Tiger Woods will be making his first tournament appearance since his T-40 at the Masters at next week’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C. Instead of his usual pre-tournament interview routine with the media, the Woods camp has decided to try a more grassroots campaign.
Woods is expected to post a video on his website on Monday in which he will answer selected fan questions submitted through Facebook and Twitter. Tiger's camp contends that Woods will still partake in post-round interviews Thursday-Sunday, but wants to try a more fan-friendly approach to start the week. Does Tiger’s move satisfy our interest or does he, yet again, leave us with more questions than answers? GolfChannel.com senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell weigh in.
By REX HOGGARD
Control the message is Public Relations 101. And with the advent of social media platforms, it has made that goal attainable, at least on some scale.
It is that scale that is the issue with Tiger Woods’ decision to forgo his normal pre-tournament press conference this week at the Wells Fargo Championship and answer questions via social media.
While the move will allow Woods to avoid uncomfortable questions about, say, his behavior at last month’s Masters or his worst finish at Augusta National (T-40th) as a professional, it also will vastly limit the scope of his media exposure.
Early Saturday Woods’ Twitter account had 2.1 million followers and his Facebook page had 2.5 million “likes.” Good stuff, but consider how many more eyeballs would be on Woods, and golf, if he submitted to his traditional pre-tournament media scrum next week at Quail Hollow.
Although not an apples-to-apples comparison, consider that 16.3 million viewers tuned in late Sunday afternoon for this year’s Masters, while ratings for Sunday’s broadcast of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which Woods won by five strokes, drew a 4.3 rating (about 6.5 million viewers).
No one in the history of the game has endured as much media scrutiny as Woods and certainly no one is more deserving of a break, but making his media “Heisman” part of his normal routine would be bad for business. Everybody’s business.
He may not always like the message, but there is no denying that there are times when he needs the messenger.
By RANDALL MELL
It is about time Tiger Woods takes control of the message.
The game is different today.
There is no need anymore for the insight, perspective and studied consideration of a Bernard Darwin, Herbert Warren Wind, Dan Jenkins and even the day-to-day writers who cover golf. With Facebook, live Skype streams and Twitter allowing players to connect directly with the public, the message becomes more reliably pure and less deviously manipulated, doesn’t it? There is, after all, less need for obfuscation and misdirection when you get to choose what questions you’ll ask and answer.
Hey, truth is truth, it gets clouded the more filters it passes through.
Tiger knows the final word is good when you control the final word. Well, it’s good for the player, if not the sport.