Tiger makes case as millions pause to watch

By Associated PressFebruary 19, 2010, 10:00 pm

NEW YORK – Across the media landscape, time stopped for 13 1/2 minutes Friday as Tiger Woods took a swing at getting out of the rough with an extraordinary video apology for his sexual escapades, telecast around the world.

Dozens of broadcast networks, cable news outlets and online streams carried his scripted statement live, allowing a global audience to see and hear from Woods for the first time since his public image went into free fall nearly three months ago.

Viewers by the millions paused to watch and listen as the golf great spoke from the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour, in Ponte Vedra, Fla. Meanwhile, news anchors, TV pundits and morning show hosts sat ready to pounce with their reviews.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos called the speech “one of the most remarkable public apologies ever by a public figure.”

“He (Tiger) left nothing on the table,” Stephanopoulos said. “This is a man who has thought a lot about what he did.”

Rick Cerrone, former New York Yankees public relations director, disagreed. “What I saw was arrogance. … It was basically an infomercial,” he said on CNN.

“I think he was very genuine in his responses and his statement,” Debert Cook, publisher of African American Golfer’s Digest, said on BBC News 24 television in London. “I think we are entering a whole new era spiritually and emotionally for Tiger Woods. There’s always going to be the doubters out there but I think we have to take him at his word and watch his actions.”

CBS’ David Feherty, who has covered Woods on the circuit, said, “I have never seen him appear so vulnerable. … I was very impressed with what he said.”

“The vast number of people just want their Tiger Woods back,” Feherty said.

Covering Woods’ appearance were networks as far-flung as the Golf Channel and business network CNBC (which had a digital countdown clock on the screen beforehand and dubbed Woods’ remarks his “Media Culpa”).

It was unusual for such a broad swath of TV outlets to hand several minutes of precious airtime to any public figure with a message to peddle, no questions asked.

On the other hand, Woods’ message was short, dramatic and – no matter if you bought his remorse or not – gripping when he declared, “I was unfaithful, I had affairs, I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame.”

For many of the networks – especially cable news and sports-oriented ESPN – his news-making confessional was a welcome rallying point, rich grist for the mill for such talk-dominated TV. It promised to fuel hours of fresh debate on All Things Tiger, a favorite sport since Woods ran his SUV over a fire hydrant and into a tree outside his Florida home on Nov. 27. The resulting scandal has imperiled Woods’ towering status as an athlete and commercial brand.

Moreover, in the Western United States, Woods’ appearance was perfectly timed for the major broadcast networks, whose morning news shows were airing at that hour. (NBC was covering the Winter Olympics.)

The stock market slowed at 11 a.m. as traders watched Woods’ remarks. Volume on the New York Stock Exchange leveled off, then picked up momentum after he fell silent.

But the fact that Woods’ remarks were scheduled on a workday meant many viewers in the U.S. were following from their offices in front of computer screens.

Live streaming online has become more commonplace for big, daytime events since President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Though of considerably less historical importance, nearly as many Web sites offered up live streaming of Woods’ apology. Among those who streamed it live were CBS News in partnership with UStream, Hulu.com (which is co-owned by NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment and ABC Inc.), YouTube’s Citizen Tube, CNN.com and many others. The Associated Press streamed it by way of Livestream.com.

Other TV outlets where Woods didn’t make the cut, such as BET, streamed his remarks on their Web site.

As might be expected, ESPN had the most robust multimedia coverage. The Walt Disney Co.-owned cable network had the broadcast not only on ESPN, ESPNEWS and ESPN2, but also on ESPN.com, ESPN radio and ESPN Mobile.

The network’s previous most notable foray into video news was when it quickly streamed its interview with Alex Rodriguez – another megastar making a mea culpa – on ESPN.com just as it was airing on its flagship network.

Though Woods’ apology was carefully orchestrated, online chatter – which has not been kind to the golfer since the scandal broke – was dramatically messier. A popular thread on Twitter was what “tigershouldve” said. The suggestions were overwhelmingly sarcastic and full of vulgar puns.

In the middle of Woods’ apology, the Onion promptly posted a story headlined: “Tiger Woods Announces Return to Sex.” Bill Simmons, a popular sports columnist for ESPN.com, tweeted: “I can’t believe Nike killed Tiger and replaced him with a robot.”

Woods was the most popular topic charted by Google Trends. The majority of the most popular topics on Twitter were Woods-related, including “Buddhist” as users reacted to Woods’ saying Buddhism was helping him through his troubles.

Many sites, such as the blog Deadspin, encouraged viewer feedback. The Huffington Post gave viewers the chance to vote on how Woods handled himself: hole in one, par for the course or a double bogey.

