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Billy Payne, Augusta National Chairman, Blasts Tiger Woods

PAUL NEWBERRY | 04/ 7/10 03:35 PM | AP

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Billy Payne Augusta National Tiger Woods

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The chairman of Augusta National Golf Club had harsh words for Tiger Woods, saying the world's best golfer disappointed everyone with his sex scandal and didn't live up to expectations as a role model.

Billy Payne said Wednesday that Woods won't be judged in the future solely on his performance as a golfer, but by the sincerity of his efforts to change as a person.

"As he now says himself, he forgot in the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibility," Payne said during his annual state of the Masters news conference. "It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here. It is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids."

Woods is returning to competitive golf for the first time since a Thanksgiving night car crash unleashed reports of a secret private life that included numerous extramarital affairs. He was dropped by several major sponsors and spent 45 days in therapy.

"Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children," Payne said. "I hope he now realizes that every kid he passes on the course wants his swing, but would settle for his smile."

Woods will tee off in the next-to-last group Thursday afternoon with K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar, in pursuit of his 15th major championship and fifth Masters title.

"We at Augusta hope and pray that our great champion will begin his new life here tomorrow in a positive, hopeful and constructive manner, but this time, with a significant difference from the past," Payne said. "This year, it will not be just for him, but for all of us who believe in second chances.

"Is there a way forward? I hope yes. I think yes. But certainly his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par, but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change."

Payne declined to answer specific questions about Woods, saying his prepared remarks were all he wanted to say on the matter. The chairman also refused to address any extra security measures that were put in place after Woods announced he would return to the game at the year's first major championship.

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However, Payne did scoff at the notion that Woods' decision to play at Augusta will steal attention from the tournament itself.

"We don't look at things that way," Payne said. "We are very secure in who we are, and the Masters has almost now a 74-year history. We just kind of do things our way. We are not threatened by other big news stories or things like that."

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — The chairman of Augusta National Golf Club had harsh words for Tiger Woods, saying the world's best golfer disappointed everyone with his sex scandal and didn't live up to expecta...
AUGUSTA, Ga. — The chairman of Augusta National Golf Club had harsh words for Tiger Woods, saying the world's best golfer disappointed everyone with his sex scandal and didn't live up to expecta...
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- New Danny Dougherty I'm a Fan of Danny Dougherty 11 fans permalink

rednecks are killing america...

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:41 AM on 4/10/2010
- New EagleFliesInSky I'm a Fan of EagleFliesInSky 22 fans permalink

This will probably be the most watched Masters in the history if golf. Payne should shut it and concentrate on the golf. It's none of his business and he should keep his comments to himself and his bastion of (mostly) white racist members.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:03 AM on 4/10/2010
- Chubbster I'm a Fan of Chubbster 49 fans permalink

Another spew of self-righteous garbage. Let Tiger be Tiger. He's sorry. He had some fun. His wife knew all about it. Get over it, Puritans.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:36 AM on 4/10/2010

First, Payne makes these comments when Woods is competing in the tournament. Second, it's hard for me to distinguish which of the two parties treats women poorer.

Weighing in on this reflects poorly on Payne. He appears defensive as though Woods is stealing his show. News flash Bill, Tiger Woods draws fans and money into golf. Your pretentious golf course serves as an has-been venue and a place for deer to pee.

If Tiger doesn't play the Master's, it is just another Shell Open... who cares. Should Tiger win this week, I would like to help him prepare his remarks. Mr. Payne needs to understand his and his golf course's place in the scheme of things.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 03:27 AM on 4/10/2010
- DirtyDawg I'm a Fan of DirtyDawg permalink

While I don't necessarily disagree with what Billy Payne said, upon reflection, and having some experience with the man, I do have a question and a comment. The question is, 'Just how much money did you and your henchmen actually make on those Olympics?', and, 'I have two words for Billy's criticism of Tiger's infidelities...Ginger Watkins'.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 03:13 AM on 4/10/2010


    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 03:29 AM on 4/10/2010
- RJB Boston I'm a Fan of RJB Boston 8 fans permalink

I hope tiger wins the tournament and then takes a dump on the 18th green.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 03:03 AM on 4/10/2010
- RJB Boston I'm a Fan of RJB Boston 8 fans permalink

Who is this self righteous yahoo? Let's dig up some dirt on him - i bet there's plenty lying around, like perhaps his private views on blacks and women become members of his club

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 03:01 AM on 4/10/2010
- mackiemary I'm a Fan of mackiemary 10 fans permalink

Can't stand holier than thou loud mouths....are you perfect Billy?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 02:03 AM on 4/10/2010

Had a family member from SC call me earlier today, and he was so proud of Mr. Billy "laying it on Eldrick." Thought it was appropriate, but not tough enough. Guy watches Fox all day.....go figure. CFF

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 05:31 PM on 4/09/2010
- dwill123 I'm a Fan of dwill123 20 fans permalink

Mr. Payne, did Augusta National live up to the expectations when it did not have its first Black golfer play in the Masters until 1975 or have its first Black member until 1990?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 01:28 PM on 4/09/2010
- hopefull2008 I'm a Fan of hopefull2008 66 fans permalink

I'm sure Billy and his fellow members at Augusta are all pillars of virtue ... Let's just hope that the Nat Enq puts their best people on the project to find out.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 12:00 PM on 4/09/2010
- SirCoolBreeze I'm a Fan of SirCoolBreeze 3 fans permalink

Somebody had to say it before even Augusta National could move on.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:25 AM on 4/09/2010
- junebug62 I'm a Fan of junebug62 42 fans permalink

Billy is just jealous he cant score . Women like Men not Crybabies

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:05 AM on 4/09/2010
- Luv2Purple I'm a Fan of Luv2Purple 44 fans permalink

What a schmuck this guy is.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:04 AM on 4/09/2010
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