By Nick Harris
5 April 2010
Tiger woods is giving his comeback press conference at The Masters at Augusta National – highlights:
On the galleries today: “They blew me away”.
On the reception from the fans: “Touched me good.”
On the injuries sustained in his car crash, not previously confirmed: “A busted lip and a pretty sore neck . . . five stitches in the lip.”
On why he didn’t talk to the police initially: “I did everything to the letter of the law.”
Asked why he didn’t talk to his sponsors: “I did talk to my sponsors and people I was close to at the various companies.”
Asked about the toughest part of his recent experiences: “Probably two things . . . having to look at myself in a light I didn’t want to look at myself . . . and the constant harassment to my family.”
Asked why he used the services of Dr Anthony Galea, a sports medic investigated by the Feds for involvement in PEDs: “He’d worked with so many athletes and there’s a certain comfort level to that.”
Confirmed he was in rehab for 45 days but says the reason for that is “personal”.
Confirms his wife, Elin, will not be in attendance this week.
On his behaviour: “I acted terribly, poorly, made so many bad decisions . . . I take full responsibility for what I’ve done and I don’t take that lightly.”
In light of the off-course pressure, how important will Steve Williams’ support be on the tee?: “We’re honest with one another . . . we’ve had a long talk and it’s great to have him back on the bag . . . for us to go back out there as a team it feels good.”
Do you feel the same about records now? “When my father passed away it put things in perspective real quick . . . the same when my kids were born . . . and again this time . . . Going forward I need to be a better man than I was before. Just because I’ve been through treatment doesn’t mean it’s stopped . . . If I win championships along the way, so much the better.”
What was your thought about companies dropping you? “Do I understand why they dropped me? Of course. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life . . . going forward I hope I can prove I’m a worthy investment.”
Golf-wise, what are your expectations this week? “I’m going to go out there and try to win this thing.”
Tiger is surprised how many hugs he’s had “from the guys” [ie, his fellow players].
On Thursday’s first shot: “I haven’t looked forward to a tee shot in such a long time . . . when you’re living a lie all the time, that’s not fun . . . now that’s all been stripped away, it feels fun again.”