Woods has gone into crisis mode

By Randall MellDecember 4, 2009, 12:31 am

Tiger Woods’ five-paragraph statement released on his Web site Wednesday is the only direct communication he has made publicly about the storm of controversy surrounding allegations of extra-marital activities.

Within 24 hours of the statement’s release, there were strong reactions among columnists, radio sports-talk hosts and TV personalities.

Everyone who reads the statement has a unique personal reaction.

The impressions made are important to the shaping of Woods’ image as he emerges from the controversy, according to two crisis management specialists who shared their reactions to Woods’ statement with GolfChannel.com.

“It was an exceptionally well-written statement, the problem with it is that he has now written two statements on his Web site, but he hasn’t come forward himself,” said Michael Gordon, CEO of Group Gordon Strategic Communications. “It makes it look like he’s hiding something, whether he intends that or not. He looks like he’s hiding something by releasing statements only on his Web site. Sooner or later, he will absolutely, 100 percent, have to face reporters’ questions on this subject. The sooner he does this, the better for him.

“Assuming there is nothing more significant coming out, he’ll be able to get through this,” said Gordon, who served in President Bill Clinton’s administration as spokesman for Attorney General Janet Reno. “Currently, avoiding reporters’ questions is hurting him.”

Jason Maloni, vice president of the sports and entertainment subpractice at Levick Strategic Communications, believes Woods’ message would have been more effective coming from Woods’ lips.

“It was appropriate to see an admission of transgression, but I don’t think the statement goes far enough,” Maloni said. “We have the expression `phoning it in’ and `mailing it in’ and now apparently Tiger is trying to `e-mail it in.’ You can’t e-mail in accountability.”

Though viewers can be skeptical of the sincerity of staged repentance, Maloni said there is nothing more effective than a public appearance in communicating your message to the audience you most want to reach.

“Were I advising him, at some point, not today or tomorrow, because there is time a family needs, but both he and his wife should be side by side on a couch somewhere in their home, holding hands, where the world can see them,” Maloni said. “They should be together where we can hear her say, `I am aware what has happened, Tiger loves me, I love him, we’ve had some difficulty in our marriage, as many marriages do, but we are committed to one another and we are working through it.'

“That might seem intrusive into their relationship, but it might be what it takes. We don’t need to know all the grisly details. He doesn’t need to come out with a laundry list of things he maybe has done as a married man. Only the worst fans want all the details, but what you do want is he and his wife articulating their relationship, expressing their commitment to one another.”

For Woods, who so fiercely guards his privacy, that’s a scene his fans have difficulty imagining. Why does Maloni believe it is important?

“He needs to be mindful that this will continue to be out there, not until he says it’s over, but until his fans feel like they’ve gotten the straight answers,” Maloni said. “That means hearing someone other than Tiger, namely his wife, say something. It will be a pivotal moment in what could be a one-week story or a very damaging one-month story.”

Why is going public at all important?

“He is a public figure,” Maloni said. “He engages fans, even to the small degree that he does so, and he needs to do more than he’s done.”

Gordon also said it’s important there is more than a written statement.

“He needs to put a human face with it, say the words in the statement to a reporter or group of reporters,” Gordon said. “Show some contrition and then just look forward. Assuming no significant revelations beyond that, he’ll be fine, but every day he doesn’t do that is a lost opportunity.”

Woods devoted so much of his statement to his right to privacy. He specifically wrote “personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions.” What’s he risk if he doesn’t go beyond his statement.

“It will look like he’s hiding something, and that will create questions among the media and the fans and in turn among his sponsors,” Gordon said. “That’s the exact flow chart. Media, fans, sponsors. Sponsors only care about people who buy their products. If he starts to lose credibility among them, the sponsors will care. Right now, the sponsors are holding firm, and they should. But if he tries to avoid the subject, it will continue to create questions rather than answer them.”

Woods’ addressed his right to privacy in three of the five paragraphs of his statement. How did that come off?

“There are certain things he just can’t say, or he will not have any credibility saying, at this time,” Maloni said. “He’s certainly not going to have a lot of credibility screaming for his privacy, at this time.”

How at odds is Woods’ determination to protect his privacy with what may be required to distant himself from the controversy?

“When you combine his high profile and his pristine image and the wackiness of the accident, it just creates a ton of questions,” Gordon said. “So he is not going to have the privacy he wants at the end of the day on this subject he wants.”

Getty Images

Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.