Sympatico Column: Tiger Woods 2.0

My regular column, written about the Tiger Woods press conference yesterday, just went live. You can find it here.

Oh, and here’s a sampling:

It wasn’t quite “hello world,” the phrase that kicked off his move into golf’s professional ranks in 1996. 

But at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, Tiger Woods said that despite a tawdry sex scandal that has lasted nearly five months, on the golf course he’s still the same.
“Nothing’s changed,” he told a gathering of around 200 journalists at his first public press conference as he heads into The Masters. “[I’m] going to go out there and try to win this thing.”
Maybe he’s right. After all, given the lack of challenging questions posed to him during the 35-minute discussion with reporters, it looks like the media just wants Woods back where he’s best “ smashing balls from the tee, or making deft putts on Augusta’s lightening fast greens.
While many had anticipated a grilling by reporters, Woods demonstrated that the subtle touch which has made him the best golfer in the world isn’t found only on the golf course. He may not have been using a wedge to carefully flip a ball onto Augusta’s notoriously slick greens, but by the end of the press conference he looked very much like the Tiger of old, though perhaps a slightly more humble model.
Without a glimmer of the trepidation we witnessed in his other encounters with the media in the past two months, this version of Tiger, with a wisp of a goatee, looked cool and collected from the start. He smiled affably and said many of the assembled reporters were his friends. Only in rare instances did he show his disdain for a particular question. The message is clear “ this Woods is different from the one that cheated on his wife, and threw clubs and f-bombs with equal aplomb. Apparently he’s now trying for a more level emotional state, on and away from the course.
“I’m actually going to try and obviously not get as hot when I play,” he said. “But then again, when I’m not as hot, I’m not going to be as exuberant, either. I can’t play one without the other, and so I made a conscious decision to try and tone down my negative outbursts and consequently I’m sure my positive outbursts be will calmed down, as well.”
So there will be fewer fist pumps and fewer four-letter words uttered in front of the cameras. Sounds like a fair trade.

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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.

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