Masters patrons 'won't boo'

2010-03-30 13:28

Wellington - Tiger Woods will be judged by his golf rather than taunted for his extra-marital affairs when he returns to action at next week's Masters, according to his caddie Steve Williams.

New Zealander Williams told TVNZ on Tuesday that the crowd at Augusta National would be too respectful to barrack Woods who has admitted he was nervous about the reception he would receive after his four-month break from the game.

"They (Augusta) are very specific with whoever they let in there, so they are genuine golf fans," said Williams.

"I don't really expect any of those people having any problems. I think they will be very happy to see Tiger playing at Augusta where he's been successful."

Woods, 34, has not played this year following revelations that he had a string of affairs. The world number one, a four-time Masters champion, has said he is undergoing therapy for sex addiction.

"The people that are going to watch Augusta, they call them patrons there not spectators. They are all golf fans and it is a very difficult tournament to get in," added Williams.

"It is the only golf tournament in the world there is waiting list to get in to."

Williams, hired in 1999 by Woods who has since won 13 of his 14 major titles, said the big challenge for his boss was simply concentrating on his game.

"Just focus, I think that is going to be the big thing," he said. "Tiger hasn't played competitively in four months, hasn't played any warm-up tournaments going into a major championship.

"They (majors) are difficult tournaments at the best of the times so having not played a practice tournament or a pre-tournament, it is going to be difficult.

"So just to keep his focus on what we are doing, that is going to be the foremost thing in my mind," he said.

Williams, looking relaxed and tanned in a T-shirt bearing the insignia of Woods's sponsors, said the player's two recent televised interviews show his readiness to return to action.

"Basically, I think his intention is that he is getting himself ready to play. Tiger doesn't play in golf tournaments unless he believes he can win.

"By granting those media interviews and taking those questions about the Masters indicates to me that he really is getting ready and feels like he is going to be able to compete," he said.

"Every player has got a view of that differently but Tiger's key strength as we all know is his mental strength and he is going to need it all through this period. I believe going back to his Buddhism is going to help that," he added.

Woods will face the media on Monday next week, a departure from his usual Tuesday news conference, before the start of the year's first major.

He will be the only player to hold a news conference on that day, according to a schedule released by Masters officials.

The world number one has not competed since his victory at the Australian Masters on Nov. 15.

The Masters runs from April 8-11.


  • Craig - 2010-03-30 15:00


  • Carl - 2010-03-30 16:51


  • Peter - 2010-03-30 17:01

    I don't mind his affairs. It is his use of steroids and HGH that bothers me.

  • Reader - 2010-03-30 17:01

    Ek kan nie wag nie. Dit gaan great wees om te sien hoe Ernie hom gaan wen. Ek is wel baie bly hy is terug. Golf het hom nodig!!! 'n Wen is nie regtig 'n wen as dit nie teen Tiger is nie. Vat niks weg van Ernie se laaste 2 nie!!!!!

  • Creigh - 2010-03-31 06:59

    Yes, the steroids are a problem for me too. But Tiger needs friends now and not enemies. We need to bring him back into the community. Accept him and support him (the person, not the golfer), not reject him. He made a mistake and is trying to correct it. This he should get credit for.

  • Fanny Merwe - 2010-03-31 14:48

    When Eugene Terre'Blanche was involved in sex with a married woman and was involved in putting on high-heeled shoes to enhance his reach we never heard much about it. Even now, some people will accuse me of bad taste for bringing it up. If Eugene Terre'Blanche walked by we would hear only "Sieg, Heils!" or "White Power!" But when it comes to Tiger we all wanna Boooo in the hope that this will give Ernie a fighting chance. I hope Tiger wins and beats Ernie so bad that this will help start the healing process for South Africa. This nation is far from being healed and may not be for 2 generations because the generation with the most bias is now in their 40s and 50s. Only after they die will we have peace. Booooooooooooooo!!!

  • Fanny Merwe - 2010-03-31 14:56

    So, all the wining was because of steroids? Why not strip Tiger of all the cups except for 3, split the cups between Ernie and Immelmann (not Goosen, he earns his). What an enlightened bunch. mmhmmmmmmmmmmhmmmmmhmmmhmmhmhmhmmmmhmmmhmm WaaaaaaaaaaaaaHHHHHHH!!

  • Bob - 2010-04-01 04:37

    What the hell are you smoking Fanny, "I hope that Tiger beats Ernie so bad that it starts the healing process" what has Tiger beating Ernie got to do with healing SA, I will be very surprised if Tiger gets anywhere near beating Ernie

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