Before Tiger comes back we've got a few questions for him, not that we expect any answers
SO HE'S coming back. Not this week or next week, but at the upcoming Masters "Toonamint". Despite his seemingly heavy hand on heart, deep sighs and teary eyes at last month's oh-so staged press conference, as tends to be the way of things where lots and lots of money is involved, "sooner" beats "later" yet again. But, before Tiger Woods gets down to the serious business of beating golfers on golf courses and re-booting his seriously dented bank balance, we have a few questions for the as-it-turns-out not-so-great man. More than a few, actually…but don't hold your breath waiting for any or even some answers.
1. Do you expect open resentment from any of your fellow players? Do you feel like you have let them down in any way?
2. Do you feel you have damaged golf's image over the last few months? You have already lost more than one corporate sponsorship and the PGA Tour is losing tournament sponsors. How much responsibility for that is down to you and your behaviour?
3. How hard will it be to not respond if/when you are heckled by a crowd? If/when that happens, will you ask for those responsible to be removed from the premises? Or do you feel that, having paid for their tickets, they have a right to openly express their opinions?
4. Will you play in the Open Championship at St Andrews in July? If not, why not?
5. Will you play in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor this year? If not, why not?
6. Your biggest edge over your competition has always been your mental strength under pressure. Has that been enhanced or diminished by what has happened over the last few months?
7. Why did you choose to see the infamous Dr Anthony Galea, who was arrested in October with a bag containing human growth hormone. Couldn't you have gone to any medical practitioner to get the treatment you needed?
8. When you come back will you sign any more autographs for fans? Or will you continue to virtually ignore the very people who have made you rich beyond imagination?
9. Will you give thoughtful, considered answers to thoughtful, considered questions? Or will you persist with glib platitudes?
10. Do you really expect us to believe that your mea culpa press conference was scheduled during the Accenture World Match Play for reasons other than sticking it to your former sponsors? What does that action say about your character, or lack of it?
11. Speaking of that press conference, how are we supposed to take anything you said that day – "I hope to play again this year" – seriously now that your comeback has been officially confirmed?
12. Ernie Els was outspokenly critical of both you and the timing of the above press conference. Will you confront him about that?
13. What will you say to your children when, a few years from now, they ask you what the hell you were thinking?
14. Before your recent press conference, had you ever before apologised for anything in your life?
15. Do you really know the first thing about course design? Or the second thing?
16. Why do you spit so much on the golf course? Isn't such a foul habit more than a little disgusting?
17. Why do you swear so much and so loudly on the course? Do you ever consider the fact that impressionable children will be watching and listening?
18. When, in a fit of pique after a poor shot, you bounced your club into the crowd during last November's Aussie Masters, narrowly missing the heads of more than one spectator, you didn't apologise either at the time or afterwards. Why not? Are you too important to say sorry to anyone?
19. Mention "sex addiction" to medical doctors (at least in this country) and they tend to laugh out loud at the very idea. Given that, how seriously should we take your supposed "rehabilitation"? Was it just another cynically manipulative ploy to appease the public and, more importantly, your various sponsors, past, present and future?
20. Could you tell those of us who have been arbitrarily fined for travelling at 37mph on an empty road how you managed to avoid talking to the Florida Highway Patrol in the wake of your "traffic accident"?
21. How motivated are you to win the Masters? Wouldn't it be the greatest put-down ever if you came back and beat your so-called competition right off the bat?
22. Do you think, as your friend Steve Stricker recently pointed out, that coming back at the Masters is just another example of your apparently innate selfishness in that the authorities at Augusta would surely have preferred the tournament to be the focus of attention rather than your not-so-good self?
23. What decided the timing of your comeback announcement? Weren't you tempted to keep stringing everyone along, just to underline the reality that you are the most powerful figure in golf?
24. Have you been making a list of those journalists who have been "kind" to you lately? And do you have another list, one for those who tend to ask awkward questions?
25. And finally, any chance of a one-on-one interview any time soon?