(Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker: Frenemies?)
“Whenever he comes back it’s going to draw a lot of attention to that tournament and the focus is going to be on him coming back. I don’t know if Augusta would like that to happen, you know? To turn it into Tiger’s comeback instead of the Masters Tournament itself.”
Those comments are all the more ironic when you consider Stricker’s relationship to Team Tiger. Stricker was college roommates with Woods agent Mark Steinberg and is currently represented by Steinberg. Stricker is also friendly with Woods and was his most recent playing partner, at the President’s Cup, before the Thanksgiving car accident.
That makes Stricker’s statements that much more credible, considering they came from a guy with close ties to Woods’ inner circle. No hidden disdain for Woods that’d be cause for an agenda.
On the subject of Woods’ comeback at The Masters, it is now clear that all that mattered for the golfer in his decision was the ability to control the environment at the tournament. Otherwise why would Woods play his first competitive round after a long layoff at such an important event?
The decision makes me think that Woods may have initially planned to play the Tavistock Cup at his home course in Orlando, but when TMZ.com reported the possibility he changed his mind. Tavistock is the only other PGA-sanctioned event where Woods could have complete control over the setting. (Why did Woods apologize to Tavistock Cup Director Joe Lewis if he had no intention of playing?)
Woods’ relatively quick return to golf after this recent public appearance also indicates that the timing of that speech was indeed a ploy to damage his former sponsor Accenture. While Team Tiger claimed that it was critical to Woods’ personal affairs that he make the appearance right in the middle of Accenture’s match play PGA event, it now appears that probably was not the case.
If Woods was in such bad shape that he had to give the speech that day, why has he confirmed his return to golf a mere few weeks later?
Amazing how Woods has the uncanny ability to engender zero sympathy. At least he’s consistent!