It's Tiger Woods 1, Media 0 in overblown Masters press conference showdown
Tiger Woods gave us 36 minutes – and absolutely no insights.
One of the most anticipated press conferences in human history — golf writers fled the Shell Houston Open like it was crime scene yesterday to get to Augusta in time to experience every Tiger utterance — turned out to be about as interesting as your average half hour of C-SPAN programming. Which means that Tiger may be really determined to return to normal, because his press conferences have been snooze sessions for years.
So much for the need to finally have Tiger answer questions.
The 180 reporters in the room (and it was strictly limited to 180 with a system that had those shut out moaning) didn't just fail to cause him to sweat. They barely caused him to breathe. At one point, I thought Tiger might still be on Ambien, his sleep/wonder sex drug.
Take away the icy dagger stare that Tiger shot at the female reporter who asked him what it meant that Elin woudn't be coming to Augusta and there wasn't even much palpable tension. (For the record, Tiger said that Elin not coming means she's not coming, an approach he used on many questions). He refused to elaborate on the driveway accident — or his strange injures and sock-less, mumbling demeanor. "I had to pay 166 bucks," Tiger said, noting the traffic citation cost. "It's a closed case."
Tiger claimed he went to the doctor who's been linked to steroids because the doc had experience dealing with athletes and that made it "comfortable."
Mostly though, Tiger repeated a bunch of therapy sayings — as he if thought this suddenly made a cheater sound wise.
"In order to help people, you have to learn yourself," Tiger said (he first heard that one from good old dad).
"You know, Tom," Tiger said, in continuing his press conference-long trend of dropping in the reporters' first names, like Tiger is suddenly everybody in the media's buddy, "I fooled myself as well. I lied to a lot of people. I deceived a lot of people. I lied to myself."
No doubt following the advice he's receiving from his high-paid media spin doctors (thank you Ari Fleischer!), the world's No. 1-ranked golfer tried his darnedest to change the story of the day to the positive reaction he received from the galleries at Augusta. Good luck with that.
Even Tiger's best, most arresting ancedote — the one he no doubt saved for this day — didn't deliver everything he probably needed it to. While it was compelling to hear Tiger talk about the pain of missing his son's first birthday party because he was in sex-addiction treatment, it loses something when you consider that most people think that treatment is a publicity sham.
"I missed my son's first birthday and it hurts a lot," Tiger said. "I vowed to never miss another one. It's something I regret and probably will regret the rest of my life."
Still, Tiger clearly won. He didn't reveal anything and now he can say he's taken all the media steps. Tiger's almost back to boring — right where he wants to be.