Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

What sort of reaction can Tiger expect?

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PEOPLE-WOODS/The world’s number one golfer has finally announced his comeback date but it is unclear whether Tiger is completely out of the Woods yet.

Woods told ESPN on Sunday that he didn’t have a clue what sort of reception he would get from the galleries on his return at next month’s U.S. Masters, admitting he was a “little nervous” about the prospect.

British bookmakers Ladbrokes have been quick to respond to the American’s television interview with a wide-range of betting suggestions.

Among the odds on offer is 5-1 on Woods being booed on the first tee at Augusta National.

Is Woods right to return at the Masters?

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The long wait is nearly over. Tiger Woods, missing from golf since allegations about his private life emerged late last year, will return to the sport at the U.S. Masters tournament in early April and start the long process of rebuilding his reputation.

“The Masters is where I won my first major, and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta,” he said in a statement.

Tiger Woods to break his silence

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AT&T/WOODS

“Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future and he plans to apologize for his behavior. While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between he and his wife, he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends and that’s what he’s going to discuss.”

That was the email sent by Mark Steinberg, Tiger’s manager, setting up the world’s best golfer for his return to the public eye after he went into hiding following those revelations about his personal life.

Is Mickelson’s ‘groove’ out of bounds?

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GOLF-PGA/MICKELSONUpdated after Scott McCarron’s clarification this week:

Scott McCarron has issued a statement clarifying his widely reported comments on the use of Ping-Eye 2 wedges with square grooves. McCarron says he never accused Phil Mickelson of being a cheat, but he has stepped up his criticism of the the use of the 20-year-old club, saying he was appalled by his fellow American’s decision to use it at last week’s San Diego Open.

The Royal and Ancient game is renowned for its innate sense of fair play and the self-policing by its players and consequently incidents of cheating have been few and far between over the decades.

from Shop Talk:

No protection from play on Tiger’s woes

tiger1Some people's pain is others' gain and the scandal surrounding pro golfer Tiger Woods is no exception to the rule with a company now offering a condom centered around the scandal-plagued golfer.
    
While consulting firm Accenture ended its endorsement deal with Woods, late-night talk show hosts have turned the world's most recognizable athlete into a punchline with his admission of marital infidelity.

In addition, a lawyer has offered tips on negotiating a post nuptial deal in light of talk of Tiger's wife divorcing him, a strip club has offered Woods $1 million for an endorsement and now a company has come out with safe-sex message that pokes fun at the golfer.
    
Practice Safe Policy has introduced the "Special Edition Tiger Condom" with assurances it is "approved for swingers."
    
"We wanted to offer people something different for the holidays," Practice Safe Policy founder Benjamin Sherman said in a statement.

Can Tiger re-brand himself?

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SPORT GOLF

Does Tiger Woods really need to worry about losing his sponsorship deals? More to the point, does a man who has already earned a billion dollars and who is still, without any doubt, the number one golfer in the world, really need to worry about restoring his “clean cut image”?

Tiger is supposedly in meltdown at the moment – he has had to announce an “indeterminate break” from golf amid the stream of revelations about his private life. Once the media frenzy to discover the latest “Vegas cocktail waitress” eased slightly, the focus shifted to how much the scandals have affected his marketability.

Woods takes first step on road to redemption

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Slug is GOLF-CHAMPIONS/By Kevin Fylan and Tom Pilcher

Tiger Woods’s decision to take an indefinite break from golf will be a real worry for a sport that has relied on the drawing power of the world’s best player for so long but it might prove to be a necessary first step on the player’s own road to redemption.

“He’ll figure it out — we’ve always been a forgiving society,” major record holder Jack Nicklaus said before Woods announced his decision to take a break.

Home of Golf could do with more star quality

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BRITAIN/Scotland might be the “Home of Golf” but it seems the talent packed its bags and moved out long ago.

With nary a Scotsman in the 2008 Ryder Cup team and the country’s highest ranked player  Martin Laird at 104 in the world something is clearly very wrong with the game back home.

Even Tiger gets the “loss aversion” blues

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tiger1Even the best golfers — yes, you Tiger Woods – systematically miss the opportunity to score a “birdie” (when a golfer sinks a ball one stroke below par, or what is expected) out of fear of having a “bogey” (or taking one stroke more than par), according to a study by two University of Pennsylvania professors.

However, playing it safe has its own costs in golf and business, Devin Pope and Maurice Schweitzer, professors of economics and psychology at the Wharton School, said in their paper entitled “Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes.”

“Quiet Please” … WHAT??

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Ssshhhh

“Quiet Please”

What? Whaaaaaaat?

When, exactly, did sportsmen become so misophonic, that the almost-silent-not-quite-click of a digital camera shutter or camera phone could shatter their steely concentration. I must have wandered off that day, but it seems to have become the norm so that now spectators who fork out hard-earned money for a glimpse of their sporting heroes are slapped with the sporting equivalent of an ASBO for daring to snatch a permanent memory of their once-in-a-lifetime brush with their heroes.

“Not on my backswing…c’mon guys,” an exasperated Tiger Woods told spectators earlier this week at the Australian Masters.

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