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February 19, 2010

Players react positively to Tiger Woods statement

Posted at 1:37 PM by Gary Van Sickle | Categories: Stewart Cink, Tiger Woods

MARANA, Ariz.  —Thanks to later starting times for Friday’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, fellow PGA Tour players were able to watch Tiger Woods give his apology speech on television.

Tour players don't typically give pre-round interviews, but because of the unusual circumstances, a few agreed to comment briefly as they arrived at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club here.

Luke Donald said, “It was a sincere apology. Seems like he’s getting the care and help that he needs and he’ll be back on tour whenever he’s better.”

British Open champion Stewart Cink admitted that he didn’t watch Tiger’s show and caught only bits and pieces of it, but he also came away with a positive impression.

“It sounds like part of the recovery or the healing process that he has to go through,” Cink said. “I’ve got a couple of good friends that have gone through the alcohol abuse program and similar steps are taken in the healing process where you have to make amends to the people you’ve hurt and you have to start the bridge to the other side. I think that’s where Tiger is.”

Cink agreed with Donald that Tiger’s apology sounded “heartfelt.” He continued: “It sounds like it was a really difficult thing for him to do. It’s probably going to help him along the way of healing… I was moved by how difficult it seemed to be for him. I think it was a very important step for him to take.”

Cink didn’t know what to make of Tiger’s extended indefinite leave of absence but added that his comeback, whenever it is, will be welcome.

“I think he’ll be received well,” Cink said. “We’ve all made mistakes and sinned. Forgiveness is a huge part of the process.”

Farmers Insurance Open champion Ben Crane said Tiger’s situation reminded him of a famous tale.

“One of my favorite stories in the Bible talks about a woman who has sinned—a prostitute—and they bring her before Jesus and says, shouldn’t we stone her? Shouldn’t we kill her for all these bad things she’s done?” Crane said. “And Jesus says, yes, absolutely, stone her. But you without sin be the one to cast the first stone.”

As for Tiger’s performance, Crane added, “I thought it was an amazing conference. I thought Tiger was very humble. I think everything he did is going to help him.”

Nick Watney, who won at Torrey Pines in 2009, said, “I thought it was very heartfelt. I’m sure it was tough. I agree with a lot of the guys that were out here that we’re more concerned about when he’s going to get back on the golf course and not necessarily everything in his personal life.”

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