TIGER PITCH AD-NAUSEAM
August 29, 2007 -- TIGER Woods was in New York with his golf clubs yesterday, six days too late to compete in The Barclays at Westchester Country Club.
He was two days too late to congratulate nice guy Steve Stricker at the 18th hole for his first victory since 2001, too late to congratulate Stricker for overtaking him in the FedEx Cup points standings.
Woods' reasoning for skipping The Barclays last week was because he was mentally and physically tired and he wanted to spend some time at home in Florida with his wife and baby girl.
Yet there he was at Chelsea Piers to promote one of the endless list of products he pitches and, quite frankly, he looked rather spry and energetic as he hit trick shots for about six minutes in front of more cameras than there have been following the Michael Vick saga.
I went to Chelsea Piers to talk to Woods, but I ended up having a longer conversation with Frank, Woods' hand made tiger driver head cover that his mother made for him and that became famous talking on TV commercials.
Frank stood quietly in Woods' bag with 15 other clubs - two more than are allowed in tournament play without being disqualified. Oddly, there were two 2-irons in the bag along with the driver, a 3-wood, 5-wood, 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, 9-iron, a pitching wedge, 56-degree wedge, 60-degree wedge and a putter.
The only words I managed to get in with Woods consisted of a friendly reminder to take the extra 2-iron and 5-wood out of his bag before he tees it up Friday at the Deutsche Bank outside of Boston, the second FedEx Cup tournament.
Other than that, several nervous public relations support staff minions informed me that the only interviews being granted were for MTV, Comedy Central and ESPN.
Hopefully Comedy Central was filming the entire scene, because it was rather comedic.
Interesting that the company being promoted by Woods would come to the largest media market in the world and freeze out the New York newspapers from speaking to him. Now that's a rather brilliant marketing strategy.
Woods could have sashayed right up to Chelsea Piers in his schooner, which is called "Privacy." Among the shots Woods launched included his driver, which he hit so far the ball looked as if it landed across the Hudson River in Hoboken.
He hit some intentional slices and hooks and finally unleashed his self-named "stinger," which bored through the Manhattan air toward a banner with Woods' face on it at the end of the range.
The banner might as well have had the logos for the PGA Tour, Barclays and FedEx Cup on it, because Woods' appearance was a cheap shot that ripped through the heart of not only those organizations but the New York area golf fans who bought tickets for last week's tournament expecting to see Woods competing in an event he even did TV ads to promote.