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. joni

    im not judging him for his actions. I dont want the main headline i see tiger woods.. its preventing us all from seeing the real issues.so lets stop focusing on media and bring back the news.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. McLuhan

    Tiger is dominating a sport that used to ban "colored persons" and you think his sex life is at issue! He's a golfer. If Tiger was on the nationwide tour, that is full of partiers and fun lovers, you wouldn't even care. Grow up! His only job is to play golf not live up to some overblown ideaology!

    April 5, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. david

    Really? I mean come on all the guy did was cheat on hios wife. Hell we have presidents that do that. The guy plays golf.

    To rusrus and john sharp please tell me your not that clueless?

    Tiger indurred way more for adultry then any joe schmoe would have. It wouldnt have been news and everyone walking past them wouldnt know what they had did but his close friends and his wife but Tiger had the equivilent of a red letter A branded on him. Come on get some common sense before you post your nonsense.

    Would joe schmoe lose his job due to marital indescretion? No.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Don

    If Tiger wanted to screw around so much then he should have stayed single. No one would care. But the fact is that he passed himself off as a guy that was a dedicated husband and father is the big problem. Yes we all make mistakes, but how many Husbands are tempted to cheat and don't because they HONOR their marriage vows. Guy's like Tiger Woods, John Edwards and Jessy James lose all credibility, They have no honor and to boot they blame it on sex addiction (Woods and James). Who can believe anything they say after the fact.

    Maybe they should start a golf tournament called the Cheaters Cup!

    April 5, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. kdawg

    I think it is sad that we worry about anothers indiscretions. As humans we should try not to judge another and hope that everyone can do their best at becoming a better individual. Having said that, I hope that he returns to his level of playing.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Desmond

    My message to Tiger is just remember that the most important thing is your family, A lot of people are saying a lot of things about you, dont worry just pick up the pieces and remember who your friends are,You only have to report to your God and your FAMILY.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. jason

    I can't believe you people care so much about what he did in his personal life. This has nothing to do with the sport of golf. SHUT UP and mind your own business. The media fuels all this garbage. He is a great golfer and thank god he is back playing.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. greg

    I find it interesting how some people say that Tiger got off easy because he is a celebrity and that the regular Joe would have been treated more harshly. What a bunch of crap. No one cares what the average Joe does so they don't get hammered and judged in anyway like Tiger has. He made very bad choices under his perception that he was entitled, but he didn't do anything criminal. His approach was dead wrong and he knows it. Give the guy a break and let him redeem himself. I hope he wins big like he always has because if he doesn't professinal golf is in for some hard times. The PGA and the players know it.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Janson

    I'm glad he's back, and I don't understand why people are so upset at his behavior...perhaps because they put him up on a pedestal? We need to stop worshiping celebrities and athletes, and rather let's just appreciate them for what they are: entertainers.

    Tiger Woods is a phenomenal golfer, and that's all we should really expect from him- follow the rules of the game and live your life.

    The only thing that upsets me about Tiger is that he was trying to sell himself as this squeaky clean guy, and a lot of people bought into that. In fact, he has made hundreds of millions of dollars because of a false image that he represented to the world- that's more disappointing than anything else. People buy into the hype of celebrity and end up turning something that is nothing more than mindless entertainment into something more valuable than it really is.

    I don't care if Tiger is a womanaizer in his personal life- but he was trying to capitalize on an image of the wholesome athlete, so in that sense people feel betrayed.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. Evelyn

    I am glad Tiger is back!! He will be fine and will win another green jacket. I hope he and his wife can get past this and stay together but that is not my concern. I just like watching Tiger play golf. I haven't watched since he's been gone.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dale

    Why don't we save time and award the trophy to Tiger? It doesn't sound like anyone else is playing the Masters. If he hadn't come back, would there still be golf??? It is very unfair and unfortunate that the other golfers never win. It is only reported that Tiger lost.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. CJ

    Time to let go of the Tiger Woods story. It's old news now. This problem is Tiger's problem and should be a personal family matter. Does no one have anything better to do besides worry about Tiger's mistresses? Let the guy go on with his life and get it straightened out. If you find yourselves worrying endless hours about Tiger's problems, come over to my house. I have bunches of work you can do to keep your mind occupied.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. C Anderson

    Wouldn't Tiger Woods play his excellent golf despite his social life? Won't the Masters Tournament be just as interesting and filled with awesome maneuvers without Tiger's private life? What kind of a mind set is the American public assuming? Life is not the soaps. Heaven help us if this is the only information we can find interesting. Let Tiger live his life doing his job as we all do. His golf is the focus of the Master's Tournament, not his botched marriage, etc. Who cares, anyway?

    April 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mary - Santee CA

    I hope he does well. I just wish the press would lay off asking questions about his affairs. They just should focus on his playing golf. I have to say I am thoroughly disgusted with the press giving credence to those women who participated in his affairs. It seems they are looking for our sympathy. However, they knew he was married and they could have cared less. These women do not need sympathy. They need our scorn. No one twisted their arms to become involved with Mr. Woods. I think they are just in it for the money. I do not condone what Mr. Woods did but enough is enough. I just hope he and his wife can work through this and restore their marriage.

    April 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ray

    Now all you people out there working hard making $12-$15 an hour need to start supporting Tigers sponsors so they can keep him in the luxury he deserves. We all have to do our part.

    April 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
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