by Jeff Skinner
Tiger Woods announced that he’ll break his habit of passing on The PGA Tour’s Fall Series and he’ll make a very rare appearance in the U.S. in October at The Fry’s.com Open. Woods gives various reasons on his website, “I always enjoy competing in my home state, and this tournament fits my schedule perfectly,” Woods said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends.” He goes on to say, “John Fry and his company have supported the tour, and I’ve heard good things about the event and the golf course. One of my goals this year was to participate in a tournament I hadn’t played before, and now, I will.”
Like anything Woods says on his website, or to the media for that matter, it is difficult to accept any statement at face value. I am sure he enjoys playing in his home state, when it’s Pebble Beach or Torrey Pines. John Fry and his company certainly have supported the tour. They lay out millions to sponsor this event. Oh, and one of Tiger’s goals was to play somewhere he hadn’t visited before, that’s news for sure. They are all valid reasons to play, then why don’t I believe any of them.
My skepticism must come from years of listening to Team Tiger trying to spin everything their way. We never get the sensation that Tiger is sincere and everything he says and does has ulterior motives. Woods lost his genuineness long ago and anytime I see these press releases I can’t help myself from thinking two things: Do they really expect us to believe that Tiger is writing this? And what does this really mean?
Smarter and more connected men than I feel the same way. John Feinstein says, “There’s more than meets the eye” and Jason Sobel thinks that Fred Couples was given this info by Tiger long ago and his “request” that Tiger play more before The Presidents Cup was a contrived bit of theater. They both are probably right.
I do give Tiger credit for making the effort though, whatever the real reason. He needs to play and any event is more interesting with Tiger in the field. The Fry’s will get a boost with Woods there as will the television numbers. Maybe we’ll get to see a glimpse of that new and hopefully improved swing he has been working on for what seems like forever. But next time he decides to play a “new tournament” just send in your commitment and let the tournament announce it. That way we won’t waste time trying to decipher all that “Tiger speak.”