Well, Tiger Woods has never been the most forthcoming person in the world. And nothing changed on Sunday when, in one of the oddest moments in the history of staged comeback campaigns, both ESPN and Golf Channel (but not CBS, which declined to conform to Woods's guidelines) aired separate, taped five-minute interviews with the golf great/recovering philanderer. Talk about your quickies.
Both Tom Rinaldi of ESPN and Kelly Tilghman of Golf Channel asked, reasonably, what happened in the wee hours of a November morning when Woods ran over a fire hydrant and ended up lying on a Florida lawn. Woods told them both the same thing, "It's all in the police report." Actually, it's not. The resulting Florida Highway Patrol report is a study in obfuscation, much like Woods.
Given the control-freak rules set by the Woods camp—ask whatever you like; the buzzer's going off in five—both interviewers did a good job. Tilghman, a Tiger pal, asked Woods how it felt to go from being the world's greatest golfer to a punch line. "I get it," Woods said, showing a humility often hidden by his typical I-own-you posturing. Still, the interviews should have included detailed—and more timely—questions about whether Woods has ever used human growth hormone. He has been treated by a Toronto doctor, Anthony Galea, who faces Canadian charges related to HGH smuggling.
In the comically earnest panel discussion that followed Tilghman's interview—which included the revelation that White House spokesman turned sports fix-it man Ari Fleischer (SCORECARD, March 22) was no longer part of Team Tiger—the question raised repeatedly was, "Is Tiger being sincere?" Please. The man fooled us for years; what are we going to learn in five minutes?
Woods is doling out his time in dribs and drabs for one reason. He wants to resume, with as few distractions as possible, his former life: Tiger Woods, golfer.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Georgia high school basketball star and Clemson recruit Marcus Thornton, of Atlanta's Westlake, had to leave his team's Class AAAAA state championship loss to Milton because of a sprained left ankle incurred while landing after a chest bump with a teammate.
ESPN/AP (RINALDI AND WOODS)
TIGER BEAT Rinaldi (left) gets points for asking tough questions like, "Why did you get married?"