Tiger Woods treats a Q&A like he does his golf game. He shapes his shots.
That’s the Tiger way and we accept it because there’s not much choice. It’s not a criticism of arguably the best golfer ever, just an observation. The shields are definitely up with regard to any insight into the personality off the golf course.
Still, to get an audience of any kind with Tiger is a positive. So here are his responses to a series of questions sent to him through representatives at the Woods Foundation, which hosted a poker tourney last weekend at Mandalay Bay along with fellow icon Phil Hellmuth (last week’s Q&A) to raise money for charity.
What I take from Tiger’s answers is that they were “in the vicinity of the question.” In other words, he either talked around the questions or decided not to answer them directly.
Here’s the list as sent. Judge for yourself.
GT: Do you play poker and where did you first meet Phil Hellmuth?
TW: I do play poker. I haven’t met Phil but he has an awesome reputation. I’m excited he agreed to emcee our inaugural charity poker night.
GT: You haven’t played much golf professionally in Vegas. Do you plan to in the future?
TW: In 1996 I was lucky enough to win my first professional tournament in Las Vegas in a playoff with Davis Love III. It was an awesome win and one I will never forget.
GT: Why did you choose Vegas for Tiger Jam and not Orlando or the south Florida area?
TW: It’s a great city for this kind of event and the community has been so supportive of my Foundation over the years.
GT: You put so much work into your golf swing. Do you sometimes think of “Bubba golf” and just play?
TW: I was so happy for Bubba (Watson) and Angie after he won the Masters. He is a friend and good for golf.
GT: Do you feel your game is unfairly critiqued? Everyone goes through streaks of not winning.
TW: I try to just focus on my game, and being the best I can be on the course.
GT: It’s been suggested by some, including Brandel Chamblee, that you go back to Butch Harmon. Would that be realistic?
TW: I’m really happy with Sean (Foley).
GT: The first pro tourney you won was in Las Vegas. What are your memories of that victory?
TW: It was only my fifth start as a professional and I was so happy to win that early in my career.
GT: I am a big fan of your golf game and the passion you show. Do you enjoy golf as much now as when you first turned pro?
TW: Definitely. I always enjoy playing golf.
GT: I’ve purposely avoided asking any personal questions about your off the course affairs. But are you comfortable with how people perceive you now?
TW: I am focused on doing my best on the course, raising my kids and growing my Foundation.
GT: I like when you play events like Dubai and Shanghai. Will you play more of these tourneys?
TW: I’ve really enjoyed those events as well. I hope to go back in the future.
GT: Do you feel your toughest competition is the 2000 Tiger Woods, having to live up to those standards?
TW: I’m always trying to get better.
GT: Where are your favorite places in Las Vegas and why?
TW: We appreciate the partnership with MGM Resorts and Mandalay Bay. They have world class facilities and have been a great partner to us.
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