Monday, March 15, 2010

What's really going on with Tiger Woods? When is he really going to come back? 
No one is sure. Not even PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, who said Sunday at a press conference that he expects Tiger to give him a heads-up soon. Finchem has also scheduled a teleconference for 2:30 p.m. Eastern today, but the topic of the call has not been specified.
"If he's going to play at the end of March or early April, we will hear pretty soon because he recognizes we need time to do it," Finchem said. "Everybody is done looking back at the circumstances that resulted in him stepping away from the game and (are) now focused on when he is going to play golf. I think that is good. It is going to be huge when he comes back. It's going to be an interesting to watch, how he re-enters the game, how he plays, how he deals with the reaction to his statement."
Finchem's remarks didn't clear up the confusion caused last week when the New York Post reported Woods would return to play at Bay Hill, then the Associated Press and New York Times reported that he'd return for the Masters.
The confusion is at least in part attributable to the blurring of the lines between the mainstream media and tabloid gossip sites and everyday bloggers. Michael Fitzpatrick writes about the journalistic dilemma for BleacherReport.com.

We've learned to take information we receive from tmz.com, radaronline.com , the National Inquirer , US Weekly , etc. with a grain of salt. But much of the general public still relies upon mainstream journalists to provide them with accurate information.An unfortunate side effect of the whole Tiger Woods fiasco is that the integrity of mainstream journalism is now
being called into question.  NY Post journalist Mark Cannizzaro wrote that Woods has hired former presidential adviser,
Ari Fleisher to help him plot his return, which Cannizzaro said will be
at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Less than six hours later, Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press published a story stating that Woods will not be returning to golf before the Masters. Larry Dorman of the New York Times also
reported on Friday that Woods "will not return to competition before
the Masters."
Needless to say, at least one writer is dead wrong on this issue.
It's understandable why all journalists—mainstream and tabloid alike—are desperate to break a story on Woods. But that line in the sand that used to separate mainstream and tabloid journalism is now being approached and in some cases even crossed by mainstream journalists. When a mainstream journalist publishes blatantly wrong information, whether his sources gave him the incorrectinformation or not, it is very difficult to believe "breaking news" stories coming from that journalist in the future.  
Bob Young fantasizes in the Arizona Republic about what Tiger's return will be like

• Woods will announce his return to golf at Bay Hill, giving him a
needed tune-up for The Masters and giving a boost to Arnie's tournament. "Arnold told me once that you can have your iced-tea and the lemonade, too," Woods will say. "Had I known he was just talking about
a refreshing drink I might not have gotten into all this trouble."
• Woods will hire an army of annoying reporters and photographers and assign them to follow TMZ executive producer Harvey Levin 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "Dude, I've got a billion dollars," Woods will say. "We're going to find out what he's got in that little sippy cup--and a lot more. Let's
just see how the other side likes it."
• Tiger will graciously agree to answer all questions from the media "after the tournament." Then Ari Fleischer hands out a release that confirms Woods will, indeed, be fielding questions directly after finishing play in the 2018 event.
• Mike Tyson will reveal that he has replaced Williams as Tiger's caddy.

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