Tiger Woods is noncommittal about future schedule
Monday, April 12, 2010
AUGUSTA, GA. -- Tiger Woods came to Augusta National not knowing how he would be received by his public in his first tournament since his personal failings became part of the public discourse. He left without revealing to that public what his next step would be, and when he might show himself again.
"I'm going to take a little time off and kind of re-evaluate things," Woods said after his all-over-the-place 69 in Sunday's final round of the Masters left him in a tie for fourth, five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson.
Woods was clearly disgusted by his swing at times Sunday, so much so that he behaved as he did before his nearly five-month layoff -- berating himself after bad shots, occasionally loudly. Because he had pledged to be more respectful during his Monday news conference -- his first question-and-answer session with reporters since his Thanksgiving-night car accident -- CBS analyst Peter Kostis asked him whether he was finding it hard to keep his emotions in check in his first tournament back.
"I think people are making way too much of a big deal of this thing," Woods said. "I was not feeling good. I hit a big [hook] off the first hole and I don't know how people can think I should be happy about that. I hit a wedge from 45 yards and basically bladed it over the green. These are not things I normally do. So I'm not going to be smiling and not going to be happy."
As for his upcoming schedule, Woods's camp had wanted to get through this week and figure things out from there. The most logical choice would seem to be the Quail Hollow Championship at the end of this month in Charlotte. He has not yet committed to any events this season, including the AT&T National, the tournament that benefits his foundation.
No. 12 gives, then takes
Eighteen years ago, when Fred Couples won his only green jacket, he was the recipient of some now-legendary good fortune at Augusta National's par-3 12th hole. His tee shot came up short, but instead of trickling down into Rae's Creek in front of the green -- as nearly every other ball hit in that position does -- it caught an extra blade of grass or two, and held up. He made his par, and won the Masters. On Sunday, the 50-year-old Couples's chance to win a second Masters title truly came unraveled at the place he won his last -- the 12th.
"I thought I needed to stuff it," Couples said. He took an 8-iron and, as he said, "hit it off the toe." It tumbled off the bank and into the creek, and Couples ended up with double bogey, falling out of contention. He finished sixth, seven shots back. . . .
Fairfax native Steve Marino completed his first Masters with a final-round 73 to finish at 2 under for the tournament, tied for 14th. The top 16 and ties are invited back to next year's Masters.