ORLANDO, Fla. – Ernie Els was polite about it, but his exasperation with questions about Tiger Woods’ fall from grace came through when he was asked yet another question about it in the interview room Wednesday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“Please, stop!” was the gist of Els’ message to the media.
Three questions into the interview, Els was asked about his comment at the Accenture Match Play Championship last month, when he called the timing of Woods’ public apology “selfish” in that it overshadowed the tournament.
“It’s very difficult to talk about Tiger Woods as I know him as a golfer and a pretty good friend, and just all the things that's happened,” Els said. “Tour players' lives have also been affected by this because of the constant questioning that we have to answer about a fellow player's private life.
“I try not to go there, but the questions keep coming. Obviously, you guys have to do a job as well, so you're trying to get some insight. We don't have any insight, and, basically, we just want to get onto our basic Tour lives.”
Els expanded on his 'selfish' remark about the timing of Woods' public apology.
“I just felt Friday was not the right place for that,' he said. 'We had to play a tournament, and I was maybe selfish from my point of view that all I wanted to do was a play golf tournament instead of talking about his personal life. That's basically what I meant by that. I felt that the Monday would have been great. Friday wasn't great for us. So maybe I was selfish. Call me selfish. That's maybe where I'm coming from.
“And now, again, questions keep coming. We cannot give you insight because we don't know. I would love everybody to stop asking questions about Tiger and his personal life. That's his life; go ask him, basically.'