April 5th, 2010
12:12 PM ET

Media spotlight shines on Tiger at return to Masters

[Posted 10:00 a.m.] Tiger Woods returns to the sport Monday at the Masters, ending a self-imposed exile stemming from a car accident in November outside his home and his subsequent admission of extramarital affairs.

Woods is practicing this morning at Augusta National Golf Club, and is set to participate in a news conference - his second since the scandal broke - at 2 p.m. ET. (We'll carry the press conference on CNN Live and our partners at Golf.com will have a live blog)

The golfer - even since his early childhood - has thrived in the spotlight and it may shine brighter today than it has before with millions of spectators turning on nearly any channel to catch him - not even on the course but at a news conference. SI.com's Richard Deitsch (also a partner blogger for us on this blog) says the news conference will turn the Masters into one unlike any other.

And our partners at Time.com wonder if Tiger, let alone any athlete, can be mentally prepared for what will happen at the Masters this year given all the attention. The tournament, they said, will effectively be a test of his toughness in the face of all of the drama. For other golfers, the spotlight on Tiger could be a good or bad thing. Golf.com's Peter Kostis says while all eyes will be on Tiger at the start of the Masters, the real drama surrounds some of the players over 40 and under 30.

While some other players may have strong chances to take the tournament (and there are a variety of things golf fans are looking forward to at the Masters), many fans and even a plethora who never watch golf, certainly will be zeroing in on Woods' every move - just as they have since his whirlwind drama unfolded.

He delivered a carefully managed statement in March to a small, hand-picked crowd, and has given two one-on-one interviews, the news conference will be Woods' first in months. Golfer Brad Faxon, who has gone through his own similar turmoils, wonders in a column for Golf.com if this was the right return for Woods - given all of the hype and some of his recent decisions. Faxon isn't the only one who things Woods needs to make some big changes - our partners at Golf examine why the biggest change Woods needs to make might not be related to his marriage, his therapy, or his game, but instead to his inner circle.

Woods' public woes began with an early-morning crash November 27 outside his Orlando, Florida-area home. He suffered minor injuries after striking a fire hydrant and a tree with his Cadillac SUV. Woods - one of golf's biggest names who had always maintained a squeaky-clean image - was not required to talk to police about the wreck and declined to talk with investigators on several occasions. Eventually, he was cited for careless driving.

The wreck occurred days after the tabloid National Enquirer alleged Woods was having an affair with a New York nightclub hostess. The woman has denied the allegation, but several others have come forward to claim that they had sexual relationships with the fiercely private Woods, who is married to former model Elin Nordegren. The couple has two children.

Woods' alleged mistresses have released voice mails and text messages they claim are from the golf champion. In March, Woods said he would be in inpatient therapy until early February for "issues" he did not explain. He acknowledged multiple extramarital affairs.

The controversy prompted several corporations to suspend or drop their multimillion-dollar sponsorships with Woods, who also apologized to his business partners for his behavior.

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Nathaniel

    Even with the drama surrounding such a professional, masters will be pleased to have Tiger back on the course.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ken

    I could care less about who or what he does in his private life, as should anyone else. He's a golfer, let the guy golf for heavens sake. He's good for the game!.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jim

    I personally do not care what he did, that is betweenn him and Elin. I just know that I will be rooting for him this week and I hope he keeps playing after the Masters. I have not had as much interest in golf without Tiger playing. He is good for the game.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. cjg

    Good for golf , he is very talented.
    BUT now maybe he will even be a better golfer , hopefully he will realize that regardless of his talent, other things are more important and it is not all about him! And life's choices have consequences for everyone. He was brought down , and he will forever pay that price for his greed and his it is all about ME attitude. My over 90 Mom loved him ,and watched golf ever week end during the Spring tours because of Tiger, and now she is not sure she will anymore, she felt this was just too much for her to get over., and she is in a nursing home , so was one of her small pleasures.....

