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Tiger's Future on Friday

Tiger's Back?: A photo surfaced today of Tiger jogging, the first shot that is obviously him since November. Smell a public relations strategy here?

Tiger's Back: Tiger Woods seen jogging today, the same day he announces a Friday press conference to discuss his future. Can you say public relations strategy?

After all the lies and rumors, the talk of a return this week at the Accenture Match Play and discussion about playing at the Tavistock Cup in Orlando, Tiger Woods is going to set the record straight. Maybe.

In fact details are sketchy, but Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent has announced the golfer will make a public statement for the first time since his November car crash on Friday — and apparently Woods’ camp is talking, but not taking questions. In an e-mail to the Bloomberg news agency, Steinberg says Woods will “apologize for his behavior.”

Tiger Woods will be speaking to a small group of friends, colleagues and close associates at 11:00 a.m. EST Friday at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (PGA headquarters), said a statement emailed from Woodss agent, Mark Steinberg, and his spokesman, Glenn Greenspan and reported by the Bloomberg news service. Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future and he plans to apologize for his behavior.

ABC News is reporting that the prepared remarks will run for five to seven minutes and that Woods will not take any questions.

The news conference will occur during the middle of the Accenture Match Play Championship, one of the sponsors that dropped him during his sex scandal.

TMZcom .reported  that Woods met this week with officials from the Tavistock Cup, an annual two-day exhibition restricted to teams of professionals from a pair of planned Florida golf communities, including Isleworth, where Woods owns a bungalow.

This years event is scheduled for March 22-23, two weeks before the years first major tournament, the Masters in Augusta, Ga.

Woods has been a regular at Tavistock, which began in 2004. Though it is televised, the tournament airs on the smaller Golf Channel and, notes the Boston Globe, media and spectator access is limited.

So what can we expect? If the reports are accurate, one can say an awful lot in six or seven minutes. He’ll surely not talk to specifics, but it is hard to imagine that Woods, who seemed so dismissive of the car accident and resulting furor at the start, will suddenly become all teary-eyed. How will the public take it if Woods isn’t seen as being apologetic for his actions or seems less than sincere? He’s not exactly known for providing much at his press conferences, and though there is much more scrutiny on this one than say his pre-tournament briefing at the Buick Open, can we really expect a Tiger to change his stripes?

And does the world really care now, after the eighth porn star and cocktail waitress has come along peddling her tawdry tales? Strikes me the most heated interest in Tiger-gate might have cooled down, and an admission that he’s made mistakes, but wants to move forward with his life in a positive way could be enough to get him back on a golf course.

However, in the long term everything has changed. The privacy he’s enjoyed is gone. He’ll be hounded for the rest of his public life by star-seekers with telephoto lenses. That’ll surely annoy him — and one has to wonder whether some events — Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, etc. — might be the victim of the increased scrutiny.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • It’ll be the usual “I let my family, my fans the PGA Tour, my sponsors, etc., etc., down. Please forgive me, give me some privacy, I am working hard to change and will behave better both on and off the golf course…” It will sound like lawyers, agents and PR spin doctors wrote it.

  • nice way to try and change your image -the word pompous comes to mind- the problem with proteges is often that they are not versed in reality- they think they are in control 100% of the time. Am curious to see where this man’s life eventually leads him to- I’m thinking a cold and lonely road despite how many billions, titles and majors he may yet amass.

  • I hope Tiger says something like this.
    I am not here to apologize to anybody. The only ones that have to apologize are the media scums for shining a flashlight in my bedroom. What I do in my bedroom is nobody’s business or concern. I am here to play golf. I hate it that everyone makes money from me (the tabloids, the Tour, the photographers, etc). I really hope that that a new tabloid starts up and does nothing but report on the bedroom antics of the media (reports, editors, broadcasters, etc) It would be nice to read about their sexual exploits and their high moral standards. I don’t ever want to answer questions on anything but golf.

    Hello World,

    Tiger

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