Tiger Woods to Hold First Press Conference at Masters

Arnold Palmer advises Tiger: man up to media

By Greg Wilson and Tamer El-Ghobashy
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 1:54 PM CDT
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Tiger Woods' Life and Times

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Woods was named Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press on Dec. 16 despite his then-burgeoning scandal.The ill-timed honor was bestowed upon the fallen athlete for his 64 wins this decade.

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Tiger Woods will take questions from the media a day before he set to make his return to golf at the Masters in April, ESPN.com reported.

The news conference, announced in an interview schedule released by Augusta National, marks the first time in more than four months that the battered golfer will answer questions in front of a group of journalists in an open forum. Since admitting to several extra-marital affairs, Woods has only sat down for two short interviews.

Earlier Wednesday, golf legend Arnold Palmer said Woods needs to take questions until the media runs out of them.

"I suppose the best thing he could do would be open up and just let you guys shoot at him," Arnold Palmer told reporters Wednesday at Bay Hill in Orlando. "And that's just my thought."

The 80-year-old legend, who spoke to media including The Associated Press before the Arnold Palmer Invitational pro-am, was always known for his close bond with fans and easy manner with the press. Palmer said he wished Woods, who has won his tournament six times, was making his return from scandal there. But he said Woods told him personally of his decision to wait until next month's tourney at Augusta.

"He called me one evening and we had a conversation," Palmer said. "I wasn't in a position to hear him very well, so I asked him if he would call me the next morning just to confirm what he had said, and he did. And the situation was that he didn't feel his game was sharp enough to come and compete that soon, so he told me that he was not going to play. He would go to Augusta first."

Woods ducked out of sight for more than two months as a parade of women came forward to say they had trysts with him behind the back of his former Swedish model wife, Elin Nordegren. He resurfaced at a carefully-orchestrated press conference in February, copping to cheating on his wife, saying he was sorry and noting that he had been in some sort of treatment. Last weekend, he gave a pair of five minute interviews to handpicked reporters and apologized some more, but offered no real details about his personal turmoil.

Palmer said even if Woods won't face the media's glare, he will likely hear worse from hecklers, something the commander of Arnie's Army would not have relished in his day.

"It would probably bother me," Palmer said. "I'm a sensitive person by nature. I suppose if it happened often, I'd get used to it. But it's not something I would look forward to."

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