Talk about a short game.
Tiger Woods briefly answered reporters’ questions on camera in twin five-minute interviews on ESPN and the Golf Channel on Sunday, saying he just "couldn't stop" his “reckless” behavior and expressing concern over how he will be perceived by fans when he returns to the Masters next month.
As the world’s No. 1 golfer plots his comeback, should he expect to speak out again on personal failings to win over ex-fans? Or can Woods now return to the game confident that his image is on the upswing? Pundits weigh-in on Woods' five minutes of shame:
- "After everything, people are still letting him make the rules, even though last month he told us he thought the rules didn't apply to him. Fat chance," writes Mike Lupica for the New York Daily News. "[Sports agents and crisis managers] think we're all as easy as the other women in Woods' (former) life."
- Tim Kawakami writes for the San Jose Mercury News that it was “hard to miss the unspoken theme” of the presser: “Golf, golf, golf, golf, golf, golf.” That’s a good thing because Tiger owns that turf, Kawakami argues. “Immediate success might not bring forgiveness or revive all those corporate deals. But winning tournaments will change the Woods storyline,” he writes.
- Bob Harig, writing for ESPN.com, agrees that Woods will “do his best rehabilitative work” on the links. But Woods must now give a full-fledged press conference as part of the recovery, he writes, if only because his critics will keep hounding him until he does. “He has every right to declare certain subjects off-limits or personal -- as he did several times Sunday -- and then say he will not discuss the issue again,” Harig writes.
- John Paul Newport of The Wall Street Journal writes that the interviews “had the feel of being trial balloons, as if Mr. Woods were testing—in a highly controlled circumstance—how he, his interlocutors and the public would respond to public questioning.” The chats did not break new ground, but showed a Woods more unscripted than when he made his public apology in February, he concludes.
- MSNBC’s Mike Celizic writes that “short of going on Oprah and submitting to a grilling by Dr. Phil, there’s not much more [Woods] can do to satisfy the demands of the public to strip himself bare — metaphorically speaking — and do penance for his sins.” The Tiger Woods “I’m Sorry Tour” is starting to become “boring,” Celizic concludes.