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Memorial offers pointers to Pebble Beach contenders

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Tiger makes eagle on way to Memorial triumph

This week’s Memorial tournament, an elite PGA Tour event in its own right hosted by golfing great Jack Nicklaus, is sure to offer several pointers toward the likely contenders at this month’s U.S. Open.

Many of the game’s leading players are making their final appearances on the circuit before switching focus to the second major of the year, which takes place at majestic Pebble Beach from June 17-20.

Two of the big guns — world number one Tiger Woods and second-ranked Phil Mickelson – have more than a few question marks hovering over their form at the moment. Woods, whose private life spectacularly unravelled at the end of last year, is returning to the tour after three weeks on the sidelines to defend his title at the Memorial.

 The 14-times major winner has not competed since he was forced to withdraw from the final round of last month’s Players Championship in Florida because of neck pain. An inflamed joint made it difficult for Woods to execute his swing and his driving accuracy, never his strongest suit, was woeful in his last outing at the TPC Sawgrass.

Will Woods miss the cut again?

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Among a bucketful of intriguing storylines going into this week’s Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass is speculation on whether Tiger Woods will miss consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour for the first time in his career.

The American world number one, comfortably the greatest player of his generation and arguably of all time, was a shadow of himself at last week’s Quail Hollow Championship where he coughed and spluttered his way to scores of 74 and 79.

Tiger Woods at the U.S. Masters – live

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Tiger Woods returned from a five-month absence with a blistering first round at the U.S. Masters and we continue to live blog his bid for another win here. Join us for hole-by-hole coverage, commentary, discussion and on-the-spot analysis from the Augusta National.

Tiger back to face the media — but is it too soon?

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GOLF-MASTERS/The eyes of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on Augusta National at 1400 local (1900 GMT) on Monday when four-times champion Tiger Woods faces the media ahead of his highly anticipated return to competition at this week’s U.S. Masters.

It will be the first appearance at a news conference by the disgraced American world number one since his private life unravelled at the end of last year amid revelations he had a string of extra-marital affairs.

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.

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.

from The Great Debate:

Tiger Woods remains a wounded superstar

– Charles S. Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, “No Time To Think-The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle.” The views expressed are his own. –

Before watching the Tiger Woods statement, because much had been made of the fact that he would be reading from a script and that the few pool reporters present in the room in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida would not be allowed to ask questions, I was prepared to open this review with a pithy remark such as:  "It was the farce heard round the world!" or something like that.

Tiger Woods to break his silence

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“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.

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.

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