Tiger Woods 
Tiger favored to win Masters
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
By Joe Logan

Less than four hours after Tiger Woods announced he is returning to golf at the Masters, he is the runaway favorite to win his fifth green jacket at the UK’s premier sports book, Ladbroke’s.


As of Tuesday afternoon, Tiger is the 3-1 favorite, ahead of Phil Mickelson (7-1), Ernie Els (14-1) and Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker (both 16-1).

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Steve[3/16/2010 4:33:15 PM]
Heíll probably miss the cut.

Magnolia Lane, Augusta National GC 
The Masters and Tigerís ticking media bomb
Sunday, March 14, 2010
By Joe Logan

So it’s not just me who thinks this talk of Tiger making his big return at the Masters is crazy.


Nice guy Steve Stricker, who is a friend of Tiger’s, says as much here.  And now comes a column echoing that sentiment from Scott Michaux, straight out of the hometown Augusta Chronicle.


Michaux’s angle is that Tiger’s Return would drown out and all other stories at the Masters.  He’s right, it would, and that is absolutely the last thing Augusta National Golf Club wants.


The Masters is unlike any other tournament on the circuit.  It’s like going to visit at your creepy old great aunt’s house, where everything is pretty and nice and has a place but where you’re afraid to sit on the furniture or make too much noise or track mud on the carpet.  You’re glad when the visit is over, but not nearly as glad as your creepy old great aunt.


The thing is, Tiger knows this.  So does his agent, Mark Steinberg.  And nobody knows it better than Tiger’s chief PR guy, Glenn Greenspan, former longtime PR guy for Augusta National and the Masters, until he hired was hired away by Tiger’s company about two years ago.


Knowing full well that Augusta National does not want Tiger’s PR fiasco dumped in the middle of their annual rite of spring, I’ve got to believe that there will be some kind of "media opportunity" before the Masters.


Given the late date, we’re down to the Tavistock Cup, the Arnold Palmer Invitational or maybe some kind of sudden appearance on Oprah’s couch.  But I’m telling you, if he Tiger rolls down Magnolia Lane without having diffused the media heat a little, he will be the only four-time winner in the history of the Masters who is about as welcome as four days of rain.



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Eddie V.[3/20/2010 8:11:20 PM]
I went to the Masters a couple of years ago. Did you know they wonít let you walk down Magnolia Lane?
Eddie V.[3/20/2010 8:11:20 PM]
I went to the Masters a couple of years ago. Did you know they wonít let you walk down Magnolia Lane?

Talk of Tiger returning at Masters is surprising
Friday, March 12, 2010
By Joe Logan

If the rumors are correct, if Tiger Woods truly plans to make his grand reappearance at the Masters, we could be in for quite a drama.


If you missed it yesterday, Camp Tiger confirmed they had hired former Bush 43 mouthpiece Ari Fleischer, now a PR crisis management consultant, to advise him on buffing up his image and smoothing his reentry into golf.


Frankly, I find talk of Tiger returning at Masters a little surprising.  Sure, it’s the first major of the year, and CBS would kill for the incredible ratings bump.  But the kind of media-frenzy spectacle that Tiger is going to create wherever he returns is the last thing the stodgy old Augusta National Golf Club wants – not at their precious tournament.  They prefer blooming azaleas and that soft tinkling piano music.


Never mind the tabloid media – National Enquirer, TMZ, Entertainment Tonight -- because Augusta National would never allow a single one of them set foot inside the tall hedges of holy golfing ground.  But Tiger and Augusta National would have their hands full just handling the mainstream media and golfing press.   


The media landscape for Tiger has changed.  If he thinks he can hold a press conference  -- a real press conference – and refuse to take questions on, you know, sensitive topics, he would quickly have a media mutiny on his hands.   The Golf Writers Association of America boycotted his recent televised apology for just that reason, and I have no doubt many of writers would storm out at the first hint of an overly-controlled press conference. 


To say nothing of the fact that Augusta National wants no part of that, either.  Augusta National has a good relationship with the media, which it doesn’t want to destroy, not even for Tiger.  And given the average age of club members (old) and their world view (conservative), it’s not unfair to assume they’d rather see Tiger to take his lumps somewhere else.

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Steve[3/13/2010 6:38:20 AM]
From what I understand, since Tiger doesnít have to commit by Friday of the week before as he would in a PGAT event, he could just show up and play in The Masters. Of course, he or his agent/spokesperson could make an announcement before then. The Masters is basically a controlled environment,isnít it? The Tavistock Cup is also a controlled environment-limited gallery, limited press. He just might play there as a warm up.

John Daly before loud pants 
John Daly is a jackass
Thursday, March 4, 2010
By Joe Logan

It’s official as far as I’m concerned: John Daly is a complete jackass.


He earned that distinction as of late Tuesday night, when he became so annoyed that the Florida Times-Union newspaper in Jacksonville revealed the ugly details of the PGA Tour’s 456-page dossier on Daly.


