Tiger Woods Faces The British Tabloids In Advance of Open Championship

The British Open begins on Thursday, which means that today was interview day for many of the top golfers in the field. That, of course, means that Tiger Woods gets his first real sit-down in front of the European media. Woods did have a brief exchange last week with reporters across the pond at a Pro-Am, but nothing is quite like the Open Championship when it comes to European media crush. ↵

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↵Alas, Woods is facing some of the same retread questions he's gotten in America. Here's a transcript via Jay Busbee at Yahoo's Devil Ball Golf: ↵

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↵⇥Q. Tom Watson has said you need to clean up your act on the golf course. He's gone on record. Many of us over the years have heard you use the F word, we've seen you spit on the course, and we've seen you throw tantrums like chucking your clubs around. Are you willing to cut out all those tantrums this week and respect the home of golf? ↵⇥

↵⇥TW: I'm trying to become a better player and a better person, yes. ↵⇥

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↵⇥Q. I understand that you had a two‑hour interview with the FBI a couple weeks ago. Can you confirm that was the case? ↵⇥

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↵⇥TW: That was the case, yes. ↵⇥

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↵⇥Q. And are you able to go into any details as to why they specifically wished to speak to you? And also why you felt it necessary to use a doctor from out of the United States, who apparently is not registered to — ↵⇥

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↵⇥TW: Well, I can't go into any of that because of the fact that it's an open case so far. So that's an ongoing case, so I can't comment. ↵⇥

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↵Reports indicated that the scene was rather tense in the back-and-forth with Woods, as media members continually try to crack the veneer of the uncrackable. What people seemingly haven't yet appropriately grasped with Woods is that he is not going to let you in. He's not. You can ask all the questions you want about his knee or his injections or his girlfriends and their inject…too easy. He's not going to give any reporter any more information. ↵

↵Nor, frankly, should he. As much as our tabloids made his personal life front-page news for months, his relationship with his wife and family is none of our golfing business. And yes, that was a weak attempt at using the word golf as a different kind of four-letter word, because that's how it has felt, at times, since Woods returned. ↵

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↵We cannot expect, nor demand, that Woods talk about his personal life, even if we suspect that it's hurting his golf game. Woods was questioned last week about flying back to the U.S. after playing in Ireland, only to fly back this week for the Open. It's absolutely legitimate to ask if he thinks all that extra travel – private jets or not – could put unnecessary stress on his healing neck. Just know that he didn't answer it and will never answer it. Don't get mad the next time, when he politely declines and calls for the next question that he'll likely ignore as well. ↵

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↵Shane Bacon – also of Devil Ball Golf but writing at his own golf-centric site – asked the tabloid media to finally leave Tiger alone: ↵

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↵⇥I know how easy it must be to head to a press conference with a question about Tiger's personal life, as we saw at a freakin' CHARITY EVENT this week in Ireland, but haven't we all realized something? Isn't the saying "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"? The guy isn't answering any of these questions. He isn't. Does it take a blank stare and awkward response for this to get through our heads? ↵⇥[I]t has come to a point where it isn't funny anymore. ↵
↵As much as we agree that he'll never let people in, it's the asking where Shane and I disagree. It could be funny, if Tiger would just loosen the heck up about it. Clearly the guy knows how to have a good time, so why lock himself back down into "serious Tiger" mode to the media? Have a little fun. Be a little more like John Daly in front of the cameras and people may be more willing to excuse the fact that you act like him behind them. ↵

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↵Here's an example: if a reporter starts pressing about Tiger's relationship with Elin, Tiger should snap back asking the reporter about his wife. "You're away from home a lot covering us, you so sure your house is so clean when you're gone?" Then ignore the question and move on. ↵

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↵And if anyone dare ask Tiger about his previous escapades, well isn't that just an open invitation for "your mom" jokes? I mean, really. At this point, have we not reached the level of "your mom" being the best answer Tiger could give? Think of he headlines then. ↵

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↵(You can listen to an Open Championship preview with me, Bacon – who caddied at St. Andrews for a summer – and Busbee by clicking here.) ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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