Not out of Woods yet

US TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem is under increasing pressure to officially discipline Tiger Woods over the sex scandal that’s rocked golf.

If Finchem is consistent, he should fine and or suspend the World No. 1 for a breach of the 2010 PGA Tour regulations pertaining to player conduct.

But while any such suspension only applies to on-course behaviour try telling that to John Daly or Jim Thorpe who were slapped with suspensions for off-course transgressions.

Daly was sin-binned for six months in 2008 after being arrested for being found intoxicated in a public place and Thorpe was told he couldn’t play the Champions Tour while waiting a prison sentence for tax evasion.

Never before has anyone brought the ancient game into such disrepute as Woods so why not suspend him or has Woods already been suspended and the US Tour has hushed it up?

Finchem said: “We take the view that if something happens in your personal life, it is not subject for disciplinary action.

“The fact that another individual or individuals made it public doesn’t dissuade us from that attitude. I don’t know of any other sport that disciplines a player for things like that in their private life.”

Woods has already cost sponsors like Nike, AT&T and Gatorade a reported cool $US 12billion (€8.8bn) while crowd figures at US Tour stops are down 10 to 25% when he doesn’t play, and TV ratings are slashed in half.

So if the Commissioner Finchem and his US Tour are to be consistent, Tiger Woods should be publicly and officially shown the red card.

Meanwhile, Woods will pay for all costs associated with his apology statement last week in Florida.

Fears the Florida taxpayers or the US Tour would pick up the charges have been dispelled by TPC Sawgrass Club officials.

Nearly 30 sheriff deputies were commandeered by Woods’ management team to keep ‘outsiders’ away from his infidelity apology.

That’s a 30 times $33 (€24) an hour fee for some three to four hours.

Woods booked the 2,112- square foot Sunset Room on the second floor at TPC Sawsgrass for his first public outing in some three months at a cost of a minimum of $5,000 (€3,600) and ranging upwards to $15,000 (€11,000).

Ty Votaw, the US Tour’s Vice-President of Communications, indicated ‘all direct costs’ were being paid by Woods’ ETW Corporation, or by IMG, his long-time management group.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Chuck Mulligan indicated his department did not have a final tally of the man hours involved in policing Woods’ TPC Sawgrass appearance, but the amount would be a matter of public record when it is calculated.

He said: “The Tour requested some security there the day before, and at the point on Friday where there was the most activity, not quite 30 officers were involved.”

However Mulligan qualified that Woods’ visit to TPC Sawgrass did not involve more security staff than would be required if former US Presidents George Bush or Bill Clinton attended the club to play golf.


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