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When we last saw Tiger Woods doing a Q&A session with fans prior to the Wells Fargo Championship, he was staring straight into a camera answering questions in a manner that made you wonder if he'd been taken hostage and was reading off the ransom demands.
To say it was a train wreck would be kind. Woods seemed to struggle running the show by himself, leading many to wonder if the next one would include a chat moderator to keep the conversation flowing, and potentially ask a follow-up question or two.
On Tuesday we got out answer, as TigerWoods.com editor Mark Soltau opened the Google+ Hangout chat with Woods by kicking things off. It was instantly a million times more enjoyable than the previous session.
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Why? Because the Q&A, hangout, whatever you wanted to call it, felt like someone was helping Woods along. He may be one of the greatest golfers of all time, but when it comes to running an online Q&A by himself, the guy looks utterly clueless.
After opening with a couple questions from a member of our Armed Forces and a few fans, Soltau had NBC Sports' Roger Maltbie ask Woods about his time spent playing Olympic Club earlier in the day, and his thoughts on the course.
It was an awkward moment in the chat because it seemed like Maltbie was doing a one-on-one interview with Woods. But after listening to a host of off-topic questions the last time around, it gave viewers a chance to hear Woods' thoughts on the upcoming U.S. Open site, something most people probably wanted to hear about from the outset.
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Maltbie also went rogue at one point, asking Woods if, at the age of 36, he heard the clock ticking on his quest to best Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships. It was one of those questions Woods most likely wouldn't have put in his pre-loaded list, but he still answered it honestly, saying he "felt like it was going to take a career to do it," and that he still had time.
Woods also touched on some social media questions regarding, among other things, his niece, Cheyenne Woods, turning pro, how much he enjoyed the raucous galleries during the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage, his thoughts on the Memorial tournament, and tips for working on your game indoors.
Woods smiled, he joked around, and for the most part, it looked like he was having a good time ... which was a huge improvement from the first Q&A where everything looked incredibly forced. This one actually had some semblance of a flow to it, and with Soltau and Maltbie kind of leading the way, there was some added credibility to the session that was missing the last time around.
Like Woods' swing, the Q&A sessions appear to be a "process." But if the Google+ Hangout was a sign of things to come, maybe they'll actually be watchable in the future — especially if he plans to continue doing them in lieu of his usual pre-tournament press conference with the media.
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