The 6-Minute Man Looked Like a New Man - COPIED
Yes, six minutes with Golf Channel and a similar allotment with ESPN Sunday night didn’t seem like enough for his first interviews since his fall from grace, and yet Woods managed to give us a more telling glimpse of who he intends to be from now on than he did reading his public apology over 16 minutes a month ago.
Six minutes isn’t enough to know the new man, or if there truly is a radically different man emerging, but it was a promising start.
This six-minute man doesn’t look like he could angrily bounce a club into the gallery without appearing to care who he hits.
He doesn’t look like he could use a certain vulgar word as a noun, verb and adjective in the same sentence without caring how those words bruise innocent bystanders.
This guy looks like he might be undergoing a transformation beyond the way he views marriage. This guy sounds like somebody who might be changing his relationship with the world.
For six convincing minutes, at any rate, Woods did.
If there’s more of this new man to come, then this great journey Woods will resume when he tees it up at the Masters next month might not be something to dread after all. It might not be a repeat of Barry Bonds’ miserable march to break Hank Aaron’s record. It’s full of hope that it might be the greatest march to redemption we’ve yet witnessed in sport.
Because Woods’ quest to break one of the great records in the history of sport, Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major championship triumphs, is not a solitary journey. Everyone who loves the game, who loves sport, will walk with Woods. This six-minute man looked and sounded like somebody you could embrace when he officially becomes the greatest player who ever lived.
This six-minute man deftly dodged a question that he deems as personal but so many of us deem more than that.
What happened the early morning hours of Nov. 27 matters.
It didn’t just change Woods’ life; it changed the golf world.
Yes, something happened between Woods and his wife, Elin, to set off the crash that was obviously personal, but the crash damaged more than Woods. It damaged the entire golf industry. How and why the game was forever changed is relevant, even important.
“It’s all in the police report,” Woods told Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman.
It isn’t all in the police report, but it appears we may never know how and why the game was changed. It seems destined to go down as one of the sport’s great mysteries. Of course, Woods will protect his family, and that’s understandable, but some general accounting is due because of the way the game was injured early that morning.
There also are still serious questions about why Woods would seek treatment from a doctor who has a history of using and prescribing banned HGH substance. The game’s integrity is potentially damaged by the link, no matter how innocent the treatments were.
Still, the six-minute man set a tone that leads us to believe he might be more transparent in the future, if not in these matters, in matters he has closed us off to so severely in the past.
Frankly, even after the public apology, it was difficult to envision Woods transforming his nature, to envision him somehow becoming less guarded, less controlling, less private and more revealing. The suggestion that he might even become more of a “people person” seemed farfetched. It was easier to envision him as a man determined to aim the formidable powers of his personality at fixing a problem, at taming the unruly lust that turned his life upside down. The six-minute man is easier to see changing.
The revelation that Woods is wearing a Buddhist wrist band for “protection and strength” tells us a lot about his fragile state of mind. So did his revelation of how therapy is helping him: “The strength I feel now, I have never felt this type of strength before.”
The six-minute man looked and sounded like somebody on his way to winning more than golf’s biggest events again.
For six minutes, Woods sounded like a man who will win his redemption.
Of course, it will take a lot more than six minutes to know if Woods wins that match, but it was a sure-footed step for a guy who's counting his steps.
What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy
Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made
Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.
|T14||Charles Howell III||-6||$137,950|
|T14||Byeong Hun An||-6||$137,950|
After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...
Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner
On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...
Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.
After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.
Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.
A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray
Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call
PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.
At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.
“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”
Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.
Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.
“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.