A jovial and seemingly relaxed Tiger Woods made an appearance at the venue for this week’s Abu Dhabi Championship today, and in additon to playing a practice round, the former World Number One fielded questions on everything from his fitness (tip-top shape, thanks for asking) to his burgeoning interest in that most refined of pastimes, cricket.
Though the Abu Dhabi Championship can boast one of the strongest fields of the golfing year – the four highest-ranked players in the world and a hefty chunk of the top-50 are competing – the tournament will share top billing in the emirate this weekend with international Test cricket from the nearby Abu Dhabi Stadium.
A sport many of his compatriots find impenetrable, cricket is something Woods has grown to appreciate of late:
“Baseball is huge in Japan and the US, but outside of that cricket is huge. So as I have travelled and I have played all around the world, I have started to watch more and more…
“I have met some of the guys, that certainly helps, provides more interest in it. Because now you have personal interest in it, so that’s what makes a little bit more exciting.”
So he’ll be watching England vs. Pakistan between rounds?
“But as far as watching cricket, I don’t watch.”
Right. So he was just being polite, then?
UPDATE: Apparently, Tiger actually answered the question about his viewing habits in the affirmative, but owing to confusion on the part of golf’s International Transcript Man – no relation to John Swantek, the PGA Tour’s International Time-Wasting Man – it was reported as otherwise. I’m not actually going to correct it, though, because the error enlivens an otherwise dull series of press conference platitudes.