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Garcia among bubble boys keeping playoff hopes alive

By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 12:34 am

Sergio Garcia gave himself a chance to keep his perfect FedExCup Playoffs record going with his rally Friday at the Wyndham Championship.

D.A. Points moved into position to make a historic leap into the postseason.

And Johnson Wagner dunked his last shot of the day from long range to keep his hopes of making the playoffs alive.

But the day didn’t end nearly as well for Tyrone Van Aswegen’s FedExCup hopes.

Van Aswegen didn’t do himself any favors trying to hold on to the 125th spot on the FedExCup points list. He missed the cut by a shot.

Only the top 125 advance to The Northern Trust and next week’s start to the playoffs.

Van Aswegen wasn’t alone among “bubble boys” missing the cut. No. 122 Jhonattan Vegas, No. 123 Seamus Power, No. 124 Martin Piller, No. 126 Chad Campbell and No. 127 Robert Garrigus all failed to make the weekend.

Garcia is among 13 players who have advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs every year since they began in 2007, but his run was in jeopardy of ending starting the week. He’s 131st on the FedExCup points list

With a 65 Friday following his opening round 66, Garcia is in more than a great position to advance. He’s in position to win the Wyndham. He is tied for fourth, five shots off the lead. The day ended with Garcia projected to move up to 118th on the FedExCup points list.


Wyndham Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Current FedExCup points list


“I'm just going to try to keep building on the things that I did well these first two days,” Garcia said. “Whatever happens, happens. Like I said at the beginning of the week, if I have a great weekend, then it will be great. If I don't have a great weekend, it will still be great because

I'll get to rest.”

Points started the week 214th on the FedExCup points list. With back-to-back 64s, he trails only Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend. He’s projected to move to 81st in points. Nobody has ever started the Wyndham Championship that far back in points and qualified for the playoffs. Davis Love III was 186th when he won and advanced in 2015.

Wagner, 136th on the FedExCup points list, went to spectacular lengths Friday to keep his playoff hopes alive. He was outside the cut line until holing his 153-yard approach at the last.

Bill Haas, who is among those 13 players to have qualified for the playoffs every year, started the week 150th in points. He can keep his perfect playoff record going with a big weekend. He shot 68 Friday to make the cut. He’s tied for 52nd in the tournament.

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Points two back after missing 16 of 17 cuts

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:54 pm

What’s the better story come Sunday?

Brandt Snedeker turning his 59 in the opening round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship?

Or D.A. Points winning after missing 16 cuts in his last 17 starts?

They’re both scripts in the works at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

Points, who has been struggling this season with a herniated disc that causes numbness in his fingers, has broken through his season-long funk to shoot back-to-back 64s. He starts the weekend in second place, two shots behind Snedeker.


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“It's been difficult,” Points said of his slump. “It's been hard on my family. I was in this position a couple years ago, and I clawed my way back and won in Puerto Rico.

“I had that big downturn, and I clawed my way out of it just to find myself way back down in another deep hole again.”

Points, 41, is a three-time PGA Tour winner. He won his first title playing alongside Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2011 and two years later won the Shell Houston Open. He slipped into a three-year funk after that, before rebuilding his game and winning the Puerto Rico Open last year.

“Hopefully, this is my way of starting to claw back out,” Points said.

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New 'Mr. 59' Snedeker needs Day 2 rally to keep Wyndham lead

By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:24 pm

Brandt Snedeker struggled coming off the emotional high that comes with shooting 59, but it didn’t stop him from rallying Friday to try to turn his historic round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship.

After a sluggish start to the second round, Snedeker caught fire on the back nine at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., to take the lead going into the weekend.

With a 3-under 67, Snedeker moved to 14 under overall, two shots ahead of D.A. Points (64).

“I knew it was going to be tough” Snedeker said. “It wasn't going to be the same way it was yesterday. Kind of battling the emotion of everybody pulling hard for you, wanting to see you do it again. So the front nine was disappointing.”

A day after becoming the ninth player in PGA Tour history to post a sub-60 tournament round, Snedeker opened with three bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He said it was a struggle to begin anew.


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“You hear people telling you every two seconds, `Mr. 59,’ or saying how cool it was to watch it,” Snedeker said. “Phone's still blowing up this morning, guys in the locker room are still talking to me about it. So, yes, totally on your mind. You can't ignore it. You can't try to forget about it. Hardest thing is trying to get back into a rhythm.”

Snedeker did with an eagle and two birdies on the back nine. Rolling in a 30-foot eagle putt at the 15th gave him back the lead he lost earlier in the round.

“To see that go in was huge,” Snedeker said.

Not every player to break 60 on the PGA Tour has gone on to win. In fact, Snedeker is looking to become just the fifth player to do so.

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Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 9:53 pm

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.

''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''

He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.


Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


"I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''

Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.

''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''

Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.

Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.