AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods sounded like a man speaking from the heart.
That’s the first impression from his 34-minute news conference Monday at the Masters.
While he may not have been as revealing as some folks want him to be, he’s letting his guard down lower than we’ve ever seen it.
Woods’ 13-minute public apology was criticized as too scripted in his first media appearance last month. Skeptics wondered if he even wrote the words he was speaking and how much was a good – or bad? – acting performance.
He was hammered in some quarters for parroting talking points in his five-or-so minute interviews with Golf Channel and ESPN in his next appearances.
Nobody’s going to forget the man’s fooled a lot of people for a long time, and he was the first to admit his actions will mean more than his words in the coming months, but this was a step forward away from the abyss. That’s the difficult thing, here. Fans who feel betrayed believe there’s got to be more suffering before moving forward, more detailed explanations, more painful accountability and more penance. The moving on feels too quick. Woods will deal with that down the road, at more raucous and unruly venues than Augusta National. This may not be the perfect place for Woods to start if he wants to win the Masters, but it’s the perfect place if he wants to win some peace of mind and regain some confidence in his return. The galleries were warm and respectful Monday in watching him play his first practice rounds in public since his fall from grace. While Woods’ detractors aren’t ready to move on, he’s moving anyway and Monday's long sit down with media helped.