3 February 2010
A report in the Herald Sun in Australia says Tiger Woods could return to action in a couple of weeks. Without citing a source, the paper says: “Tiger Woods is poised to make a shock return to competitive golf in a fortnight at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona. Only a fortnight after allegedly checking into a sex addiction clinic in Mississippi, the world No. 1 is set to stun the world by returning to the Dove Mountain course where he made his comeback from knee surgery last year.
“From the time Tiger’s trysts forced him into competitive hibernation, speculation has raged about if – then when – he would return. Pressure continues to mount on the man at the centre of one of the great sporting sex scandals to emerge from hiding before the US Masters in the second week of April.
“Because his management has gone to ground with its star client, there remains no official word on Woods’ return, but there are strengthening whispers that it will be in the $9.54 million World Golf Championship event, won last year by Melbourne’s Geoff Ogilvy and one of the most prestigious titles outside the major championships.”
Earlier today, Woods was the subject of the harshest criticism yet from one of golf’s senior figures when Tom Watson said the world No1 needed to “show humility” for what he had done. Woods has not been seen in public since his car crash in November, an accident that happened after a row with his wife, Elin, over his serial infidelities.
Speaking in Dubai ahead of the Desert Classic, Watson said: “He messed up. He knows he messed up. The world knows he messed up. And he has to take ownership of that. One of the things that is not in question is what Tiger has to do, he has to take ownership of what he has done. He must get his personal life in order.
“And when he comes back, he has to show some humility to the public in the sense that, if I were him, it wouldn’t be at a golf tournament where I would first come out. I would come out and do an interview and say ‘I screwed up’ and admit it. And ‘I’m going to change, I want my wife and family back, I have to earn her trust back’.
“I feel that he has not carried the same stature as other great players like Jack, Arnold, Byron Nelson, the Hogans, in the sense that there was language and club throwing on the golf course. You can grant that of a young person that has not been out here for a while. But I think he needs to clean up his act and show the respect for the game that other people before him have shown.”