OMeara finally opens up on Tiger Woods scandal


It seems the media and fans aren’t the only ones trying to make sense of the tragedy that has become Tiger Woods’ life. Mark O’Meara, one of Woods’ closest friends when he joined the Tour in 1996, weighed in on Woods’ plight and how the world No. 1 has handled the intense media scrutiny that has descended on him since he ran his SUV into a central Florida fire hydrant.

“I would have handled it differently, myself, personally, but that’s who I am. Whether he’s handled it right or wrong, only time can decide that,” said O’Meara, who added that he hasn’t spoken with Woods since last year’s British Open in July. “Tiger is being Tiger. You guys have spent a lot of time with him and seen how he is.”

O’Meara, who was on a teleconference for the Toshiba Classic media day, also offered his Isleworth neighbor some advice and an invitation.

“I know he wants it to be private, but it’s difficult to be private when he’s a public figure. That’s part of what’s happened in our lives. Media is such a big influence. That helps make Tiger a lot of what he is,” O’Meara said. “I’ve tried to contact him a few times, let him know I’ve been thinking about him and his family. My phone is always on.”

And “O,” as Woods calls O’Meara, wasn’t the only major champion addressing the Woods’ predicament on Wednesday. The LPGA’s Lorena Ochoa talked to a group of reporters on a national teleconference Wednesday but was limited in her Woods comments.

'I don't have much to say,' said Ochoa, who will make her 2010 debut next week in the LPGA season opener in Thailand. 'I think for all of us it was a big surprise and a disappointment in many ways, but hopefully he is taking care of his problems and will be back soon. I don't have anything else to say.'