Yet it still is Sports Illustrated. If the magazine is going to do a big cover piece, you figure you might make yourself available to spend a few minutes with the reporter. Right?
Well, in the no-surprise department, Woods snubbed SI’s Michael Rosenberg. In an email, Rosenberg wrote:
“Tiger did not talk to me. I knew he probably would not. His representatives were honest with me about that from the beginning. I told them I would love to talk to Tiger and get his voice in the story, but I did not beg for access. I told them my goal was not to defend or criticize Tiger, but to explain him.
“It’s no secret that Tiger Woods is one of the toughest subjects for a sportswriter because he is so guarded. But I felt strongly that there was a good story here, and I didn’t want to avoid it simply because he avoided me.
“I talked to many people who have interacted with Tiger. Most of them are not quoted in the piece, and many of them have no stake in Tiger’s career. They all informed my view of him. I hope readers will finish the story feeling like they understand Tiger better, and have a sense of how he recovered from his personal and professional nadir.”
Some things never change. I never had a one-on-one with Woods during my 12 years covering the PGA Tour. That was the case with virtually everyone out there.
Once, I spent three days in Southern California tracking his roots. I talked to his father, Earl, for two hours at his house; met with his first coaches; toured the courses where Woods hit his first shots.
I asked if I could get five minutes on the phone with Woods to talk about his early days. I thought it might be a topic he would enjoy discussing.
The answer? A definitive no.
That’s fine. However, where I have a problem is when Woods suddenly is available whenever he has something to promote.
There he is talking to Darren Rovell or popping up on CNN and CNBC. Woods is willing to chat when it suits his agenda.
I’m sure Woods’ handlers have advised, if not begged him to make himself more available. From a PR standpoint, it just makes sense.
But as I said, some things never change.