AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods showed up to accept his 2009 Player of the Year Award Wednesday night at the Golf Writers Association of America annual awards dinner on the eve of the Masters.
Woods received a standing ovation from the vast majority of those in attendance when he was called to the podium to accept the first award of the night. The dinner is attended by golf writers, golf industry officials, dignitaries and other special invitees. The GWAA is the same organization that voted not to attend Woods' public apology last month in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
'Last year, golf wise – I'm going to stick to golf – it was a pretty interesting year,' Woods said in the start of his speech. Woods went on to talk about coming back from injury and then told a short story about one of his first Masters' appearances in a practice round as a teenager with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
'They said, 'Do you want to play a Skins Game?' Woods said. 'I said, 'I don't have any cash.'' He told how they good naturedly dragged him to the Par 3 contest afterward, insisting he skip his scheduled tee time to keep playing along with them.
In the past, when Woods has won a GWAA award, he has typically arrived in the room as the dinner began and left almost immediately after receiving the first award of the night. Woods, however, stayed after his award and listened to the speeches of Padraig Harrington (ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award for media cooperation), Ernie Els (Charlie Bartlett Award for unselfish contributions to society) and Jiyai Shin (Female Player of the Year).