Woods starts comeback with a speech

By Doug FergusonFebruary 19, 2010, 4:54 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Out of sight for almost three months, Tiger Woods will be back for a day.

After that – who knows.

Golf’s biggest star is to make his first public appearance Friday since he ran his SUV over a fire hydrant and into a tree outside his Florida home on Nov. 27, setting off a shocking and sordid sex scandal.

The setting for his return is decidedly friendly. It may be hard to remember the planet is watching

Woods will speak to a small group of “friends, colleagues and close associates” in the Sunset Room on the second floor of the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour. Just one video camera will broadcast the event and there will be no questions.

Once he’s done, Woods apparently won’t be sticking around much longer.

He is to return to therapy after he speaks about his infidelity and his future plans, according to a letter from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem obtained by The Associated Press.

Finchem’s letter to the PGA Tour policy board and other officials explained why Woods chose Friday to make his first public comments, which are to be televised live by the major networks.

Woods’ statement comes during the Match Play Championship, sponsored by Accenture, the first company to drop Woods as a pitchman.

“As we understand it, Tiger’s therapy called for a week’s break at this time during which he has spent a few days with his children and then will make his statement before returning,” Finchem said in the letter Thursday. “Accordingly, there was very little flexibility in the date for the announcement.”

The letter shed no light on whether Woods plans to return to the tour anytime soon.

Ernie Els was among players who were upset to learn that Woods had chosen the week of a World Golf Championship for a public appearance that was sure to take attention away from the tournament. “It’s selfish,” Els told Golfweek magazine.

Finchem told reporters in Marana, Ariz., earlier this week that he didn’t think Woods’ appearance would undermine Accenture, and that Woods’ handlers “have their own reasons for their schedule.”

In the letter, he said the tour discussed the timing with Accenture and “they understand that the PGA Tour was not involved in determining the timing of the statement.” Finchem also noted that Woods’ comments would be over well before television coverage of the third round from Dove Mountain.

The PGA Tour made available its sprawling, Mediterranean-styled clubhouse for the announcement, and was helping set up adjacent ballrooms at the nearby Sawgrass Marriott for media, where they can watch Woods on closed-circuit TV. Finchem said in the letter that Woods’ management asked for the facilities, and “we agreed as we would for any member of the PGA Tour.”

No other PGA Tour player could command this kind of attention, though.

Woods is one of the most recognized athletes in the world. Television ratings double when he is in contention, which has happened a lot on his way to winning 71 times on the PGA Tour and 14 majors, four short of the record held by Jack Nicklaus.

No other athlete had such a spectacular fall. Accenture and AT&T have ended their endorsement contracts with him, and Woods has become the butt of jokes on everything from late shows to Disney performances.

In the hours leading up to his appearance, it already was shaping up as a major event.

Along with familiar faces, Woods’ management team invited limited media.

“This is not a press conference,” Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, said on Wednesday.

Three wire services – the AP, Reuters and Bloomberg – were invited. The Golf Writers Association of America was offered a pool of three reporters, negotiated for six reporters, then its board of directors voted overwhelmingly not to participate.

“I cannot stress how strongly our board felt that this should be open to all media and also for the opportunity to question Woods,” said Vartan Kupelian, president of the 950-member group. “The position, simply put, is all or none. This is a major story of international scope. To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question Woods goes against the grain of everything we believe.”

The public hasn’t had a clean look at Woods’ face since photos Wednesday of him jogging in his neighborhood outside Orlando.

More pool photos were released on Thursday showing him hitting balls on the practice range; Woods never allowed his picture taken on the range last year when returning from knee surgery.

Far more compelling, however, will be the sound of his voice. Woods has not been heard in the 78 days since a magazine released a voicemail he allegedly left one of the women to whom he has been romantically linked, warning that Woods’ wife might be calling.

Instead of going on “Oprah” or another national television show to break the ice, Woods essentially will be speaking to the lone camera allowed in the room. It will be televised via satellite.

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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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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