Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne went after Tiger Woods Wednesday morning in his annual address to the press, ripping the world’s No. 1 golfer, however politely, for his “egregious behaviour.’’
In something of a shocker, given that Augusta chairmen traditionally try to defuse any and all controversy by refusing to answer questions on what they call “club matters,’’ Payne, in ending his opening statement, called on Woods to “begin his life anew here tomorrow in a positive, hopeful and constructive manner, but this time with a significant difference from the past.
“As he ascended in our rankings of the world’s great golfers, he became an example to our kids that success is directly attributable to hard work,’’ Payne said, starting his windup. “But as he now says himself, he forgot in the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibility. It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here; it is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more important our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children.
“Is there a way forward? I hope yes. I think yes. But certainly his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par, but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change,’’ Payne added. “I hope he now realizes that every kid he passes on the course wants his swing, but would settle for his smile.’’
There was no immediate response from Woods or his representatives.
Payne declined to offer his personal thoughts on Woods. He was speaking as chairman of the golf course – a golf course that until three decades ago maintained a policy excluding blacks as members and which still excludes women as members. Source...