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In giving five minutes to ESPN and The Golf Channel, is Tiger Woods trying to run out the clock on his own scandal?

21

March

Tiger-Woods I will say one thing for ESPN -- they fit more into a five minute interview than I ever thought possible.

Here's the channel's excerpts from its quickie interview with Tiger Woods, to be broadcast at the same time the Golf Channel is presenting its own "exclusive" interview with Woods -- 7:30 p.m. tonight.

(UPDATE: the Golf Channel also emailed its transcript -- I'll probably work up a separate analysis in another post)

At some point, it seems the machinations Woods is going through become almost comical. Scheduling these first interviews during the NCAA tournament and for five minutes each? What kinds of questions does he expect? Will this really illuminate anything? Or stop any other journalists from trying to learn more?

I can only think this is Woods' attempt to run out the clock on public attention. Already, lots of people are getting tired of his story -- if he parses it out in enough drips and drabs, perhaps public sentiment against continue Woods reporting will stem the media deluge.

Of course, you can ask Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston how well that tactic works.

Here's ESPN's press release/excerpts, followed by Golf Channel transcript:

ESPN will present a one-on-one interview with Tiger Woods, today at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET. The interview, conducted earlier today by ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi from Florida’s Isleworth community, will also be offered on ESPN.com, ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS at approximately 7:30 p.m.


ESPN was allotted approximately five-six minutes of interview time to ask any question of Woods, with the understanding the interview would not air until 7:30 p.m. ET.

ESPN selected the Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning Rinaldi, who is a prominent reporter on ESPN’s golf coverage and has interviewed and covered Woods extensively in the past.

ESPN’S TIGER WOODS INTERVIEW EXCERPTS INCLUDE:

On why he got married:
Woods: “Why?  ‘Cause I loved her. I loved Elin with everything I have. And that’s something that makes me feel even worse. That I did this to someone I loved that much.”

On the depth of his infidelity:
Woods: “Well, just one is enough.  Um, and obviously that wasn’t the case, and I’ve made my mistakes.  And as I’ve said, I’ve hurt so many people, and so many people I have to make an amends to, and that’s living a life of amends.”

On all that has happened over the past year:
Woods: “A lot has transpired in my life.  A lot of ugly things have happened.  Things that have.....I’ve done some pretty bad things in my life.  And uh, all came to a head.  But now, after treatment, going for inpatient treatment for 45 days and more outpatient treatment, um, I’m getting back to my old roots.”

On what happened the day of the car accident:
Woods: “Well you know it’s all in the police report. Beyond that everything's between Elin and myself and that's private.”

On why he didn’t seek treatment before all the news broke:
Woods:  “Well I didn't know I was that bad….stripping away denial, rationalization. You strip that away and you find the truth.”

On the low points  -- the moments of having to tell his wife and mother:
Woods: “They both have been brutal.  They’ve both been very tough.  Because I hurt them the most.  Those are the two people in my life who I’m closest to and to say the things that I’ve done, truthfully to them, is...honestly was…very painful.”

On what his measure of success will be at the Masters:
Woods: “Well, playing is one thing.  I’m excited to get back and play, I’m excited to get to see the guys again.  I really miss a lot of my friends out there. I miss competing.  But still, I still have a lot more treatment to do, and just because I’m playing, doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop going to treatment.”

On the expected/hopeful reception from fans:

Woods: “I don't know. I don't know. I’m a little nervous about that to be honest with you...It would be nice to hear a couple claps here and there…but also hope they clap for birdies too (laughs).”

GOLF CHANNEL TRANSCRIPT

Kelly Tilghman: Tiger, you’ve been a master of control your entire life, how did things get so out of control?

Tiger Woods: Going against your core values, losing sight of it. I quit meditating, I quit being a Buddhist, and my life changed upside down. I felt entitled, which I had never felt before. Consequently, I hurt so many people by my own reckless attitude and behavior.

KT: Were there moments you thought you should stop, but didn’t?

TW: Yeah, I tried to stop and I couldn’t stop. It was just, it was horrific.

KT: For a man who’s so disciplined physically and psychologically, why couldn’t you say no?

TW: I don’t know, now I know. It’s part of what I learned in treatment, being there for 45 days you learn a lot. You strip away the denial, the rationalization and you come to the truth and the truth is very painful at times and to stare at yourself and look at the person you’ve become…you become disgusted.

