124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

So, Tiger, why Friday?

February 18, 2010

So why has Tiger Woods chosen Friday, day three of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, to make his first public appearance since before Thanksgiving?

The most prominent theory, one even embraced by a few players, is that he's doing so as a form of payback for a company, Accenture, that was the first to sever its endorsement relationship with Woods. Woods' announcement on Wednesday and his statement on Friday will dominate at least three days of news, reducing news on the Accenture Match Play Championship to an afterthought.

However, his agent Mark Steinberg told the Associated Press that it was simply "a matter of timing." Could it have waited until Monday? "No," Steinberg told the AP.

So, if no other day would suffice, could that suggest that Woods intends to play the Waste Management Phoenix Open next week, given that he'd have to commit to playing by 5 pm. (EST) on Friday and couldn't delay making a statement until early next week?

That would seem highly unlikely, considering the tournament is notorious for having the rowdiest crowd in golf and one that wouldn't suppress its hostility in the likelihood it would have some for Woods.

It's yet another unanswered question on a growing list of them and one that won't grow shorter on Friday. Remember, Steinberg said no questions would be permitted.

UPDATE: The Arizona Republic is reporting that Waste Management Phoenix Open tournament chairman David Rauch has not ruled out the possibility of Woods playing there.

"Absolutely there's a possibility (he's coming here)," Rauch said. "The timing is curious. But would I try to handicap it for you? No. I'll certainly be watching tomorrow."

Rauch did tell the newspaper that he's had no contact with Woods or his representatives.

-- John Strege