What did the dossier show?  Over the course of his wild-ride career Daly has been suspended five times, placed on probation six times, ordered to rehab seven times, cited for "unprofessional conduct" 11 times, cited for "not giving his best effort" in tournaments 21 times and fined nearly $100,000.


Outraged, Daly’s response was to call the reporter who wrote the story, Garry Smits, a "jerk" on Twitter.  He also gave out the reporter’s cell phone number and urged his fans to "CALL & FLOOD his line & let’s tell him how WE feel."


In a second tweet, Daly wrote, "To me, this isn’t journalism, it’s paparazzi-like gossip."


By Wednesday afternoon about 100 of Daly’s fans had taken the bait and called Smits’ phone.  "His fans are very unhappy," Smits told the AP.


I happen to know Smits pretty well, and I would not describe him a jerk at all.  He will talk your ear off, but he is not a jerk.  What he is, is one of the hardest-working and most prolific golf writers around.  Every year, when The Players Championship comes to the Jacksonville area, Smits almost single-handedly turns out a special section every day.


Knowing a little something about how the newspaper business works, I also doubt that Smits wrote the about Daly out of spite; my guess is he wrote it because his editors told him to. That, and the fact that the dossier contains so many juicy details that it is indeed newsworthy.

PGA Tour dossiers are normally kept quite secret; in fact, the Tour is the only major pro sports league that doesn’t reveal when a player has been fined or suspended.  The only way the dossier fell into Smits is because Daly is had sued the paper for libel over a column written by a long-gone columnist. The dossier was part of the public court record.


On Wednesday, the Golf Writers Association of America formerly asked PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem to suspend Daly for his attack on Smits.  No word yet what, if action, Finchem will take.


Fact is, Daly who has had had a Tour card since 2006,  surviving on sponsor’s exemptions.


Daly, the once-likeable, mullet-wearing, redneck-to-riches story, can’t seem to stop himself from writing more bad stanzas to his sad country song. 



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Bill[3/5/2010 4:42:11 AM]
I agree. JD used to be a good guy. Now heís a dick.

John Daly being John Daly 
Please stop Being John Daly
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
By Joe Logan

There was a time three or four crack-ups ago when it was fun and easy to be a fan of John Daly.


The man had more demons than a haunted house, but boy, did he have talent.  Daly was the priceless original of the new-generation of long-bombers, wrapping his driver three-quarters of the way around his then-bloated body to clobber tee shots 340 yards shots.  More remarkably, when it came to chipping and putting, this enormous heap of a man had perhaps the softest hands in the game.


Oh, the talent he had, the gift, the potential.


But somewhere along the line – was it the third trip to rehab, the on-course meltdowns, the fights in the fast food parking lot? – rooting for Big John to get his act together became an exercise in futility and frustration.  I finally gave up on him.  A lot of people gave up on him, including the PGA Tour.


So it was with a wary eye that I previewed the latest Golf Channel reality show, Being John Daly, which premiers tonight at 9 p.m.  Only the hardest core Daly fans will make it through this 30-minute downer, which is scheduled to continue to document his 2010 comeback, such as it is, in subsequent episodes in the same timeslot.


"He is on a mission, crusade, to regain control of a life out of control," intones the narrator.


How about Mission Impossible.


Produced by the Golf Channel, Being John Daly  is a laudable effort by the network to give us more of the kind of original programming we won’t get anywhere else.  And they make no attempt to sugar-coat the reality that is Daly.


Yes, you get the present-day slimmed-down, loud-pants-wearing Daly, but you also get plenty of his train wreck years.  (Remember the particularly depressing sight of him being escorted off a golf course after some kind of mid-round breakdown, shivering, wrapped up in a jacket that looked more like a straight-jacket? 


Who knows how long Being John Daly will actually last.  After he embarrassed himself at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, shooting 79-71 to miss the cut by a mile, he told the producers of the new show he was bagging it, quitting golf.  What was the point?


Daly thought better of it, no doubt when he remembered his own personal Ex-wives Club, and quickly returned to golf.  He missed the cut at Pebble Beach, where it’s hard to know whether he was competing as a professional golfer or as freak-show celebrity.  Daly made his first cut (T-67, $7,308) of the year at the Mayakoba Golf Championship, when the game biggest stars were at the Accenture Match Play Championship.


Watching Being John Daly is like watching a fight the ref ought to stop.

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Backlash to Tigerís apology is baffling
Monday, February 22, 2010
By Joe Logan

During 35 years in the news business, I have been blown off, disrespected, misled and flat-out lied to by small-town public officials, cops, career politicians, movie stars, best-selling authors, coaches and athletes from a variety sports and bosses in my own newsrooms.


Point is, I like to think I have to bow to no man when it comes to being a cynic.


But after reading and listening to some of the I-ain't-buying-it backlash directed at Tiger Woods' public apology this past Friday, cynically speaking, I feel like a rube, a naive babe in the woods.


They are all over the internet.  Bill Simmons at, Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post, Stephen A. Smith in the Philadelphia Inquirer, John Hopkins in the Times of London, just to name a few.  There are plenty more where they from, each one meaner and more skeptical than the other.


