Tiger gets to criticize, for a change

Updated: 2011-10-13 07:50

(China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Tiger gets to criticize, for a change

Tiger Woods answers questions at a news conference ahead of the 2011 Chevron World Challenge golf tournament in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, Oct 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Embattled star has some fun with weekend warriors at charity event

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - It didn't take Tiger Woods very long to size up his competition, chiding weekend golf warrior Rick Tolentino on Tuesday for bringing along a belly putter to their outdoor putting challenge.

"Those pants are flapping pretty hard in the wind," Woods joked as Tolentino lined up a short putt on the custom built artificial practice green at the Hollywood & Highland Center mall.

Tolentino beat out three other weekend scrubs on the practice green for the chance to putt one-on-one against the 14-time major winner Woods in front of crowd of about 200 golf fans and curious shoppers.

"It was a blast, a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Tolentino, of Ventura, California, who held his own despite a serious case of nerves. "I was shaking so bad over some of those putts."

Tolentino also won a chance to walk inside the ropes with Woods for one round of the 2011 Chevron World Challenge tournament in November.

Woods, world No 5 Steve Stricker and reigning PGA champion Keegan Bradley will head the field for this year's Chevron event, which runs from November 30 to December 4.

World No 6 Dustin Johnson and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson were also named as the field was unveiled Tuesday at the Vantage Room in downtown Hollywood. Tournament beneficiaries include the Tiger Woods Foundation, which helps put children through college who might not otherwise get a chance to earn a degree.

There are 14 Americans, including 11 of 12 players on the United States 2011 Presidents Cup team for the 18 player, 72-hole event at the Sherwood Country Club.

"It is, as you can see, pretty American biased, American based," Woods said.

The golfing superstar played last week at the Frys.com Open after taking two months off. Woods is trying to regain his form following two years of scandal, injury and sup-par performances.

Woods finished in the middle of the pack at the Frys.com with three consecutive rounds of 68. He is also breaking in a new caddie, Joe LaCava.

"I told him that I'm not going to ask for anything from him the first day. I just want him to observe," Woods said.

"No reads, no club selections, just get a feel for how I play, what shots I hit, what my misses are, and then each day I brought him in a little more. I asked him one question, then two, then a few on Sunday.

"So it was more of a tournament for him to get a feel for me."

Woods feels his game is starting to come around and, once he and LaCava get comfortable with each other, everything should fall into place.

"I had stretches there where I didn't miss a shot for seven, eight, nine holes, and that's something I hadn't done yet. So I just need to clean it up a little bit.

"If I had putted well the first day, it would have been a different story."

Woods also discussed the incident in the final round Sunday where a fan threw a hotdog in his direction before being arrested.

"This guy just wanted to get attention for himself," Woods said. "I had another fan throw an orange at me in Phoenix one year."

Asked if he would ever eat hotdogs again Woods said, "Well I do have two young kids, enough said. And I go to (Los Angeles) Dodger games."

In his spare time, Woods enjoys watching his favorite teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dodgers.

He said the NBA's decision Monday to cancel the first two weeks of the season over a labour dispute has him "bummed out". But he also couldn't resist a jab at the Lakers' long-time rival, the Boston Celtics.

"Anybody who is an NBA fan is certainly bummed," Woods said of 100 games that were cancelled. "I know that probably one person who is happy is (Celtic coach) Doc Rivers. With the age of his team, it's nice for them to only play half a season. It's a fact, come on."

Woods, who grew up in Los Angeles, is half Thai as his mother is from Bangkok, Thailand. Hollywood has one of the largest populations of Thais in the US so you might think Woods would get a chance to practise speaking his mother's language when he visits Tinseltown. But he said Tuesday the only Thai word he can speak is "aroy" - which means delicious.

Agence France-Presse