Feb 18, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT
So why is Tiger Woods making Friday’s big press statement (don’t call it a press conference!) right in the middle of the Accenture Match Play Championship? Ernie Els, for one, is not amused.
“It’s selfish,” Els told a reporter from American magazine Golf Week. “You can write that. I feel sorry for the sponsor. Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday. This takes a lot away from the golf tournament.”
“It’s like Tim (Finchem, the tour commissioner) has lost his head. He wants Tiger back in the worst way and so he lets this go on. I mean, we all want to see Tiger back, but this doesn’t look good.”
That Ernie, such a quiet one. You never know what he’s thinking.
Some are saying that the timing of the State of the Woods address is a deliberate attempt to stick it to Accenture, which was one of the first sponsors to drop Woods when the sex scandal hit the fan. Others say that the timing was necessary so that Woods could beat the deadline to announce that he’s playing in the Tavistock Cup, which is played near his home in Orlando in March.
Mark Steinberg, Woods’ manager, stopped just short of saying as much in response to Els.
“It’s always good to get your information right before commenting. It’s strictly a timing issue. There is a very good reason (for Friday) and not do it next week.”
But when pressed, he wouldn’t elaborate.
Rory Mcllroy believes Woods did it deliberately, as the sponsor in question was one of the first to dump the American after the revelations about his private life emerged following a bizarre car crash on November 27.
“He’s got to come out at some point,” McIlroy said. “I suppose he might want to get something back against the sponsor that dropped him.”
Match Play defending champion Geoff Ogilvy was unimpressed at Woods’ decision not to take questions at the US Tour’s headquarters where the controlled press conference will take place.
“Maybe we can put the whole tournament on hold for 10 minutes to watch,” he said. “The only thing I will say about it is that I would like to see him answer some questions.”
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