Fans rally behind Woods

Majority of spectators feel world number ones domestic strife is private

 
 The world number one is conspicuously absent this week from the Chevron World Challenge he has hosted in California for the past nine years but a majority of spectators there felt his domestic strife should remain private.

Woods withdrew from the charity event on Monday, citing injuries from a mysterious car crash outside his Florida home last week as speculation began to escalate over his five-year marriage to Swede Elin Nordegren.

"What happens within his family should be kept within his family," Los Angeles banker and golf fan Chris Lee told Reuters during Thursday's opening round at Sherwood Country Club. "He shouldn't be pressured to discuss it outside his family.

"I don't think the public has a right to know. But for him to deal with it within his own family and to have to share that story with the world, the tabloids and whatnot, it's going to be very, very difficult."  "It's not really our business but because of his position in the golf world, he should have spoken out earlier to address the public and then get it behind him," student and mother Laura Maggay told Reuters.

"I really feel bad for the family but how I feel about Tiger is maybe a little bit different today than it was a week ago.

"I also feel it might have been a good idea for him just to show up here this week. I understand why he doesn't want to but this is his golf tournament. A lot of people look up to him."

Anna Buesgens, a friend of Maggay's, also said she felt bad for Woods's family, because they were "getting pressed into it when they don't want to be."

"But when you are being paid $100 million a year, you can't expect to have as much privacy as everyone else."

Although Woods finally issued an apology to his family on Wednesday for his "transgressions", media experts believe the game's biggest drawcard has been too slow to react to developments and needs to reveal more of his human side.

"Woods must take control of the story as a sheer business necessity," Michael Cherenson, chief executive of the Public Relations Society of America,

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