Tuesday, June 8, 2010

VERITAS: FIRST DOWN - TIGER WOODS STAGES A COMEBACK

This week's perspective from Joe Chidley:

I’m not sure this qualifies as a touchdown per se - it’s more of an update on a developing communications story. But in this correspondent’s opinion, the rehabilitation of Tiger Woods’ tarnished image got a boost from the nature of his appearance at the Skins Game at Muirfield Village in Ohio, which took place the Wednesday before the PGA tournament proper began. Playing alongside a hand-picked cast of rivals (Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els), upstarts (Rory McIlroy) and at least one legend (Jack Nicklaus, who also designed the course), Woods looked to be relaxed and enjoying the game – he smiled more than once and cracked a few jokes. Maybe that was because he was playing better than in his previous outings. Or maybe he just liked the laid-back atmosphere of the skins format. Or maybe he was trying to show the world that he’s moving on, enjoying the game he has dominated for so long, and more or less saying “please let’s concentrate on the golf for a change.” Taking part in the informal competition was smart in the first place: it put Tiger firmly in the company of golf’s glorious past (Nicklaus) and promising future (McIlroy). In other words, it helped secure his status as part of the game’s elite. The fact the non-golf press barely paid attention to his Skins appearance suggests that the media attention has moved on. Perhaps not accidentally, the very next day, EA Sports began airing a commercial for the next iteration of its best-selling Tiger Woods Golf video game, which shows Woods smiling and having fun along with the likes of John Madden. Presentation note: if you’re trying to make people stop focusing on the negative, look and act like you’re focusing on the positive. First Down, Tiger.

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