I don’t get it.  Me, I watched Tiger for those 13½ minutes and could not stop thinking about how shamed, humiliated and broken he appeared.  Gone was the confident, cocky golfer who was always so full of himself in the hundreds of press conferences and interviews of his I sat through. I saw no hint of defiance in his eyes.  They appeared dull and lifeless, his strength and spirit sapped.


For such a proud man, I could not imagine the humiliation of having to stand before you, me, his mom and the world and admit, essentially, that he was a no good, lyin’ fraud – anything but the image of invulnerable, impenetrable perfection he projected for so long.


I agree totally with the prevailing observation that he seemed nervous, stilted, over-prepared and over-rehearsed, right down to the well-timed pauses and glances into the camera for dramatic effort.


Was he coached?  You bet.  Was he wooden and awkward?  Yes, painfully so.


But how anyone can say that his confession was disingenuous or not from the heart – whatever is left of Tiger’s heart – is beyond me.  How do they know that?  What could they see that I couldn’t see? 


I don’t mean to be soft on Tiger.  Because of his peerless abilities and accomplishments on the golf course, he has been allowed to behave like an entitled, arrogant ass for too long. This mess is entirely of his own making, and he deserves every bit of the misery he has caused himself.


For that matter, add me to the list of folks who think he and his people have bungled this disaster from the beginning, trying to control this like he has controlled everything else.  He only compounded his problems by waiting so long to show his face and, once he finally did, he could have done without the gratuitous reminders of the good work his foundation does or his little lecture to the media.


His problem is not the media in general, by the way, it’s the tabloids and celebrity websites, who are joyously feasting on Tiger like he was some hapless wildebeest they chased down on the African plain.  How a man who has been in the public eye and dealt with the media for so long can be so oblivious to their needs, wants and relentless determination is inconceivable.


Tiger’s announcement, orchestrated as it was, was boycotted by the Golf Writers Association of America, of which I am a long-time member.  Our beef was that the three hand-picked reporters who were invited by Tiger’s people would not be allowed to ask questions, thereby reducing them to mere props in his little one-act play. 


Thing is, before he was finished, Tiger said most of the things I thought he needed to say, and he answered most of the questions I had. I don’t think he owes us the seamier details and, frankly, I don’t want to hear them.


While I believe Tiger did himself some good in the PR department with his statement, I don’t think for a moment he has put sorry chapter behind him.  Not a chance.  When he returns to golf -- whenever and wherever that turns out to be – the reporters and the questions will be waiting.   The man who for so long dictated the terms of interviews will find a very changed media landscape.


Tiger is still the best golfer in the world, but we no longer have any illusions about who he is as a man.  For now, at least, when he says he is sorry, I am willing to take him at his word.  Like his wife says, the real proof will be in the way Tiger lives the rest of his life.

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BC[3/6/2010 8:22:21 PM]
I, too, thought I was about as cynical as anyone could get. And yet there I was buying into Tigerís apology. Actually, compared to the usual Mark McGuire-esque apologies to which we have become accustomed, I thought Tigerís was as real and raw as one could get. But when I read the writers you mentioned and others, I felt like a chump, a naif, a rube. Now, though, I hear heís hitting balls and getting ready for the Tavistock Cup and The Masters. If that happens, I guess, that anyone who bought Tigerís apology really is a chump, a naif, and a rube.

Itís a start
Friday, February 19, 2010
By Joe Logan

The Tiger Woods that stood before us for 13 minutes today was shamed, humbled shell of his former self.   He needed to be, and he was.


Although Tiger’s apology to his wife Elin, their kids, his mother Tida, his friends, extended family, sponsors and fans was long in coming – too long – it felt genuine and sincere, and Tiger, emotional at times, had a well-earned tear in the corner of his eye.


"I was unfaithful.  I had affairs.  I cheated.  What I did was unacceptable, and I am the only person to blame," he said, framing the problem perfectly.


It was good to hear Tiger concede that "fame and wealth" made him feel that the rules of life that apply to the rest of us didn’t apply to him.  It was good to hear him admit that there is nobody to blame but himself for the mess he is in.


There was a complete absence of arrogance, which was refreshing coming from a man known for just that.  In fact, no matter what you think of what he did, you’d have to be as cold-hearted and cynical as they come not to be able to musteer a little compassion after that performance.


Of course,  as Tiger himself said, he can talk the talk, but now he’s got to walk the walk.  "As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words," he said.  "It will come from my behavior over time."


If I had to nitpick, I’d say at first he seemed, well, a little stiff and wooden, no doubt as a result of nerves and embarrassment; he seemed a little more at ease once he looked up and spoke directly into the camera.  I could have done without the lecture to the media, considering it is a very small segment of the tabloid and gossip media that has been giving him fits.


Tiger is kidding himself if he thinks he’s not going to eventually have to stand before the media and answer questions.


But over all, Tiger Woods did himself a world of public relations good today.  Now, let’s see if he really means it.

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