After barely breaking 80 in the first round of the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am, Tiger Woods remembered he was playing at Adare Manor, not St. Andrews, and redeemed himself slightly with a three-under 69 on Tuesday. And the wind was gusting and the rain was heavy at times. But as for breaking news — wait for it — he replied to questions about his personal life from the media with a frosty glare and terse answers. Color me four shades of not-so-shocked.
When a brazen yet heroic (you decide) member of the British/Irish press asked if his numerous dalliances had been “worth it” — since it cost him his marriage and millions in endorsement dollars, not to mention his recent poor form –Tiger responded, “I think you’re reading too deeply into this.” Just like we did when he mentioned that his caddie, Stevie Williams, gave him bad advice at Pebble Beach.
He blew off a follow-up question with a chilly, “Thank you.”
Asked why he was flying home to Florida instead of practicing on a links course for the British Open, he replied, “I need to get home.” Why? “To see my kids.”
More quotes from Tiger’s presser (including more expansive, less chilly responses about the upcoming Open and St. Andrews). First, whether his off-course problems were affecting his game:
*Golf is something that I’ve done for a very long time and there are times in one’s life when things are put in perspective; one being when my father passed and what I’ve been going through lately.
*Everything’s working itself out [Ed note: when asked the second time.]
On the state of his game and the Open:
I feel like I made some pretty good strides last week, I drove the ball great, but just putted terrible and consequently I finished way down the board.
But I’ll work on it, I’ll work hard on my lag putting and make sure that’s organised – that’s a lot of really long lag-putts at St Andrews. I’m really looking forward to getting there and competing.
I hurt myself early (after coming back) and that kind of put a dampner on things, but I feel like I’m right on pace. Normally this is about April in the amount of tournaments I’ve played, so that’s about right.
I look forward to major championships. The only one that came really fast this year was the Masters, I had just a few weeks to prepare. But we’re in the major championship flow now, they come once a month now.
Once the Masters hits we’ve got a big event every month so you’re into that mode.
On his love for St. Andrews and the Open setup:
I just fell in love with it (St Andrews). The lies and angles, it’s not what everyone says it is, people say you can hit it miles left, you can hit it miles left but you’ve got no angle.
And the R&A always sets up the pins really well so it forces you to be more creative how you play the golf course. Your touch has to be great because you’re going to have a lot of long lag-putts that break three or four directions.
It takes a lot of imagination and when you look at the past champions at St Andrews, a lot of them have great short games and a great imagination and ball control.
I think it’s just a fantastic golf course and what genius it took to lay it out that way.
So, what’s the lesson? Testiness is not next to godliness — stick to the script and Tiger will be more forthcoming and friendlier.
Oh, I recommend going here to watch a clip of a frosty Tiger at the press conference.