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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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.