Tiger Woods Press Conference: Today, Tiger Comes Through with Very Few Flaws

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IApril 5, 2010

At 8 a.m. Monday morning, on the first tee at Augusta National Golf Club, Tiger Woods snap-hooked his first shot into the woods.

He did a lot better a little more than six hours later, when he walked down the center aisle of the Masters media center, took his seat on the podium next to Masters media chairman Craig Heatley, and calmly fielded questions from the world's golf and sports writers.

Woods covered just about all of the past 10 weeks of his life, a time span that has seen him fall farther and faster than any prominent, world-renowned sports figure.

"What a great day today," he said before the questions came, thinking back to the polite reception he received when he went out to play that practice round with Fred Couples. "The galleries couldn't have been nicer. It touched my heart pretty good."

Tiger then answered the questions and looked very humble, very human.

He apologized to the other players on tour, as they have been bombarded by questions about Woods.

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"A lot has happened in my life the past five months," he told us.

The most difficult part those months? "Having to look at myself," he said. "I got far from my core fundamentals. I had to take a hard look at myself...and the constant harassment to my family."

When asked about him showing more respect for the game, he said he would try "to not get as hot, but then that means I will not be as exuberant either."

He said he hopes to acknowledge the fans and "show my appreciation for them. I did that today. I took it in a little more. Come game time it might be difficult."

Tiger addressed his treatments from controversial physician Dr. Anthony Galea and said he'd used him "because he has treated a lot of athletes. He never gave me HGH or any PEDs."

Tiger admitted he has used prescription drugs Ambien and Vicodin. He also revealed that he suffered from a torn Achilles in his right ankle after his left knee surgery.

Woods fielded most of the questions comfortably. Only on a couple of instances did he get tense, usually when the questions were about the night of the accident. He referred to the report and the fine he paid. He didn't say anything following the accident on the advice of his attorney, and in regard to the incident, "I followed the letter of the law."

Tiger reiterated that he has lied and deceived. He said that even though he has been winning tournaments the past few years, "I wasn't having any fun." He said the fun was missing because of what he was doing off the course. "Look what I was doing," he recalled.

He also said that his wife Elin is not with him this week.

When it was all said and done, Woods answered 39 questions over the 34-minute session. Overall, those who saw it will tell you that Woods did well.

And yes, there were even some golf questions.

"I'm trying to go out there and win this thing," Woods said of the 2010 Masters. "I'm hoping to get my feel back quickly."

His form on Monday?

"He wasn't sharp, but I expect him to do fine," Couples said.