Woods set to break his silence
Tiger Woods is to end his two-month silence on Friday – by making a statement at the headquarters of the US PGA Tour.
All the speculation about how and when Tiger Woods will start to face the world again is about to end – the man himself will speak on Friday.
Eighty-four days after he smashed his car, went to hospital and then disappeared from view in a bid to save his marriage as lurid sex allegations were made, Woods is finally making an appearance.
His image in tatters from revelations of multiple affairs with more than 20 women – if you believe all the tabloid stories – the world number one is not expected to answer any questions on this occasion, however.
Instead he will make a statement at the headquarters of the US PGA Tour in Florida.
Woods, who was reported to have spent weeks in a sex addiction clinic in Mississippi after Christmas, will talk in front of just a few invited reporters and one television camera.
Mark Steinberg, Woods’ manager, said in a statement of his own: “Tiger Woods will be speaking to a small group of friends, colleagues and close associates at 11am (4pm GMT) Friday at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach.
“Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future and he intends to apologise for his behaviour.
“This will not be an open media event. However, it is understood that there are many media who are interested in what he has say.
“In order to accommodate as best we can we are working to arrange pool coverage of Tiger’s remarks.”
Woods will presumably not be going over his 14 major wins when he comes to “discuss his past”.
Worldwide interest now, of course, is focused on what he called his “transgressions” on his website in December before then admitting infidelity and announcing an indefinite break from the game.
As he went into hiding, the spotlight turned onto both the amazing double life he had been leading and the effect it would have on the sport and his standing in it.
Some of his sponsors wasted little time severing their ties, including Accenture, whose tournament is on in Arizona this week.
Woods took the attention away from their event on Wednesday when his plans for a statement were announced and the same will happen on Friday when he almost certainly will reveal when he intends to resume his playing career.
Rory McIlroy, one of the star attractions in Tucson, said: “I suppose he might want to get something back against the sponsors that dropped him.”
The 20-year-old also described himself as “sick” of hearing about Woods’ personal life and added: “I’m just looking forward to when he’s getting back on the golf course.”
Next month appears the likeliest answer to that. Possibly it will be at the WGC-CA Championship in Miami on March 11-14, but the made-for-television Tavistock Cup at his home club Isleworth on March 22-23 has also been mentioned.
That is not a US Tour event and if he wants to play a 72-hole competition prior to The Masters in April then the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando on March 25-28 is favourite.
Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who will be at the Woods announcement but has not spoken to him since the controversy started, was asked by Press Association Sport on Wednesday if he wanted his leading light back as soon as possible.
“In a vacuum we’d like him back as soon as possible, but we want him back importantly when he’s dealt with the issues he felt like he had to deal with to come back,” he said.
“I’m not going to assume anything. I’ll wait and see what he says, like everybody else.
“I don’t know what he’s going to do after he finishes his rehab.”
On whether Woods was undermining the Match Play with his timing, Finchem added: “I don’t think so. I don’t look at it that way. We have tournaments every week.”
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