It will be car-crash TV if Tiger has to face press

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The Independent Online

Tiger Woods has less than 48 hours to decide if he wants to face the world. If he is to play in this week's Chevron World Challenge in California, he will have little option but to give his traditional press conference, which is scheduled for Tuesday. The world No 1 will already be well aware that the American traffic police are not the only ones looking for answers.

However, whether Woods will oblige and allow the cameras to scrutinise the extent – and yes, nature – of his "facial lacerations" is just one item of conjecture in the ever-more confusing mystery of the Woods car crash. Yesterday, in Orlando, the 33-year-old was waiting for the Florida Highway Patrol to arrive to continue their investigations into the smash outside his home, which saw him plough into a fire hydrant and from there into a tree at 2.28am on Friday.

The internet rumour mill was in overdrive as it picked over the reports of Elin Nordegren – the mother of his two children, aged two and nine months – breaking through the rear window of his Cadillac with two of her husband's golf clubs before defying her petite frame to pull the hulking athlete out to safety.

Woods's concussion, of course, may be the perfect excuse for him to withdraw from this week's year-ender. If it was any regular-season event his absence would be likely, if not inevitable. But it is not nearly as simple as that. Woods is the host of the 16-man invitational in Thousand Oaks; it is a mainstay of his charitable foundations. It would be embarrassing if he did pull out, if only because he managed to play – and win – last year's US Open when plainly in agony with a knee injury and fractured fibia.

And even if Woods is unfit to tee it up, he would, in any normal circumstances, still turn up to shower his stardust on the tournament. Last year he gave a pre-event press conference at Sherwood Country Club, despite being sidelined from action as he recovered from his knee reconstruction. If Woods does opt to stay away, it will doubtless be taken as if he has something to hide.

What is certain is that if Woods does enter that media room, the awaiting throng will be bigger than for most majors. The galleries lining the fairways would likely swell just as much. In that sense, Woods would have done one hell of a job as the tournament promoter. Even for this spotlight-hogger, the focus would be unprecedented.