At this point, everyone knows that Tiger Woods withdrew from both the Safeway Open and the Turkish Airlines Open. Tiger had confirmed the Friday before he withdrew, so what happened in those 3 days?
Tiger’s agent, Mark Steinberg, told Golf Digest that his change of heart came after putting his preparation into overdrive and realizing his game wasn’t ready.
“He played a lot of holes of golf, and the game just wasn’t there.” He didn’t quite get all the holes in prior to the Friday decision, but he really wanted to play this weekend. You have to commit the Friday before. He flew Joey [Woods’ caddie] down to Florida. He flew him out to California with him. They were going through their prep for a tournament. Going through the weekend, playing as much golf as he did, it just wasn’t to the standard he wants it to be.”
Woods’ had an interview in 1996 that basically summed up this whole situation. If Tiger didn’t think he was going to win, than he doesn’t see the point of playing.
But then he’s seen hitting balls at his Tiger Woods Foundation clinic yesterday, and you wonder what the deal is. Well, playing in a tournament is much different than hitting balls on a range, there’s no real chance of embarrassment like there is on the large scale that is the PGA Tour.
His agent also revealed why he pulled out of the Turkish Airlines Open and not just the Safeway Open.
“That would be an inappropriate thing to do,” Steinberg said of Woods returning at the European Tour event. “It’s my opinion, and Tiger and I talked about it and we agreed. He’s been out for 15 months. It’s not appropriate to come back to a non-PGA Tour sanctioned event.”
- Woods’ felt rushed after having to confirm with the Safeway Open the Friday before the tournament and didn’t feel his game was ready after practicing.
- He didn’t feel it was respectful of the PGA Tour to make his return at a European Tour event.
Whether he played and yipped the whole way through or pulled out, people were going to be disappointed. At least we know now that Tiger does what’s best for him, while still trying to keep some respect from the PGA Tour.
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