Tiger had the interview by the tail
One of the many reasons why Tiger Woods has become the world's most dominant golfer is control. On the golf course, the man is always in control of the situation.
So it's not surprising that in his first interview since his fall from grace, he maintained that control the same way he controls a wedge from 60 yards.
As explained by Kelly Tilghman, the Golf Channel announcer anointed to be Tiger's conduit prior to his return to golf next month, there were no constraints on her regarding which questions she could ask and what territory she could cover. ``The only constraints were time," Tilghman told Rich Eisen Lerner after her five-minute interview with Woods.
Well, that's like George W. Bush agreeing to answer any and all questions on the invasion of Iraq -- at least, any and all questions you can ask in a minute.
Tilghman got a lot out of Woods and asked a lot of tough questions considering the constraints, but at no point did it appear that Tiger was surprised by any of her questions or caught off guard. He mouth an awful lot of recovery-talk phrases and did a whole lot of smiling for a guy who's been as Tilghman said ``a punch line" for the last few months.
What was obvious was that he was in control of the situation.
He answered questions, though not really.
On the reasons behind his serial infidelities (``I quit meditating, I quite being a Buddhist.") On what happened the night he crashed his car (``It's all in the police report.") As for how he and his wife Elin are dealing with the situation, ``we're working on it."
Even when Tilghman asked him how his late father would have dealt with him, Tiger barely blinked when he replied, ``I can't say it on air. He would have been very direct." It sounded like a well-rehearsed answer.
It was convincing for at least one person. Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee said he thought Tiger was sincere. ``I thought his eyes had water in them," he said.
Given what she had to work with, Tilghman did about as well as could be expected. There's not much you can do in five minutes.
And you got the feeling that's the way Tiger wanted it.