The news trucks are already lined up. The nearby Marriott has no vacancy as reporters mill about the lobby. The media has descended on the TPC Sawgrass golf course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., waiting to hear what Tiger Woods will say when he breaks his silence for the first time since his bizarre car accident on Nov. 27.
In recent days, the speculation surrounding the news conference has mounted. Woods was photographed on Wednesday, jogging near his mansion without his wedding ring. And on Thursday afternoon, a North Carolina radio station released a “leaked” copy of Tiger’s statement, but did not specify its origin. Meanwhile, Elin Woods has been photographed – without her wedding ring – as she picked up 2-year-old daughter Sam Alexis from preschool.
Although news reports say that Elin will not attend Friday’s news conference, Tiger’s team has not been specific, saying only that he will be speaking to “a small group of friends, colleagues and close associates” who will support Tiger as he publicly apologizes for his actions and talks about his future plans.
According to a letter from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem obtained Thursday by the Associated Press, Woods is to return to therapy after his appearance. The golfer was said to have entered The Meadows, a clinic in Wickenburg, Ariz., sometime around the Christmas holidays. The clinic specializes in substance abuse, as well as compulsive disorders such as gambling or sex addiction.
Ever since the scandal first broke, Woods, 34, has laid low, keeping the world guessing as to his whereabouts. He was rumored to be everywhere from New York to Africa, but no one could capture the elusive Tiger. He surfaced in Orlando earlier this week.
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Mystery to Be Solved, Partially
At least some of the mystery should finally end at 11 a.m. Friday, when Woods speaks from the clubhouse of TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour. Three wire services have been invited to cover his statement: the Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg. A handful of reporters from various golf magazines will also be admitted.
Like the rest of his life, the event will be tightly controlled: Woods will not answer any questions, which has sparked a new controversy. On Thursday, the Golf Writers Association of America announced that it planned to boycott Friday’s news conference.
As quoted in The New York Times, G.W.A.A. president Vartan Kupelian said, “To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question Woods goes against the grain of everything we believe.”