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Online chat: Tiger faces the media

April 2nd, 2010
01:33 PM ET

As Tiger Woods prepares his return to the game of golf at the Masters tournament, the golfer decided that he would finally face the public and answer questions from members of the press during an open media call.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/02/tiger.blog.jpg
caption="Will Tiger Woods recover?"]

In his first news conference since the scandal broke, Tiger Woods said Monday that the six weeks he spent in rehab for sex addiction changed him.

"I was in there for 45 days, and it was to take a hard look at myself - and I did," he told reporters at the Augusta National Golf Club as he prepares to return to golf at the Masters. "And I've come out better - certainly a much better person for it than I was going in."

Woods also indicated that he hopes to woo back sponsors who have left him in droves.

CNN's Max Foster hosted an online chat during the press conference and was joined by "The Times" sports columnist, Matthew Syed.

Here's a look at how the chat went.

Posted by ,
Filed under:  General
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. philcnn

    Thanks for joining our live web chat on TIger Woods returning back to the center stage of golf, We'll be joined by CNN anchor Max Foster and Times sports columnist Matthew Syed. Feel free to start the debate!

    April 5, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  2. JP

    I m not a fum of golf, I m a fun of internet and I like the way internet has covered Tiger Woods stories up to now and I just enjoy that. I wish Tiger all the Best.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  3. Ali M. Al Jazzaf

    I believe that Mr. Woods is a great player on earth, and he will come back as Tiger, fans will support him because of his performance on the Masters 2010 and he will win the green jacket again and his career will boost more than ever. Go Tiger

    Ali M. Al-Jazzaf
    Managing Director
    Golf Me – Middle East

    April 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  4. maxfoster

    Hi there. Press conference due to start any moment. Keep it on CNN to find out what Tiger has to say then have your say on this page...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  5. maxfoster

    Tiger says he has had a great day and been 'blown away' by the reception.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  6. Axel

    Do you think Tiger can leave this behind him? Or will he explore the night clubs in Augusta during his spare time?

    Anyway, he seems like a guy who knows how to have fun.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  7. Sinead O'Connor

    He looks pretty relaxed and has talked about how he felt welcomed by the galleries. Interesting that he has also kind of apologised to his fellow players for the many questions they have had to endure about Woods...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  8. maxfoster

    A lot has happened in the past few months. He says he has missed the game and other golfers.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  9. maxfoster

    Asked why he didn't speak to the police or the media after the accident. He said he was just following the advice he was given and did everything to the letter of the law.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  10. Sinead O'Connor

    Good question about his initial injuries. We do not yet know how he sustained them however...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  11. John

    For the golf experts: how will so much time away from golf affect Tiger's performance at the Masters?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  12. Arshad

    Tiger's personal life has nothing to do with his excellence in the Game of Golf.I think media should give him and his family space and cover how he does in Masters 2010 so that he can keep going.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  13. Gerdwin Lammers

    Hi there!

    In my opinion Mr. Woods has nothing to explain to the world, or to journalism in particular, at all.
    The media hunger has gone over the limits. Whatever somebody is doing is something between him/her and the direct involved.
    It is none of ‘our’ business.

    If the guy can play good golf or tennis then that’s fine. If whatever he/she does affects his/her carreer and or finance, then fine as well. It is their problem. Not ours.

    Why should we care what they are doing at night, if they do or don’t wear underwear, if they are straight or gay.
    Why must all be public?
    Because ‘we’ have 24/7 empty spaces to fill on internet, newspapers, tv stations, radio?
    It has gone over the limit.

    Gerdwin Lammers

    April 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  14. maxfoster

    The constant harrassment to his family and their being badgered has been tough. It's been hard for his family to heal.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  15. Sinead O'Connor

    He says he will turn down his negative outburts and, by implication, his positive outbursts. This is a pity. Seeing Woods in full flow, pumping his fists, is one of the great sights in sports...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  16. John

    And for Matthew: what precedent is there for an athlete dealing with such an emotional, public scandal and returning to the game relatively quickly? I can't think of any off the top of my head?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  17. maxfoster

    It doesn't look controlled. The reporters are being allowed to ask anything and he is giving full answers.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  18. Mathieu Hoeberigs

    As a fan of Tiger and a sporting coach for more tha 40 years I advice Tiger to remember how it all began: focus on the game of golf as a professiononal. Leave most of (the) other stuff to other professionals.
    You do not have to do everything always yourself.

