Tiger still has control of golf world

  • Follow Golf

MARANA, Ariz. --- The latest gossip has Tiger Woods resuming his therapy 2,000 miles away from where he made his public apology Friday, which -- if true -- would be a comical coincidence in one respect.

Patrons of the ESPN Zone in Times Square watched Tiger Woods' apology Friday. The timing of the event upset several golfers.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Patrons of the ESPN Zone in Times Square watched Tiger Woods' apology Friday. The timing of the event upset several golfers.

He made more news in Arizona when he wasn't even there.

If nothing else, last week showed how much control Woods wields in the world of golf.

The opening round of the Match Play Championship typically is one of the most exciting days in golf, and it was every bit of that. Not because Steve Stricker became only the second No. 1 seed to go home or because 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa won his last three holes to stay. The buzz centered on Woods' camp announcing that he was going to make his first public appearance in three months.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem might have set a record by meeting with the media three times in five days. The first session Wednesday was to say very little. The third one Sunday was to take blame for not saying enough. In between was a news conference at the Sawgrass Marriott before more media than ever have covered The Players Championship.

Ernie Els was upset, and this was after he won his match.

After hearing that Woods was to speak in the middle of the first World Golf Championship of the year, Els tried to choose his words carefully until he said to Golfweek magazine, "It's selfish." And that was putting it mildly.

Other players who felt just as strongly managed to bite their tongues, or at least ask that tape recorders be turned off.

Ian Poulter inquired about the scene at the TPC Sawgrass during his final match, and when it was suggested that the only new development was Woods being seen and heard, Poulter stretched out his arms as if to say, "There is nothing else to add."

Not that someone didn't try.

After winning the Match Play Championship -- the biggest win of his career and his first victory on American soil -- the Englishman dressed all in pink nearly turned red when he heard a question from the back of the room:

"Does the Tiger Woods drama take away or diminish this championship to you in any way, just the media attention?"

Poulter's eyes widened and he stared for a second.

"Next question," he replied.

Some players get tired of taking Tiger questions when he's winning all the time. They don't like them any more when he's simply reading a statement into a camera.

In the end, the resentment was over Woods still calling the shots. Most agree that he should have lost that right through so many selfish decisions that culminated with a sordid sex scandal, which brought disgrace to his family and damage to a sport that made him who he is, or was. It might be years before the extent of that damage is known.


Search Augusta jobs