Tiger talk likely to discuss PGA Tour return

Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:27pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes - Analysis

WHISTLER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Now that Tiger Woods has set the scene for his first public appearance since his private life spectacularly unraveled in December, the golfing world is likely to learn when he will return to competition.

The American world number one, in hiding since admitting he cheated on his Swedish wife Elin, will address a small gathering of reporters in Florida on Friday.

According to his manager, Woods will apologize for his past behavior and discuss his plans for the future in a tightly controlled event.

The 14-time major champion, who has taken an indefinite break from the game since his stunning fall from grace, will not answer questions. The meeting will be televised.

For many critics, Woods is making the right move by appearing publicly before he returns to competition on the PGA Tour. Others believe he could have done better to appear in a television interview.

"Oprah (Winfrey) and ESPN would be two great forums for him," communications specialist Michael Gordon told Reuters. "Either way, he needs to speak publicly, be honest and apologize.

"By doing that, he can regain some of the control he's lost over his public image," said Gordon, chief executive of Group Gordon Strategic Communications in New York.

Robert Boland, professor of sports management at New York University, said it was important Woods return to competition as soon as possible.   Continued...