    Wishing you a great return.


    April 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  19. Sinead O'Connor

    Great question about the notorious doctor who came to his home. He states that the treatment was purely therapeutic, not performance enhancing...Some great detail on his treatments..

    April 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  20. maxfoster

    It felt great that the fans wanted to see him play again, he says.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  21. Sinead O'Connor

    John – can't think of a direct precedent – that is why Woods's return is so deeply fascinating in terms of the psychological dynamics...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  22. maxfoster

    He was asked, can he keep his competitive edge? He responded by saying hearing cheering fans was incredible.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  23. Omar Haleem

    Does'nt matter wether he wins or loses, as long as he keeps going on and stay's connected with his family he will be alright. It could have been worse, If he keeps his family together and stays focussed on his game that's as good as it gets, wish him all the best.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  24. John

    Wow. A discussion of Ambien at a press conference at the Masters. That must be a first.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  25. Rafael Fortich

    To all Tiger Woods' critics,

    "For anyone who has no sin, can cast the first stone."

    April 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  26. maxfoster

    Asked about whether he took prescription drugs, he said he had taken them. He referred to his knee operations and his torn achilles. He took them when his dad was sick then died to help him sleep.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  27. Sinead O'Connor

    Very honest answer about taking drugs for pain relief and in order to sleep following his father's death.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  28. maxfoster

    He said his knee is now strong and explosive.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  29. William

    anybody know what these journalists had to promise not to ask, if anything, to get access to the press conference???

    April 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  30. Sinead O'Connor

    He feels he has improved as a person because of his rehab. But he was not candid about what he was seeking rehab for...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  31. Gill Leo

    Please lets get on with golf – his sponsors can deal with these issues but enough is enough.

    There is too much public appetite for things that should be private to Woods and his family.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  32. Ziningi

    I'd like to understand why he cheated on his wife, I mean what promted him to do it, was she not enough for him?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  33. maxfoster

    He is still receiving treament. He says the way he was thinking was not correct. He was rationalising and in total denial at times. He lied to himself and to others. He realised that after he started going to treatment.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  34. Sinead O'Connor

    Claims that he would have been even better as a golfer had he not had the affairs. He talks about his religious convictions, too, and that they are important to him. A scary thought that his golf could have been even better!

    April 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  35. Bill

    Max or Matt... as journalists.. why do you think so much attention is being put on Tiger and everything about him?? DOn't you think there are better things to talk about?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  36. John

    I agree with you, Gill. I want to hear about what he's being doing to get ready under such crazy circumstances.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  37. Sinead O'Connor

    Says he had not intention of playing the Masters when he gave his statement. But he implies that playing golf has been redemptive...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  38. Susan B

    He's a great gofler – who cares if he cheats! I don't!! Everyone cheats.. why do we care about this so much?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  39. maxfoster

    Did he mean it when he implied he might not come back to golf in February? He said that is what he meant at the time. But later he was inching to play again and the more he played the more he wanted to come back. But he has not come back until now because he was not ready. He has a lot of support from his family in that decision.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  40. maxfoster

    Going into treament/rehab after Christmas was hard because he missed his son's first birthday. He vowed he would never miss another one after that. He will regret it for the rest of his life.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  41. Mallory Kydd, Journalist

    He seems sincere.

