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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tiger Meets the Press

Since I didn't get mentioned on TGC, ESPN, or any of the other sports broadcasts, I can only assume that my attempt to upstage Tiger's press conference by posting no less than 2 Limerick Summaries on Monday failed. Wow... tough crowd. At any rate, here's my take on Tiger's presser at Augusta.

After all the pessimistic talk before his meeting, there seems to be as much positive talk after... and it's all saying He's trying. By now you've seen the posts and heard the reports about his attempts to acknowledge the fans as he played, although he made it clear that practice rounds are a little different than competition rounds; about how he was relaxed and even open with the media; and about how he only invoked the "that's private" remark twice. (He said it more times than that during the mini-interviews a couple of weeks ago!) Apparently no subject was off-limits, and he gave us information we hadn't heard before, such as confessions about a recurrent problem with a torn Achilles tendon. (I believe it was John Hawkins on TGC who noted the irony there.)

Specifically, he gave detailed answers to questions about his treatment by Dr. Anthony Galea, which apparently has been a bigger deal than I would have expected. (Having done some weight work myself, and knowing both how and how long Tiger has been working out -- remember the infamous Men's Fitness interview? -- I don't see any reason to even suspect steroids. But I digress.) Equally notable was how little he said about Elin beyond the fact that she wouldn't be at Augusta. One thing I haven't heard much about is his intimation that he didn't know when he would play again after Augusta.

I wouldn't have expected Elin to be there, simply because she has been even less available than Tiger, thus a more desirable media target. I'll be interested to see when he plays after the Masters, simply because that may say something about how "negotiations" are going. Tiger said "his family" supported him playing at Augusta, but that doesn't say much. Was Elin tired of him moping around the house and said, "Ok, go play the Masters... but keep it zipped, got it?" Or are things not going well between them, and he's playing because there's no reason not to?

As much as I'd like to see them get this worked out, I'll admit I'm pessimistic. While my Christian brothers and sisters have been very vocal about the Bible's teachings on forgiveness, I haven't heard many point out an equally important Biblical teaching -- namely, that forgiveness of sin doesn't automatically remove the consequences of the sin. Do I need to point out that this wasn't a single slip-up (slip-in?), but a double-digit screw-up? (Yes, all puns are intended.) If I was in Elin's place, I honestly don't know if I could stay with him. Perhaps that's a flaw in my character, but it's there; I admit it. It looks like Tiger will have a decent experience at Augusta this week, so if he doesn't play much after this, I'll assume things are looking up for the Woodses; if he plays a lot -- especially without Elin on site -- maybe not so much.

Overall, I'd have to say it looks as if Tiger is sincere when he says he is trying to change. I see the earlier appearances as attempts to gradually prepare him for the firestorm we all expected; if so, it worked. He seemed to be comfortable both with who he is and where he is trying to go. At this point, I'd say that's a pretty good place for him to be.

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