Nick Faldo expects Tiger Woods to return at Masters
As the lead golf analyst for CBS Sports, Nick Faldo is
supposed to have his ear to the turf, keeping close tabs on the doings of the world's
best golfers. Still, Faldo said this morning that he was as blindsided as the
rest of us by the revelations of Tiger Woods's transgressions.
"I was extremely surprised," the six-time major champion told hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on the New York sports talk station WFAN. "Nobody thought that. Nobody knew the Tiger private life away from the golf course — at all. I mean, we all thought, Lucky
fellow, he lives in a palace, beautiful wife, he's a got a boat, keeps himself very private. [We had] no idea."
Faldo said he expects Woods to make his return to competitive play at the Masters, April 8-11. "It's a funny place to start maybe, but personally I think it's a great place to start," Faldo said, citing
the tournament's airtight security and the fact that reporters and photographers are prohibited inside the ropes. "It's just you and your caddie," he said.
"I don't think the golf is the challenge, the hurdle, to start off with," Faldo added. "I think the golf is the easy bit. It's the coming out — in a different way [chuckles]. He hasn't seen the media at all, the public.
"Tiger's probably never faced any fears in his life since he was 2 years old. He was built for success, wasn't he? And everything has been successful in his career."
Carton asked Faldo if Woods can be "one of the guys? Does he hang out with the guys ever?"
"I wouldn't know that to be really honest," Sir Nick said. "I mean, you don't see him what you call 'hanging out.' I never used to hang out. I went to the range and that's where I got my reputation. I went and beat balls at the end of the day."
Not missing a beat, Carton replied, "That's what got Tiger in trouble."