Fellow players express support for Woods

February 19, 2010

MARANA, Ariz. -- There was a lot of bobbing and weaving going on as the remaining 16 players in the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship began addressing Tiger Woods' statement issued from a podium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Tim Clark jokingly walked across the parking lot toward the gathering of cameras and journalists with his sweater over his head to disguise his identity. Paul Casey walked on past the scrum of media wearing earplugs. Ian Poulter said simply that he hadn't seen it and couldn't comment on it. Most of the players simply preferred to address the matter post match. Some, however, stopped briefly.

Luke Donald did a cameo for CBS television. "Well, I think it was a sincere apology," said Donald. "Obviously I think he made it very clear that he wants media to leave his family alone, which I kind of agree with. Hopefully, he'll get the help he needs and he'll be back on tour whenever he's better."

Ben Crane brought up the Bible. "One of my favorite stories in the Bible talks about a woman who has sinned. She's been a prostitute and everyone brings her before Jesus and says, shouldn't we stone her? Shouldn't we kill her for all these bad things that she's done? And Jesus says,, 'Yes, absolutely, stone her. But you without sin be the one to cast the first stone.' And, you know what, I thought it was an amazing conference. I thought Tiger was very humble. I think we all love him as a golfer and as a family man. And we want to see what's best for him and I think everything he did is going to help him get back soon."

In '08, Woods demolished Stewart Cink 8 and 7 in the finals of the Match Play Championship. Though Cink said he only heard bits and pieces of Woods' statement, some impressions came through. "I was moved by how difficult it seemed to be for him," said Cink. "But, it's a big part of the process to go through that difficulty and to face up to what's happened and especially the hurt that other people are feeling, his friends and family. From that point of view, I think it was a very important step for him to take. It sounds like it's part of the recovery or the healing process that he has to go through. I've got a couple of good friends at home that have gone through the alcohol abuse program with AA and similar steps are taken in the healing process where you have to make amends to the people you've hurt and you have to start the bridge to the other side. I think that's where Tiger is. From a guy that's done a lot of tough things in golf over the years, it was probably one of the most difficult things he's ever had to do. And it was something probably that's going to help him along the way of healing."

-- Jim Moriarty