British Media Lay Into Tiger Ahead of Open

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010  |  Updated 5:00 PM CDT
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Tiger Woods of the U.S. during a press conference prior to the British Open Golf Championship at St Andrews, Scotland, Tuesday, July 13, 2010.

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Tiger Woods may have changed his putter, but he isn’t out of the bunker just yet.

The world’s No. 1 golfer faced an new round of probing questions about his personal life and mental state Tuesday during his first news conference in the U.K. since a sex scandal.

More than half of the 34 questions directed at Woods in advance of this year’s British Open were unrelated to his chances at winning the tournament or the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, The Associated Press reported.

Instead, Woods was accused of disrespecting golf and probed on whether a rumored divorce with his wife was final.

"I'm not going to go into that," Woods said calmly about his relationship with Elin Nordengren.

Two reporters mentioned that Woods seemed “unhappy” or “upset” during a practice round at St. Andrews – prompting Woods to reply: “I was fine this morning. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Another question began this way: "[Golfer] Tom Watson has said you need to clean up your act on the golf course. He's gone on record. Many of us over the years have heard you use the F word, we've seen you spit on the course, and we've seen you throw tantrums like chucking your clubs around.”

“Are you willing to cut out all those tantrums this week and respect the home of golf?" Woods was asked.

"I'm trying to become a better player and a better person, yes," Woods said, steely-eyed.

One split the golfer had no trouble talking about was his decision to part ways with the Titleist putter he’s used for the last 11 years in favor of a Nike “Method” model for the tourney.

"I've always been tempted to change my putter on slower greens and I've always struggled when greens are really slow," Woods explained. "I've always felt more comfortable when the greens are quick."

The British Open begins Thursday.
 

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