Monday, April 5, 2010

Tiger talks

I think I was probably like most people who watched Tiger Woods' press conference today at Augusta National - curious.

Curious about what he'd say. Curious about what reporters would ask. Curious about his demeanor.

I know there are people out there who don't like him because of what he's done, but I have to admit that he was pretty impressive today. America loves a good apology. And if his February statement wasn't enough for them, then today's continued mea culpa definitely should have been.

Regular readers of this blog know I really don't care about Tiger's personal life. But if I did, then I think I'd see someone who screwed up royally, got caught, realized his astronomical mistakes and is now trying to rectify that.

Woods really did seem like a different person today, but he did have some of the same Tigerisms that he displayed while he was living his life of lies.

He smiled when he talked about the game of golf. He seemed more relaxed when he was questioned about the game. And he appeared genuine when he said he was having fun again. But then again, this is only the first day, and he hasn't actually competed. I guess the crowd reaction and the greetings from the other players today really were positive.

There were actually several things Tiger said during the 34-minute event stood out for me.

First, he apologized to the other PGA Tour players, acknowledging that they're probably tired of answering questions about Woods. Tiger, although the No. 1 golfer, is not the only player on the Tour, and each one of them are trying to do the same thing he is - win tournaments.

Secondly, he said he was going to "try" to tone down his negative outbursts on the course. He followed that up by saying that if he did become more reserved when he hit a bad shot, he probably would be more reserved when he hit a good shot or won an event.

I'm not completely on board with that. Yes, the club throwing and cussing is bad. But fist-pumping and celebrating is not. We'll see how that goes. He said he was going to try, and maybe he won't be able to check his emotions on either end of the spectrum.

Thirdly, Tiger impressed me most when he said that what has happened put things more in perspective as far as winning championships. He was asked about his thoughts on chasing Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Majors, and Woods said it's more about how you live your life than how many championships you win. Bingo.

And lastly, there were a few questions he danced around, which is what I meant about seeing some of his Tigerisms showing up at the press conference. One in particular stood out when he was asked about rationalizing his sense of entitlement. Perhaps, he didn't understand the question - it was a little unclear. But what he should have said was: "I thought I was entitled to have sex with any woman I wanted because I'm the best golfer on the planet."

He then could have followed that up with: "But I now realize that winning golf tournaments doesn't preclude you from playing by the rules of morality and integrity."

But that's just me. He did just fine on his own.

Now that the curiosity factor has been quenched - and I hope it has for everyone - let's see how he plays golf.