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. George.W.mafaabi

    We are all human and we are bound to making mistakes for it is a lesson to put one straight .For Tiger, he is a great Golfer period....I think whatever is going on in his private life, we ought not to hear about it every other day..He didn`t commit a crime, he committed adultery and the only person who should put him on a cross is his wife not even his mother should do that..So what is going on with the media`s noisy bla bla...leave the young man alone and he will be fine..It is his own personal problem and as a Golfer, he is amazing..Let him entertain the world.For Tiger woods, you are the man but listen,, never hurt her again and am sure she will forgive you forever...and you know who will be happier if all goes well?? think about your two beautiful Angels. they need Paapa and maama....Goodluck Bro...

    April 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |

    If the average person had to spill their sexual sins, oh, they would not like it alt all. Oh, yea, when the roles are reversed and all eyes are on you, then you will see personal matters in a different light, yea, you are quick to past judgement on Tiger but you think that you are spotless, but you are not. It does not matter if you are a celebrity or not, we all have skeletons in our closet so get over people already. Tiger is a billionaire, so he could care less, it's all PR with him.

    Envy people will always past judgement, nothing new. Who made you God? Tiger does not have to answer to any of you people, you have a right to your opinions but do not have a right to past judegment without passing judgement on yourself.

    While you are passing judgement, Tiger is making money, you all act like it is the end of the world just because someone cheated of all the things, get a life.

    April 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    I don't understand any of this. Tiger Woods is a cheater. His wife should NOT take him back. The kids are always better off growing up in a single mother household instead of a tense fake marriage. This man couldn't be trusted with a fly. And I really couldn't care less about watching him in golf. Contrary to what some people think, personal life is a part of celebrity. If you are an idiot in your personal life, I don't care to watch your professional life. Life is too short to put up with losers.

    April 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Woodsong

    Great to see him back. I hope he wins!!! And he certainly can be mentioned in the same sentence as Federer. They are both great athelets!!! Get off Tiger's back. We all make mistakes, and he is only human!!!

    April 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rick

    Cheating on your wife dozens of times with multiple partners is not a 'mistake', it's a dispicable and unforgivable act that cannot be separated from his professional persona. He is who he is on or off the course, and it's not pretty.

    April 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JCollins

    I hope he blows them out of the water...so maybe then everyone will move on from the scandal and focus back on him just being an awesome golfer.

    April 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Buckhippo

    And seriously folks, who are you to judge this human being or any other? He entertains you professionally through his golf career and now personally through his actual life. So stop judging this talented guy. He has achieved more than you and your grandkids combined could evey do. Get over it and enjoy the game!!!

    April 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. john c

    Judge not lest ye be judged. For all of those of you who criticizing, take a good long look in the mirror first. Forgive and forget, its a personal matter for him and his family. Glad to see him golfing again and hope all works out for his family.

    April 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Average American

    You people don't get it!?@% Tiger is not just a great golfer, but he has assumed a position of an important role model for many fans – mostly kids, aspiring to be great golfers someday as well! Tiger's actions send a message that "it's okay to have an affair ..as long as you give a fake apology on t.v., check into rehab. for a "sex addiction" and then try to burst back onto the golf scene!" It has been said that with "great autonomy (or power) comes great responsibility". Where is the responsibility? The accountability? the moral and ethical behavior that he had promoted? The worst part is that society, for the most part, doesn't care about what message his actions send .. they just want to see a good athlete play a game. It's disgraceful .. I'll stick with the other players on the tour who may not be superstars, but are at least "supermen" – that is, until another scandal arises,

    April 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    Why is this STILL such a big issue? I"m certainly not condoning Tiger's actions, but I'm stil trying to understand why David Letterman got a pass for doing the same thing, even worse (absent the Escalade in the tree). Leterman admitted to having multiple affairs AND sexually harassing women on his Late Night staff. Where I work, sexual harassment will get you FIRED!! Letterman wasn't asked to apologize; wasn't reprimanded by CBS; didn't lose a sponsor; NOTHING! Hell, he didn't even take a day off of work! No accountability whatsoever!

    So why is everyone still chasing after Tiger!

    April 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chp

    Tiger who cares he owes us nothing . Now lets leave Elin alone

    April 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mary jean wolfe

    Everyone I talk to can care less about Tiger woods' personel life. We really feel sorry for him and his family. The media keeps bringing it . Guess what nobody is listening and nobody cares anymore. The only people who care are reporters in the media and everyone is starting to think they are the problem not Tigers transgressions.

    April 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. indyjim

    As long as he keeps putting his ball in the hole his sponsors will be happy. It should be a very interesting Masters this weekend.

    April 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dawn

    Why should Tiger be banned rfom GOLF? What he did was in his personal life...if it had anything to do with golf, then that would be different. It did not. Professional football players HAVE KILLED people and are playing in the league. He is ia a real person and and has a wife and family to hold him accountable for his actions(in his PERONSAL life)...Go Tiger...you play on brother!

    April 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ken

    Another one sided story....
    Most women, most of the time, will say they strongly support equally on all topics between the sexes......
    BUT, here is another case where all the blame is placed on the man.

    Does any females have any comments on the shared responsibilities of those women who are good looking, smart, and "hunting" for fsmous men?????

    Why is all of the responsibility placed on only the men????

    No one talks about the quest for fame and money by these "women who hunt"....

    April 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
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