At last, Tiger Woods is back on course, but will he have a different growl?
In his first real press conference in five months, Tiger Woods spent 34 minutes at Augusta National Golf Club this afternoon answering pretty much every question anyone should care to ask.
There isn’t much more, if anything, I want to know at this point, except how’s his golf game. And we will find that out over the course of this week during the Masters.
He answered questions about his injuries that fateful night in November, explained why he saw embattled physician Dr. Anthony Galea (blood spinning to accelerate healing) and talked about how he never wants to miss another one of his kids’ birthdays.
But what stood out for me was his excitement about coming back to play. You could see he was relieved to back on the golf course, back among his peers, who so far have welcomed him back with open arms. Woods also apologized to his colleagues for having to answer questions about him over the past few months.
Basically, Tiger Woods, through all his recent trials and tribulations, is looking to have fun again. Monday, during a practice round, he acknowledged fans, looked them in the eye, and for the first time in quite a while, apparently, appreciated them. And they appreciated him.
He can’t wait to tee it up on Thursday.
“That first tee, I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I haven’t looked forward to that tee shot in a long time, not like this. It feels fun again.”
He also said that his demeanor in and outside the ropes would improve, that he would make a real effort to control his negative outbursts and interestingly enough, try to tone down his celebrations (i.e. fist pumps, we would assume) that sometimes tend to show up his opponents. In short, Woods announced he would be more respectful of the game.
He also addressed his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors, of which he is four shy. He put it in perspective.
“It’s about how you live your life. And I had not done that the right way for a while, and I needed to change that,” Woods said. “And going forward, I need to be a better man going forward than I was before. And just because I’ve gone through treatment doesn’t mean it stops. I’m trying as hard as I possibly can each and every day to get my life better and better and stronger, and if I win championships along the way, so be it. But along the way, I want to help more people that are – that haven’t quite learned to help themselves, just like how I was.”
What more could we want Woods to say at this point?
Time to play golf.
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