Let’s hope that Augusta National throws up more difficult questions for Tiger Woods to deal with than the so-called open press conference that he faced in the lead up to this week’s Masters.
All we got to see was the same carefully stage-managed, rehearsed answers; never straying from the message. He’s been bad, he’s hurt his family, he’s betrayed his core beliefs, he lied to everyone—including himself.
But he was amongst friends. Yes, the 207 Journalists and sportswriters in the room were able to ask whatever questions they liked, but only a select few got the call. The questions were gentle, no mention of the other women, and no questions about the future of Tiger’s marriage.
When it came to golfing questions, Tiger was expansive and happy to talk, when a difficult question slipped through—such as whether he was returning to golf too soon—it was given a short, dismissive answer accompanied by a harsh stare. The intimidator was still there and it was clear that he wasn’t ready to be completely open.
Similarly, when asked if he had drugs in his system on that fateful night of the “accident”, he gave a dismissive answer that he had been given a citation and the case was closed. All true, but not really an answer to the question that he’d been asked.
Even the questions about Tiger’s relationship with Canadian doctor Tony Galea weren’t pushed to the extent that they deserved. Tiger naturally denied using growth hormones or performance enhancing drugs, but there was nothing approaching an interrogation.
Tiger admitted to having platelet enriched plasma treatment for a hitherto unknown Achilles problem, which is apparently all completely legal, but the relationship with Galea is a complication that he really didn’t need in his life.
It seems that all is forgiven; that Tiger can go back to doing what he does best, hitting a ball around a golf course. The golfing press is his friend again now that they’ve had the opportunity to ask questions.
The other golfers have seemingly got over the fact that he’s been dominating their press for months, or at least they’ve decided that there’s nothing they can do about it and they have more important things to worry about.
Even the fans seem to be back on side, if we are to believe that all Tiger hears on the course are messages of support and respect.
That just leaves the rest of us, those who believe that a number of these questions deserve answering and who realise that the important questions will never be answered to everyone’s satisfaction.
Now, all we can do is hope he wins this week. Not because he deserves any success, but because after putting up with his domination of the media for the past five months, he has to deliver something positive to justify it all.