TIGER TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE WITHOUT THE PRESS
Bamberger: Tiger's not having his traditional pre-tournament press conference at Quail Hollow, at least not with regular reporters. He's taking questions from fans and posting them on his website. His press conferences are so painful I can hardly blame him. On the other hand, it's kinda weird. What do you think of it? What is he really saying?
Morfit: It's fine by me. There's not much to talk about until he plays better.
Godich: If he thinks this is a way to connect with the fans, he's badly mistaken. Take those questions in a live setting. That would show me something.
Gorant: Think we can chalk this one up to Hank Haney. Hope he's making a lot off the book.
Wei: Kinda weird? It's awful. It's like he's waving his big middle finger to the media and showing them who's in charge. Tiger and his team fielding questions from social media? They can pick and choose which ones to answer.
Shipnuck: I think it's cool he's doing a Q&A with fans. But that doesn't mean he can't also do a pre-tournament thing with reporters. It's silly to think it has to be one or the other.
Lipsey: Amazing, years into the rehabilitation of his image, that TW keeps finding new ways to alienate others and do the wrong thing. How will the tournament sponsors feel when Woods doesn't do the pre-event media interview? Like their millions in sponsorship have been wasted. Gosh, TW, wake up!
Herre: As usual, Woods is only thinking of himself.
Morfit: There are actually only two generic pre-tournament Tiger transcripts, one in which he won his last start ("I've had some success") and one in which he hasn't ("just gotta get my reps"). ASAP merely plugs in the name of that week's title sponsor. I'm surprised you guys haven't caught on.
Van Sickle: I would've noticed if I'd had more reps, Cam. But I'm close, really close.
Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: I get why he's doing it, but I don't get the reasoning. His agent Mark Steinberg said they're a bit behind on social media, yet Tiger's got more than 2.1 million followers on Twitter, and he's done plenty of Q&As with his fans. It's not like he's just getting on board. And why can't he do both? His fan Q&A is on Monday, typically the pressers are on Tuesday or Wednesday. But I think we know why ...
Van Sickle: Tiger has figured out a way, he thinks, to circumvent the press. Plus, he gets to control which questions he answers. So unlike Steve Carlton, he'll at least talk to someone. Wouldn't be surprised to see Tiger try to be a little more candid, although he'll probably only use the puff questions, just to stick it to the writers. Tiger is weary from the spotlight and feeling the heat from the perceived criticism. He's really saying, "I've had enough."
Bamberger: Gary's last sentence speaks volumes.
Lipsey: Dude wants millions to buy houses, jets, yachts and the rest, but he's tired of it? His millions come from sponsors and purses inflated by TW's appearances, comments, etc. I'm shocked that Wells Fargo hasn't demanded Woods's presence and that PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem hasn't intervened at Wells Fargo's request. If I were the sponsor, I'd be fuming and not paying unless Woods talks. Legally, they can't make him, but Finchem needs to use his power as the commish.
Morfit: If he feels he's had enough, I can't blame him. Getting to be Master of the Universe (and reap every benefit) was payment for all the hassles of being him. He still has the hassles, but is no longer MOU and hasn't been for years. I wonder how much he has been able to recalibrate his life's balance.
Lipsey: Imagine if President Obama began doing this when he visits places. Woods commands the same interest in golf circles.
Van Sickle: Bill Clinton didn't run and hide when he started having issues; he outlasted the questioners. It helps to be president, though.
Hack: If Tiger can do this at a big tournament like Quail Hollow, he'll be playing this card quite a bit down the road, too.
Godich: What are the odds that he says he's "close"?
Van Sickle: What are the odds that he fields questions on the state of his learning center, how he's tweaked his Nike putter and something about the size of his Rolex? Even money. The next step is just giving his post-round quotes to his publicist, Glenn Greenspan, and having him distribute them to the media. Unless he's just won the tournament. Then he might come in to talk.
Hack: The shame of it all is that Tiger can be interesting when he wants to. I thought his anecdote at his pre-Masters presser about playing a practice round with Arnie and Jack was brilliant. Of course, Tiger was coming off a win, not a T40.
Gorant: Honestly, I think this goes away once we get some more distance from the Hank Haney book. Really the first appearance since that hit, outside the police state of Augusta National.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What do you make of Tiger's decision to host this Q&A with fans instead of the media?