KT: The Masters is a demanding stage on its own, let alone for a return of this magnitude, how do you know you’re mentally prepared for this?

TW: I’m excited to get back and play. I miss the game. I miss playing, I miss competing. I wasn’t ready to play in Tavistock or play in Bay Hill, I expressed that to Joe as well as Arnold. I want to play in these events but I just wasn’t ready. I started too late with my preparation. Hank and I are starting to work now and start to get it going.

KT: How do you know you’ll be ready for the Masters?

TW: I’m starting to get my feel back. I know how to play the golf course and that helps a lot, I just got to, play it.

KT: How will your therapy affect your 2010 schedule? I’m assuming you’ll have more in-patient therapy ahead.

TW: Yeah, I will have more treatment, more therapy sessions. As far as my schedule going forward, I don’t know what I’m going to do Kelly. Last year I didn’t know because of my knee it was still uncertain, and this year, with all the things that I’ve done I don’t know what I’ll be doing either. That to me is a little bit bothersome too in a sense that I don’t like not knowing what to do.  But what I know I have to do is become a better person and that begins with going to more treatment.

KT: You went from becoming recognized as the greatest golfer in the world to becoming a punch line. How did that make you feel?

TW: It was hurtful, but then again you know what, I did it. I’m the one who did those things and looking back on it now with a more clear head, I get it. I can understand why people will say these things because you know what, it was disgusting behavior. As a person, it’s hard to believe that was me looking back on it now.

KT: America was concerned when the world’s greatest golfer was lying on the ground with no shoes at 2:30 in the morning, bleeding, what happened that night?

TW: It’s all in the police report, they investigated it and they have it on public record, there’s a lot of stuff between Elin and I that will remain private and that’s about it.

KT: How did you crash the car?

TW: I wasn’t going very fast, but unfortunately, I hit a few things.

KT: It’s been reported that members of your team, your inner circle were involved in your misdoings, is it true?

TW: That is not true, it was all me. I’m the one who did it, I’m the one who acted the way I acted, no one knew what was going on. I’m sure if more people would have known in my inner circle they would’ve, they would’ve stopped it…or tried to put a stop to it but I kept it all to myself.

KT: What is the state of your marriage with Elin right now?

TW: We’re working on it and it’s a process that will remain private between her and I.

KT: If your father were here today and looked back on these last 4 months, what would he say to you?

TW: He’d be very disappointed in me. We’d have numerous long talks. That’s one of the things I miss, I miss his guidance, wish I could have had his guidance through all this to have him help straighten me up, I know he would’ve done it.

KT: What do you think he would say?

TW: Can’t say it on air but he would’ve been very direct. Basically said, you need to get your life headed in the right direction again.

KT: For the 12 year olds and the parents out there who looked at you as a role model, what do you have to say to them to make them believe in you again?

TW: It’s going to be over time. It’s going to be my actions over time. I’m trying to become a better person each and every day. The proof in the pudding is over time and that’s what I’m trying to do. I will continue to do that.

KT: How will you explain this to your children, one day when they’re old enough to understand?

TW: I will have that sit down talk and it won’t be just one time, I know that. It will be numerous times and I take full ownership of it, I did it. No one else did, it was just me and that’s a responsibility that I will have. I will talk to my kids , for however long they want to talk about it. That is a conversation that will need to be had.

KT: Based on all that has transpired, what do you want your legacy to be when all is said and done?

TW: Just like I wanted before. I felt that golf was a vehicle for me to help a lot of people. My dad had always said something that I never really quite understood until these times. In order to help other people, you first have to learn how to help yourself. Going into a treatment center for 45 days I learned a lot. I learned how to help myself and that’s the way I can help others down the road.

KT: I noticed you’re wearing a bracelet, can we see it?

TW: Yeah.

KT: What does it mean?

TW: It’s Buddhist, it’s for protection and strength and I certainly need that.

KT: When did you start wearing it?

TW: Before I went into treatment.

KT: Will you be wearing it during the Masters?

TW: Absolutely.

KT: For the rest of your life?

TW: Absolutely.

KT: Tiger thank you.

TW: Thanks Kel.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:06pm]

    

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