Tiger's talents come unstuck in Leicester Square's virtual world

World No 1 took time out to launch new computer game yesterday. Mike Rowbottom was there

Passers-by in Leicester Square yesterday were offered the intriguing opportunity of becoming impromptu extras in Channel 4's T4 television show to be screened on Saturday featuring a well-known golfer.

Tiger Woods - for it was he - may have performed with extreme gallantry in the weekend's heavy US defeat in the Ryder Cup at the K Club, but one more trial lay ahead of him before he could return to America - a jaunty afternoon in the company of Vernon Kay, Ian Wright and Jodie Kidd in an event set up to promote the latest version of his computer golf game.

But the world's leading golfer, casually dressed in a mauve shirt studiously not tucked into jeans, which bore a small hole in the right knee subjected himself to an extra appearance punctuated by much joshing - "you've played this game before, haven't you?" - and frequent interruptions as the on-trend prog segued to exclusive clips of Badly Drawn Boy's latest offering and the next instalment of Boy Bands.

Kay, affable and leggy as ever, had a big question to ask Tiger: how did he manage to focus on his game so completely?

"Why can't you be focused for four or five hours?" Woods responded. "You have 19 more hours to recover..."

Fair point. But Kay had another big question to ask: how did the champion kick back? As a fleeting expression of alarm cast across the face known to millions, his interviewer moved swiftly to clarify the matter. How did he relax?

Tiger switched straight into "Answering Questions About How I Relax" mode, his teeth shining like lustrous freshwater pearls. "I like to get away from the game," he said. "I like to go spear-fishing. Anything that has to do with water, I just absolutely love it."

He must have felt in his element in Leicester Square then as the rain squalled down from a leaden sky and dripped in big blotches from the London plane trees surrounding the mini golf course that had been assembled at its centre.

Underneath the averted, statuesque gaze of the Square's founder - Albert Grant Esq MP - Woods bandied words and shots with his lesser celebrities, displaying all the unerring aplomb of his digitally recreated form as it appeared on the big screens surrounding the venue.

Wright, sporting the kind of baggy cap last seen on a Hovis delivery boy, was deemed to be the winner. In a spectacle which involved translating drives taken on the video game into "real life" scenarios on the artificially created mini-greens Woods himself did not appear particularly adept on the slippery artificial surfaces, although that may have had something to do with a wind machine that was turned on to full power at crucial moments. He bore it all with good grace, and duly presented Wright with the Tiger Cup when it was all over.

Before disappearing on the helicopter which had ferried him to his metropolitan appointment, Woods was asked to account for the superiority which Europe have now established over the US in the Ryder Cup.

"It's pretty simple," he said. "They made more putts. Every time it came to the 18th green they won more than we did. This year we were in position to sink those putts but we didn't do it."

The next question called upon Woods to reflect upon the contribution at the weekend from his friend Darren Clarke. "I was proud to have seen it," he said. The genuine feeling seemed out of place.

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape