Anyone who might think the media has been to easy on Tiger Woods might want to amend that to, “The American media has been too easy on Tiger Woods,” after witnessing British reporters’ questioning of him over the last week.
Last week, the press tried asking him directly about his affairs, and Woods, of course, wasn’t giving them much in return. For example:
When asked whether his liaisons with other women had been “worth it” since it cost him his marriage and endorsements, Woods replied, “I think you’re looking too deep into this.” He torpedoed the follow-up question with an icily firm “Thank you.”
This week it doesn’t seem like they’ve gotten quite as direct with the personal stuff – yet. They’ve at least broached it, though, and Tiger is just as guarded, though seemingly a little less irked.
Q. Your public image has been transformed in the last year or two. Does it bother you what the public at large thinks of you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, most of the people have been fantastic. The places that I’ve played and the people that have come up to me have been great. As I said, most of the people have been so respectful over the years here, and I wouldn’t see anything different.
Q. Would it bother you if there was a perception of you as a different sort of person now?
TIGER WOODS: Hey, it’s their opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Yahoo!’s Shane Bacon said in the first article linked above that he thought it was time for the press to stop with the personal stuff, especially since their attempts to get substantive responses out of Woods haven’t bee successful anyway ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski, on the other hand, thinks the opposite way, saying it’s time for Tiger to open up.
While we don’t count on Tiger actually doing this (or coming to us for advice, for that matter), we’d recommend Wojciechowski’s suggested course of action, since this would probably be a more effective way to get the questions to stop. After all, it doesn’t appear the “don’t give reporters anything to run with” strategy is deterring them, so why not try something different?
Because at this point, we doubt anyone would mind the Tiger off-course storyline ending – even the reporters whose questions are keeping it alive. Like others, we’d rather try to watch him rehab his golf career than his public image.
Unfortunately, the affairs are always the elephants in the room until he addresses them in more detail, so hopefully he indulges a pointed inquiry here and there…then gives a performance on the course worth caring about more than his personal life.