Tiger can win back his fans – Finchem
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem thinks the majority of people will want Tiger Woods to succeed when he returns to golf.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem firmly believes the majority of people will eventually want Tiger Woods to succeed when he returns to golf.
Finchem is also confident that the sport will remain in good health despite the scandal that has driven the world number one to announcing an indefinite career break.
“I’m not suggesting that his popularity level is going to soar again – I don’t know where that’s going to be,” commented Finchem in a conference call where he countered suggestions that the revelations about Woods’ private life will impact badly on the whole of golf.
“I think people generally are going to want him to succeed. They’re going to want him to deal with his issues, they’re going to want him to come back having dealt with them and I think he’ll eventually find a significant amount of support.”
Finchem also thinks in the long run Woods will regain his position as a highly marketable sportsman.
“I don’t see corporate America backing away from golf over Tiger’s issues,” he said.
“When you step back and look at the last 13 years Tiger Woods has been an incredibly positive asset and impactor for the PGA Tour.
“He’s been good for the game and I think the game and the PGA Tour have been good for Tiger.
“At this time we anticipate, and I firmly believe, that that mutually beneficial relationship will continue when it’s right. We’ll just have to see how that plays out.
“I want him to come back and play, but if Tiger is out for a couple of months or eight months or a year we’re going to have a successful year.
“It won’t be at the same levels without our number one player, there’s no question about that. No sport would be at the same level without its number one player, but I think the doom and gloom needs to go away, and frankly it’s misleading to our fans.”
Woods announced an indefinite break from the sport last Friday after a series of allegations over his private life.
He admitted his infidelity and apologised for his actions, but Accenture has already terminated its contract with him, Gillette are no longer using him in advertisements and other sponsors are considering their deals.
Discussing Woods’ break, Finchem said: “We issued a statement saying that we were supportive of that decision. It was the right step at this time and his priorities were in the right place.
“I have respected his privacy in this matter.”
Finchem also stated that Woods will not face disciplinary measures for conduct unbecoming – and nor does he have any concerns at the moment over Woods’ involvement with Anthony Galea, a leading sports injury specialist under criminal investigation concerning performance-enhancing drugs.
On the possibility of a fine or suspension, Finchem commented: “Our regulations relate to conduct unbecoming either in public areas or law enforcement areas.
“The PGA Tour has never in my knowledge taken a situation in someone’s personal life and dealt with it in a disciplinary manner.”
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