Questions Asked and Answered

By Rex HoggardApril 6, 2010, 12:53 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The next time Tiger Woods takes to a microphone he will do so to talk about golf, and that – regardless of how we got here – is progress.

It’s not as though Woods gave up the goods or, with a few exceptions, stunned the assembled scribes Monday afternoon in a packed Masters media center with revelations beyond those already in the public realm. He stayed on topic regarding the Nov. 27 bumper car incident that ignited the nastiest media free-for-all in the history of the ancient game.

Nor did he reveal why exactly he spent 45 days in therapy. “That’s a personal matter, please,” was his only line in a bunker filled for too long with mud.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods at his Monday Masters press conference. (Getty Images)
But he was genuine, at least to those who have watched him cliché his way through too many interviews in recent years. He was also forthcoming about a great many items of interest.

Canadian Dr. Anthony Galea may end up haunting Woods like BALCO haunts shamed slugger Barry Bonds, but on Monday before a packed house of scribes Woods did something Bonds has never done. Answer the question.

Why choose a Canadian doctor, who is not licensed to practice medicine in Florida and has a history of HGH use, when any number of physicians could have administered the same procedure?

“He never gave me HGH or any (performance-enhancing drugs). I've never taken that my entire life. I've never taken any illegal drug, ever, for that matter,” said Woods, who explained he underwent a procedure called platelet-enriched plasma treatments to help his knee mend and for an Achilles injury to his right leg he sustained in December 2008.

Why was he taken to an Ocoee, Fla., hospital after smashing his SUV into a neighborhood hedge, tree and fire hydrant on Nov. 27?

“I had a busted up lip and pretty sore neck. Had to have five stitches,” he said.

For 33 minutes Woods fielded 39 questions from 34 different reporters. For 33 minutes the man who distastes media incursions into his personal life so much he named his yacht “Privacy,” answered, if not every question, than at least a number of queries that mattered.

There will be more uncomfortable moments in the weeks and months ahead. On Monday Woods revealed his manager – IMG’s Mark Steinberg, who watched Monday’s proceedings intently from the back of the room – has been contacted by federal authorities about Galea.

Woods also let it be known that his wife, Elin, would not be at Augusta National this week, a bad sign for the marriage some surmised.

But that, like much of the last five months, is Woods’ personal life. What mattered on Monday was how Woods was going to get on with the rest of his professional life.

It seemed strangely telling that Woods admitted to being more nervous teeing off in the morning dew, and the reception he would get from the Augusta National faithful, than he did prior to his first mass media Q&A.

“(The patrons) blew me away,” Woods smiled. “Today that touched my heart pretty good.”

Alongside fan favorite Fred Couples, Woods’ first official practice round of the year had a Bizarro World feel to it – a Sunday capacity crowd with a distinct Monday vibe.

Couples was beloved, while Augusta National’s patrons seemed to want to like Tiger again, but they need time. And that’s a start. There is still an appreciation, but only at arm’s length.

The entire affair had a first-day-of-school feel to it, surreal and subdued. After five months of drama, what does one say to break the ice?

For Couples that answer was easy.

“We had a lot of laughs,” Couples said. “Most of them were about me.”

There wasn’t much for Woods to laugh about afterward, however. Or over the last five months, for that matter. Rampant media speculation is one thing. Stolen moments that can never be reclaimed are an entirely different animal.

“I missed my son’s first birthday in rehab,” Woods admitted. “That hurt. Hurt a lot, and I vowed never to let that happen again.”

The cynic will dismiss Monday’s showing as a well-scripted delivery. The scribe will default to the world No. 1’s actions, not his words, to decide if the born-again Buddhist is on a new path. But the golf fan will walk away from Woods’ 33 rugged minutes and give the man the benefit of the doubt.

Of all Woods’ revelations on Monday, perhaps the most telling came when he was asked his feelings regarding Thursday’s opening round.

“That first tee, I'm looking forward to it. I haven't looked forward to that tee shot in a long time, not like this. It feels fun again.,” Woods smiled. “That's something that's been missing. Have I been winning, have I been competing, have I been doing well? Yeah, I have.  I've won numerous times the last few years but I wasn't having anywhere near the amount of fun. Why?  Because look at what I was engaged in.”

Black Friday begat Monster Monday. What’s next largely depends on Woods. But having fun is always a start.


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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 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.