Players moved by Woods' contrition - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Players moved by Woods' contrition

Cink and Donald touched by world No 1's words but others refuse to be drawn

It was a bizarre situation here in Arizona yesterday which seemed completely fitting to the events which had taken place in Jacksonville. As the golfers went out to contest the third round of the WGC World Match Play Championship they were asked to comment about a golfer who has not even played for three months. A few of them shrugged and walked on, others had a stern "no comment", while some appeared to have been touched by Tiger Woods' televised statement.

"I was moved by how difficult it seemed to be for him," said the Open champion, Stewart Cink. "It sounds like it's part of the recovery or the healing process that he has to go through.

"I've got a couple of good friends that have gone through the alcohol abuse programme and similar steps are taken in the healing process where you have to make amends to the people you've hurt. You have to start the bridge to the other side and I think that's where Tiger is. It sounded heartfelt to me. Tiger's a tough guy that is going to, like he said, overcome this. I have no idea [when Woods will return], but he'll do it when it's his time."

When he does return Cink does not believe that the recent rumblings of resentment concerning Woods' selfishness will manifest themselves in the locker room. "I think he'll be received well by his fellow players. One thing we have to remember – we've all made mistakes and all sinned. And forgiveness is a huge part of the process."

Luke Donald was also struck by how genuine Woods appeared. "I think it was a sincere apology," he said prior to playing his fellow Englishman Oliver Wilson. "Obviously, he made it very clear that he wants the media to leave his family alone, which I kind of agree with. It seems like he is getting the care and the help that he needs and, hopefully, he'll be back on tour whenever he's better."

There is a strong evangelical element on the PGA Tour and it was inevitable that forgiveness would play a big role in the reaction. Ben Crane spoke for many of the game's Bible set when urging the public and media to show mercy. "One of the first things that came to my mind is one of my favourite stories in the Bible," he said. "It's about a woman who has sinned and been a prostitute and everyone brings her before Jesus and says, 'Shouldn't we stone her? Shouldn't we kill her?' Jesus says, 'Absolutely stone her. But you without sin be the one to cast the first stone'.

"I thought it was an amazing conference. I thought he was very humble. I think we all love him as a golfer and as a family man. We want to see what's best for him and I think everything he did is going to help him get back soon."

Mark O'Meara, a long-standing friend of Woods, was just as impressed. "Today was a step in the right direction," he said. "He's doing the right things. He's going to take his time and make the right decisions. Tiger's a very intelligent person. He's meant a lot to the game and he's meant a lot to me and my family. His actions will speak more than the words for how he conducts himself over the rest of his life."

O'Meara had no doubt Woods' show of emotion during the press conference was authentic. "I think he was very genuine, that's Tiger. Tiger is a very protected individual – he doesn't really show a lot of emotion a lot of times. We know what kind of champion he is on and off the golf course but this is a big battle he's fighting right now. He's going to show to the people he can be a champion off the course. I know I've said before I was disappointed about what happened – who wouldn't be? – but with disappointment comes hope. He asked for forgiveness and, of course, I'll give mine. I love the kid."

O'Meara was invited to join the gathering in the room at Sawgrass but chose to play a seniors' event instead. Notah Begay did elect to attend and witnessed nothing but sincerity. "It's tough to get any man in America just to go to marriage counselling, let alone go into a 45-day rehabilitation," said the PGA Tour pro who has known Tiger since his college days. "Plus he's going back tomorrow, and that tells me that he's trying to learn about the issues... to learn about the thought processes that caused the actions, so that he can cut them off next time."

John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise

Top conservatoire offers ‘groundbreaking’ arts degree

Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week