Like any other time Tiger Woods has spoken to the media since November of 2009, the world watched. Only this time, it wasn't what we'd had in the past. It was a focus that we aren't totally used to since the wreck-sex-mistress trifecta Woods pulled on us. This time it was about, gulp, golf.
At the Quail Hollow Championship on Wednesday, Tiger took the podium for the second time before a tournament in 2010, and The Golf Channel and ESPN tuned in. Only, the World Wide Leader cut away after a few minutes to resume their usual "Sportscenter" run, and the only place you could find Tiger Woods was the only place we probably should be finding Tiger: on a network reserved for golf.
Woods was asked some random questions about Dr. Anthony Galea, and had an actual question pointed at the hilarious (and for some, embarrassing) admission that Tiger Woods is a big Nickelback fan. But for the most part the questions were pointed to what Tiger will be doing on the golf course.
Some examples of what Tiger was asked:
-- "Given two weeks to reflect on Augusta, what is your take on that, given the way you played, and just the whole week, what was build into it?"
-- "A couple of times at Augusta you yelled at yourself for tee shots that you hit with the driver. I guess you hit a couple today that you didn't like too much. What is that exactly that's happening there that's causing those rights with the driver?"
-- "How long do you think it'll take before the golf swing itself returns to kind of normal?"
And maybe the most telling of all the questions ...
-- "And your play today?"
That question is everything you need to know about what Tiger should expect in the coming weeks, and months, and years. Sure, the questions will always linger about what happened with his Escalade, or how his marriage seemed to fall apart, or why he decided to do what he did with some of the women he did it with. None of that will ever go away. What will, however, is the approach the media takes in getting pieces of Woods.
The time for those questions is basically over. At The Players it will be less and less about his personal life and more and more about his golf game. The same can be said about the Memorial, and the U.S. Open, and on down the road.
While the general public might not be ready to forgive Tiger for the conduct he portrayed, it seems the media knows what the focus is for right now. How will Tiger play, when will he win again, and how good is he hitting his driver?