In a few hours Tiger Woods will, for the second time this year, bypass a pre-tournament press conference to tool around on the Internet and interact with friends. His first, rightfully nicknamed the hostage video, was Tiger reading, rather blandly, questions from fans while sitting on what appeared to be a set from Ikea.
On Tuesday, the interaction will take on another face as Tiger and Google+ have teamed up to give us some sort of social interaction that is live to all the golf fans across the world. And by doing this, he isn't going to show up and chat with the media before the Memorial, a tournament he's won four times.
And I do not care. One bit. I don't blame Tiger for skipping the press conference just like I don't blame media members for being upset that the most popular figure in the game won't sit around and act like he's answering questions.
Tiger Woods hasn't answered a question in years. He sits in front of cameras with that blank stare on his face and talks of his golf game and his swing and how close he is to being great again, but nothing is every groundbreaking. He isn't speaking of his personal life or his business or his future plans. He doesn't really talk about other players or his ever-changing golf swing or the fact that he doesn't win that much anymore.
And I know that Tiger's approach to press conferences could one day change the whole landscape to this in the golf world. Think about it; if you're Rory McIlroy, and you see that Tiger is never going to do another pre-tournament press conference, why would you? Sure, some people actually enjoy talking to the media (I'll wait for you to get back into your chair), but if I was a pro golfer and the most famous guy in our sport was bypassing an obligation for another means of chatting with the public, it wouldn't take me long to follow suit (think of this as golf's version of the Louis C.K. experiment).
I watched the 1999 U.S. Open a couple of weeks ago, and saw a much happier Tiger Woods strolling the fairways. He wasn't going to win that tournament, but he smiled at fans and looked like he generally was enjoying himself out on the golf course and was interested in the competition. It struck me as odd because that is so far from what Tiger looks like now when he's playing golf. He might still enjoy being in the moment and all that jazz, but when he plays bad golf he really looks like he hates what he's doing. I can relate to that. Playing bad golf sucks, simple as that, but it was fun to see a smiling Tiger Woods back in those days trying to get a leg up on history with a second major championship.
Tiger now would like to play the game and that's it. If he wants to interact with his fans instead of the media, I'm totally fine with that. If he doesn't want to talk to anyone at all, it won't hurt my feelings. This game of golf has always been an independent contractor-type situation, and Tiger can do whatever he wants whenever he wants and as long as he shows up and attempts to play solid golf at events, I'll be totally fine with that.
Nobody in this business is ever going to have a relationship with Woods now. He might as well try to get in better with his core group and not so much with the scribes that love to bash him.
Golf has and always will be Tiger's world. This is just another step in that direction.