From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Media gets an ‘A’ for effort following Woods press conference

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In hours leading up to Tiger Woods’ first public intervew with ESPN and the Golf Channel a couple weeks ago, one of the biggest questions going into the five-minute cram session was with regards to the questions that Tom Rinaldi and Kelly Tilghman would be asking Woods in the aftermath of a robotic 13-minute statement that was given just a month prior at PGA Tour headquarters.

The interview, as we all know, left many foaming at the mouth. Some claimed Tilghman was too soft on Woods; while others cried foul that they didn’t ask specific questions. All in all, there just wasn’t enough time to ask all of the questions needed.

With the exception of the two questions, Woods answered every one that was lobbed at him with detailed responses. This was a far cry from the Woods we saw just months prior in Florida. Instead of speaking from a sheet of paper, Woods decided to step up to the podium with answers that came from his heart.

The robot we’d seen previously was gone. In its place was a renewed and respectful Tiger Woods. By calling reporters out by name, Woods set the tone for a very enthralling press conference — something many of us (myself included) never saw coming.

While we can heap praise on Woods for answering the questions and being a man about the situation, I think the reporters in the room also deserve praise for asking the hard-hitting questions. Having been in the position a similar position before, I can tell you that it’s really hard to ask those questions to a superstar athlete — if you any other reason than that they can sometimes be your meal ticket when you cover an event.

Given the importance and the timing of the press conference, I thought the reporters asking the questions did a fantastic job. They asked the questions that were burning a hole in the world’s collective pocket for so long.

Instead of cornering Woods and blasting him for waiting six months to talk to them, most of the reporters sounded very matter-of-fact when asking their questions. After all, they just wanted answers to the questions they’d been speculating this whole time.

The fact that the reporters asking the questions had to not only pry Woods open but also contend with Augusta’s tough press regulations made this a very successful afternoon for golf journalists around the world.

I know many will remember Monday for the comments coming out of Tiger Woods’ mouth, but I definitely think the media should be remembered as well for their thought-provoking questions that allowed Tiger to shed some light on a situation that’s been shrouded in secrecy for too long.

It was probably the one and only time they’ll be able to ask questions to Woods regarding the incidents leading up to that fateful night, and I for one thing they did an admirable job given the length and variables surrounding the situation.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

04/06/2010 at 5:56 pm

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