As you may have heard, Tiger Woods participated in Q&A sessions Sunday evening for The Golf Channel and ESPN. The sessions were about five minutes apiece, and provided little to no new information outside of his fancy new bracelet. And, naturally, this being Tiger, there was controversy aplenty.
See, just as Woods' quickie speeches were airing, Jim Furyk was tapping in to win the Transitions Championship. And, in arenas across the country, Xavier and Purdue were winning NCAA tournament games in dramatic fashion. Oh, and there was the little matter of the healthcare debate that was consuming a good chunk of the public airwaves.
Still, this is Tiger, and the guy draws attention when he changes his socks. Transitions Optical officials, in particular, weren't pleased with Woods' reappearance on the national stage: "I would say that given our partnership with the Golf Channel, we are a little bit disappointed that they chose to air that story at the conclusion of a very exciting tournament," David Cole, managing director for Transitions, told ESPN's Bob Harig. "We invest a lot of money in the Transitions Championship as a title sponsor." Harig noted that Transitions pays about $7 million per year to sponsor the championship, which includes a postround segment on The Golf Channel.
Here's the thing, though. Unlike the press conference of Feb. 19, which Tiger apparently deliberately scheduled to screw with the tournament sponsored by Accenture, the first sponsor to drop him, you can't possibly call this Tiger's fault. Weather delayed the final round by almost four hours, and Furyk was putting like a man trying to delay a trip to the dentist.
Furyk, for his part, wasn't overly concerned wth the interruption. "You know what, tomorrow the paper is going to read that I won the golf tournament, and I don't really care if it's a three-page spread or a little blurb in the corner of the paper because the article is about [Woods]," he said. "I won the damn thing and it really doesn't matter to me. I've never been someone that's craved the notoriety or the limelight. I can live with it and I'm fine with it."
Plus, Tiger had tried to delay the airing of the interview, requesting that it not be aired until after the tournament was over. The ESPN one was scheduled for 7 p.m. but got pushed to 7:30 -- which, incidentally, meant that it aired at the exact same time as the Golf Channel one. So yes, while he's trying to control this message, not even Tiger can control the rain.
Oh, and in related news, CBS declined the opportunity to interview Tiger. Yes, that's the same CBS that will be broadcasting the Masters in a couple weeks. Chafing at the five-minute time restriction, CBS decided to take a pass. Still, I imagine we'll be seeing plenty of Tiger on the CBS airwaves in the weeks ahead.