    Do you think people are ready to forgive? Will he continue to be the butt of jokes? Will he relapse?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  42. maxfoster

    Do you think Tiger is coming across differently in this appearance compared with the others?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  43. Sinead O'Connor

    Woods very evasive on whether his inside team were aware of his indiscretions...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  44. Kevin K

    I can't wait till he comes back!!! Matt – do you think he'll win?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  45. William

    I'm in the united states and i wonder how this story is internationally. i hear lots of non-US accents among the reporters. are people around the world interested in Tiger?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  46. philcnn

    Hi WIlliam – well I'm writing and watching from London and people do seem to be quite interested in Tiger Woods. I think he's one of those people that has global appeal so a return like this is something that is being closely watched

    April 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  47. maxfoster

    How did you fool so many people so long?, he was asked. He said he fooled himself and lied to people. He rationalised and lied to himself. When you strip all that away you start realising what you have done and that is pretty brutal, he says. He said he takes full responsibility.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  48. Sinead O'Connor

    Clearly misses the guidance of his father..

    April 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  49. John

    Max, I think this is definitely very different from his appearance at that press conference a few weeks back. He's much less scripted and much more genuine, I think.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  50. maxfoster

    Do you think he can come back and win after this appearance?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  51. philcnn

    Mallory – I guess we only have to wat and see if people are ready to forgive him, but judging from the reaction when Tiger was on the course during practice, it seems like fans are ready to forgive and let go. Tiger got lots of claps and yells of support from the practice video so at least from Augusta it seems like fans are behind him

    April 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  52. John

    I wonder that too, Kevin... Matt, are the "experts" giving Tiger much of a chance at the Masters? I don't know much about the field, to be honest.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  53. maxfoster

    Going forward I need to be a better man than I was before, he says. If I win championships along the way then so be it but along the way I want to help more people.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  54. Beker

    We all know that we are human animals and can commit some mistakes in our life. Hence, we should forgive him so that he can come back to his routine life. Don not forget that other very popular individuals have done same(president Clinton for eg)

    April 5, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  55. Sinead O'Connor

    Refused to answer what role his wife played in his injuries, merely citing the police report...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  56. maxfoster

    He dismissed a question about drugs being involved in the car incident.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  57. maxfoster

    He said he understand why sponsors dropped him. He says he hopes he can prove that moving forward that he is a worthy investment.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  58. Sinead O'Connor

    Makes a direct appeal to future sponsors. Almost like a pitch, arguing he can help build markets for them..

    April 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  59. Mathieu Hoeberigs

    And concerning the family : wish them good luck as well. Here also wisdom and professional guidance of experts on systematic dynamics in private life and the public life are needed.The media and certainly individul journalists should behave and limit themselves; and not use or even abuse the event and what happened for their own glory in media or in public in general. Self- censure and modesty would in general lead to improvement of the quality and outcome of any "public" discussion on important events.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  60. William

    He'll come back. People will love him again, despite all this. But they'll still make fun of him. Bill Clinton is a good example of this.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  61. maxfoster

    He was asked what support he got from fans and peers. Fans were incredible and peers were great.. so many hugs. He was surprised about that.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  62. William

    Wow... who would've thought they'd ever see Tiger Woods pitching himself to sponsors.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  63. maxfoster

    He did not hold this press conference in December because he was not ready and not in January because he was in rehab.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  64. Sinead O'Connor

    Says he would like to play in the Ryder Cup. Also says he is looking forward to the first tee, and that he is enjoying golf. Again, the idea of golf as redemption...

    April 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  65. philcnn

    What do you guys think? Do you think Tiger's winning people over with what he's saying?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  66. William

    I don't know, Phil, but it's definitely his best, most genuine attempt so far.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  67. maxfoster

    That's it! How do you think it went?

    April 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  68. John

    I was surprised at how different this appearance seemed from his last press conference. He seemed more humble this time, somehow.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  69. Sug

    Well it's been confirmed, Tigers a human being. Now let's watch some great golf and take our minds off the economy, unemployment and wars.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  70. Mathieu Hoeberigs

    To Matthew and Phil: with your support and concentrating on the game of golf he will overcome and have a great come-back.....has he been away at all? And yes he will winn people the wy he is doing and reacting! Give him the support he merits as golfer.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm |