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Jay Busbee

Steve Stricker not quite thrilled about Tiger at Augusta

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First off, Tiger Woods -- or at least a poorly-impersonated version thereof -- will be on South Park this Wednesday. Awesome. If there are any family-friendly clips, we'll have 'em.

Over the weekend, we received no more clues about when Woods might return -- it might be later this month, it might be at Augusta, it might be the seventh of never.

Bob Harig of ESPN.com snagged a solid interview with the best golfer in the world now actively playing. (That would be Steve Stricker.) The topic was, of course, Mr. Woods, and Stricker had some interesting thoughts about Woods' prospective return at The Masters:

"Whenever he comes back it's going to draw a lot of attention to that tournament and the focus is going to be on him coming back. I don't know if Augusta would like that to happen, you know? To turn it into Tiger's comeback instead of the Masters Tournament itself."

Bear in mind, this is a guy who considers Woods a friend, but who hasn't heard from him since the accident in November. And if he feels comfortable enough to suggest that perhaps Woods shouldn't turn Augusta into his own personal coming-out party, you've got to figure there's similar sentiment throughout the clubhouse.

Oh, and in a reminder of who continues to really run the show in golf, check this headline from PGA.com: "Finchem hopes Woods gives PGA a little notice when he returns." When the PGA Tour commissioner admits that he's in thrall to Woods' whims, well, that tells you all you need to know.

Put it this way -- if Woods announces when he'll return early in a week, with plenty of advance notice to allow a tournament to prepare for the onslaught of press and fans, you'll know he's taking this whole remorse thing seriously. But if he does as he's always done, waiting until the last moment to announce and making an entire industry work overtime to accommodate him, you'll know he doesn't care about the game or its fans nearly as much as he cares about himself.

[UPDATE: As we all know now, Tiger has given Augusta plenty of time to prepare. Good move.]

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