Golf Roundup

Woods ready to make an appearance

Associated Press / February 18, 2010

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Tiger Woods will end nearly three months of silence tomorrow when he speaks publicly for the first time since his middle-of-the-night car accident sparked stunning revelations of infidelity.

However, his agent, Mark Steinberg, said Woods will not take any questions from a small group of media. “This is not a press conference,’’ Steinberg said yesterday.

It will be Woods’s first public appearance since Nov. 27, when he crashed his SUV into a tree outside his Florida home. Woods’s only comments since then have been made through his website.

“It will be good to see Tiger’s face again, and see that he’s actually out there somewhere,’’ Stewart Cink said. “I think this is the beginning of the comeback process for him.’’

Woods is to speak at 11 a.m. from the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., home of the PGA Tour.

Steinberg described the gathering as a “small group of friends, colleagues, and close associates,’’ who will listen to Woods apologize as he talks about the past and what he plans to do next. One camera will be in the room to provide coverage via satellite.

“While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between he and his wife,’’ Steinberg said in an e-mail announcing the public appearance, “he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends and that’s what he’s going to discuss.’’

The timing is peculiar. It will be held during the third round of the Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Ariz., sure to steal attention away from such a big event. Accenture was the first sponsor to drop Woods after the sex scandal surfaced.

“He’s got to come out at some point,’’ Rory McIlroy said. “I suppose he might want to get something back against the sponsor that dropped him. I don’t know. It just went on for so long. I’m sick of hearing about it. And I’m just looking forward to when he’s getting back on the golf course.’’

Woods made a spectacular fall from his perch atop golf. He is believed to be the first athlete to gross $1 billion in earnings and endorsements and, at 14 majors, is closing in on golf’s record of 18 majors held by Jack Nicklaus.

Over the last few months, Woods has been on the cover of gossip magazines and the butt of jokes on national talk shows.

PGA - Ross McGowan, who only got into the 64-man field because Woods isn’t playing, rolled in a 30-foot par putt on the 19th hole to beat Steve Stricker and become only the second No. 64 seed to win a match. The other top seeds - Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk, and Martin Kaymer - won.