Tiger's return talk of the Masters

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

AUGUSTA, GA (WTOC) - Tiger Woods, the four time Masters champion, talked with reporters Monday about his fall from grace, his family problems and his return to golf's greatest stage.

Woods pleaded with reporters to let he and his fellow golfers play without distractions.

Augusta National seemed to be the center of the free world Monday, even more than the usual Masters. Almost all the interviews were about Tiger Woods' return.

"We saw Tiger on 9 and 12 and the fans were cheering, yelling his name and it was neat," said Jenni Kinsey from Phoenix, Arizona.

"Tiger got an ovation everywhere he went, people clapping for him," said Gary Waldrop from Tupelo, Mississippi. "He was smiling."

Visitors didn't see any protestors outside of the normal attention-getters. Most seemed eager to forgive the issues that took him away from the game for months.

"What happened in his personal life is his personal life and we're not judge or jury," said Butch Gallop from Augusta, Georgia.

"Golf needs him but I think he needs golf more," said Julie Donegan from Austin, Texas. "He needs to get back to what he does well."

But that doesn't mean they would all excuse him from the white hot spotlight this week.

"Every bit of attention he's brought on himself so he's got to face that," said Samantha Young from Dublin, Georgia. "It'll be psychologically demanding on him."

But one fan said the media scrutiny served a local purpose.

"I want them to come here and spend money because they're not staying for free," said Bruce Dietz of Augusta, Georgia.

But most patrons just want to see golf and let Tiger put everything else behind him.

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