    April 5, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kowski

    I'm looking forward to all of the excitement this week. And I hope Tiger falls flat on his face. Also, I keep hearing people say that "Tiger doesn't owe me an apology." Well, have you heard anyone not directly linked to this story say, "Tiger owes me an apology"? No?...ok then. Stop using that line.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. James Castle

    It's good that he's back but he can never be mentioned in the same sentence as Roger Federer anymore. The Swiss is the almost perfect human being while this man has a personality that only few can relate to. It's hard to grow up in the spotlight and with such success, it damages the development of your personality.

    I still don't know who he is and with Roger Federer it's at least 'what you see is what you get'.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nate

    CNN, I believe you made a typo in the 6th line of the 6th paragraph down. You said, "Faxon isn't the only one who things Woods needs to make some big changes".
    It should be "thinks" not "things". It's alright, we all make mistakes.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tom Bose

    It seems that the only thing that matters is the commercial aspect. If money can be made then everyone is fine with holding him up as a shinging example for our kids to see.

    He can be allowed to play golf. He absolutely should not make money from endorsements. A large part of his appeal was the squeaky clean image. He threw that away.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Stan Johnston

    Why would a Guy so great as Tiger an amazing golfer amazing life everything a person could ever want a beutiful and a great family ... Doesnt make sens why a person would do that only some of us could wish to have a life that good.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. phayemuss

    Public focus should be on Tiger, the Golfer. Tiger, the Husband, is the business of he and his wife. Unfortunately in this society we have an insatiable appetite for the personal dramas of others – be they triumph or tragedy.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ron G.

    I wish Tiger the best with his return to golf. The press conference is to satisfy the nosey, thats it! Details of what happened are none of our business anymore than what we did behind closed doors last night. Give it a break and let him play golf. Worry about your own household!

    April 5, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Yogi

    I think it is good for the stock market too..it's gone up today.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. Travis

    I hope tiger comes back and wins the masters. I could really see him do it and then all of this would be behind him. It would only prove that he is the best ever.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sandy

    Personally, I believe that it is absolutely, positively disgusting the amount of attention given to Tiger since his transgressions of moral corruption. A wise man once said "let he without sin cast the first stone" and since his situation occurred it seems like almost everyone has been throwing rocks. Society sure has changed because, in the distant past, committing these sorts of transgression would have literally and completely destroyed his career but, in today's society, it appears to be an almost accepted practice, and it almost appears that, we care more about knowing about his transgressions than we care about any of his talents and abilities. Perhaps, if the news media focused on what was real, important news rather than, attempting to create headlines with using the dark-side, the public would begin getting the facts again and not just the stories and speculations surrounding the facts.

    Why can't the news media again just start reporting the news and avoid making all of the comments about whatever the news is suppose to be? I think most people would really appreciate knowing what the news really is and not what it might be ... Report the know facts and skip all of the speculation ... It is the reported spectulation that begins to generate the news and not the actual facts.

    Celebrities of any status should not continually be rewarded for their transgressions in life but, perhaps, should be made an example of, so others can also learn from their mistakes.

    When rewards are freely given, by the news media's attention of headlines about them, it almost creates the necessity of having to be as bad as you can be to get the attention away from those who were bad before you.

    Is it just me, or does it seem that, the actual good people in life appear to get ignored, while all of the apparently not so good people get most of the news media's attention?

    I know the old school of thought, "if it bleeds – It leads" ... I'm sorry, I just don't agree with that school of thought, anymore ... Too many, too often end up getting rewarded for their life's transgressions, while many who actually do deserve rewards end up getting none at all!

    Remember, the news media is suppose to report the actual news ... Not create it.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Timbo

    Everyone has bad parts in their lives, Tiger just so happens to be a celebrity so everyone gets to see his bad side. Well, there is one thing that we will all see this weekend. And that is his extremely talented golfing skill that will put another green jacket on his shoulders. Go Tiger!!!

    April 5, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
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