The staging of Tiger Woods’ first public appearance for almost three months has met with fierce criticism from the golf reporters who have followed his career.
The board of directors of the Golf Writers Association of America have voted overwhelming not to participate in today’s statement from the world number one. No questions are being taken afterwards.
Only a handful of spaces were made available to writers at the headquarters of the US PGA Tour, where Woods will come out of hiding to speak about his troubled recent past and plans for the future.
“I cannot stress how strongly our board felt that this should be open to all media and also for the opportunity to question Woods,” said Vartan Kupelian, president of the 950-member group.
“The position, simply put, is all or none. This is a major story of international scope. To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question Woods goes against the grain of everything we believe.”
The GWAA said it believes strongly that its presence, without the ability to ask questions, gives credibility to the arrangements made by Woods’ management company in conjunction with the PGA Tour.
Nineteen board members voted for the proposal to protest by boycotting the proceedings. There were four votes against and three abstentions.
The organisation said Woods’ camp originally made available three pool reporter positions. After extended negotiations, Woods’ advisors agreed to increase the number of pool reporters to six, an offer that was rejected.
The Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg agencies have been invited to report on the meeting at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.