Woods still battling demons


CHARLOTTE, April 29 – Tiger Woods answered questions for 16 minutes on Wednesday but offered few new revelations of his private troubles other than that the paparazzi are still camped outside his gated community in Florida."There’s paparazzi everywhere, helicopters here and there, people driving by, paparazzi camping out in front of the gates," he said on the eve of the PGA Tour’s Quail Hollow Championship, his second tournament appearance, after the Masters, since revelations of his multiple marital infidelity became public last November.

Woods clearly was irked that he was criticized by some for attending a rock concert last week, rather than staying at home and working on repairing his marriage.

"I went to the (Nickelback) concert. A couple of the band members are friends of mine, and that’s why I went. I just had a great time and unfortunately I got criticized for seeing my friends.

"As far as golf-wise, I’ve been working on a few things from Augusta. I had five months off and I knew things weren’t going to be quite right.

"There were some things I didn’t like in my golf swing, so I started to work on that, simplify things a little bit, got everything more fine-tuned and I feel very comfortable."

He all but admitted, however, that he had behaved churlishly during a television interview immediately after this month’s Masters.

"Immediately after the event they asked me how did I feel about it and I wasn’t happy that I lost. But given a little time to reflect on it, it was an incredible week.

"I think it went as well as it could possibly have gone, and obviously I didn’t do what I needed to do on the weekend, but overall after not playing for that long and coming back and finishing fourth, I think that’s pretty reasonable.

"I’ve had a lot of struggles internally for a while now and that’s one of the reasons why it (playing golf) wasn’t that much fun. Even though I do it for a living, it’s still a game and it wasn’t that for a while."

On the golf course, Woods got a loud cheer when he was introduced on the first tee. The biggest applause came at the end of the pro-am Wednesday.

"I have to say, this feels a heck of a lot more normal than the Masters did," Woods said.

Woods’ appearance here this week suggests his life, on the course at least, is back to normal, but he says it’s premature to assume he will play his usual slate of tournaments this year.

"As far as my playing schedule, it’s kind of up in the air," he said. "I’m trying to get back to normalcy in that."

Wood has committed to next week’s Players Championship in Florida, as well as the US Open in June, and the AT and T National two weeks after that.

These are all tournaments he has generally played, injury permitting, which has led to speculation that it’s business as usual from now on.