Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel has written a thoughtful post on Tiger Woods’ post-round interview on Sunday at the Masters.
My reaction to Woods’ uncivil post-round interviews is similar. Since his return from his scandal-induced absence a year ago, I don’t think Woods has turned down any television interviews after his rounds. Apparently, either he or his handlers, or both, feel that would be bad for his image. But, to put it mildly, he’s doing his image no favor with his snippy interviews. For the sake of his image, he would be better off declining them.
Woods is the most intense competitor in golf. In the first moments when he walks off the course, especially in a major, he is in that mode. At last year’s Masters, when we would have liked to hear him tell interviewer Peter Kostis how nice it was to be back, all Tiger could spit out was how ticked off he was that he didn’t win. CBS took Kostis off the case this year, but Woods wasn’t any more accommodating with Bill Macatee.
Perhaps the questions were phrased a bit awkwardly, but Woods undoubtedly knew the gist of what Macatee, and the television audience, wanted to know. Instead of providing that, he gave clipped answers focusing solely on the specific question, and came off as thoroughly ungracious. What we’re getting is the real, unadulterated Tiger at raw moments, and it’s not doing either side any good.
With print media, players have been known to ask for a few minutes to calm down and gather themselves before an interview. After doing so, they are usually fine. It’s understandable that television would want a greenside interview in light of the immediacy of that medium. But if they don’t want to wait, no interview would be better than what we’ve been getting.
Of course, even after a cooling-off period, Woods isn’t a great interview. But that’s because he simply doesn’t want to give any revealing answers. At least he’s not impolite then. On second thought, it really isn’t very polite to go out of your way to not answer a question. Anyway, he’s more civil about it when he’s not walking off the 18th green.
One thing is certain. When it comes to interviews, Woods is the equivalent of 18 majors behind Jack Nicklaus.