JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The only questions Tiger Woods fielded before his next tournament came from his fans.
Instead of a news conference before this weeks Wells Fargo Championship, Woods answered 19 questions Monday in a 15-minute video posted on his website. The questions were submitted through Facebook and Twitter.
The timing of the decision was peculiar. Woods is coming off his worst performance ever at the Masters, a tie for 40th in which he finished 15 shots behind and was roundly criticized for kicking his 9-iron in disgust after a poor tee shot on the par-3 16th hole in the second round.
Woods typically speaks to the media before every tournament. This time, he will not speak to reporters until his first round Thursday at Quail Hollow.
His agent, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press. He earlier told the Charlotte Observer that Woods trading the traditional media for social media was not in response to the criticism he received at the Masters.
The media will continue to have access to him, Steinberg said. This isnt anything more than a couple of times a year to interact with the fans. They deserve that. This isnt intended to make a statement.
Fans were told that he would answer questions about his next two tournaments – Quail Hollow and The Players Championship – although Woods took the question about how his performance changed from Bay Hill and Augusta. Another question was what he had been working on with swing coach Sean Foley since the Masters.
At the Masters, I was kind of struggling with my ball-striking a little bit, he said. Sean and I fixed it. It had to do with posture. My setup wasnt quite right, as well as my takeaway. I just needed to do hundreds of reps. Im getting dialed in.
This is believed to be the first time he has ever skipped his media obligations before the tournament.