promptly posted a story headlined: “Tiger Woods Announces Return to Sex.” Bill Simmons, a popular sports columnist for ESPN.com, tweeted: “I can’t believe Nike killed Tiger and replaced him with a robot.”

Woods was the most popular topic charted by Google Trends. The majority of the most popular topics on Twitter were Woods-related, including “Buddhist” as users reacted to Woods’ saying Buddhism was helping him through his troubles.

Many sites, such as the blog Deadspin, encouraged viewer feedback. The Huffington Post gave viewers the chance to vote on how Woods handled himself: hole in one, par for the course or a double bogey.

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Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 7:31 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.