Tiger Woods plays a practice round at the Masters in...

Tiger Woods plays a practice round at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, Monday. (April 5, 2010) Credit: MCT

At The 19th Hole in the Bethpage State Park clubhouse Monday, one of the two TVs flanking the bar was showing an ABC soap opera and the other was airing what several customers likened to a soap opera - Tiger Woods' news conference.

While munching fries and sipping beers, 10 golfers who had finished their rounds or were waiting to tee off watched Woods field questions from the media about his marital woes and his golf game.

Opinions on Woods were divided. Some of those watching at Bethpage - all men - said he acquitted himself well. They said he finally had put the fidelity issue to rest and that the media had overplayed the story all along. But others, including some nongolfers at a nearby shopping center, were not as impressed.

Eric Horowitz, 24, of Merrick, noted he is a Tiger fan. "I think he did very well," Horowitz said. "I think he was very brave for going out there. I think the whole thing was overblown by the media."

Bruce Garcia, 55, of Plainview, said he's not a Woods fan and the news conference didn't improve his opinion of the golfer or change his feeling that he dominates the media coverage of the sport disproportionately. "I think he should have some privacy but he should've answered some of the questions sooner," Garcia said.

Tony Grego, 59, of Bellerose Terrace, a Tiger fan, said "I feel bad for his wife. He hasn't answered half the questions." He added he has lost respect for Woods "because the game of golf is about integrity."

Two people at a shopping center in East Farmingdale gave Woods mixed reviews.

Robert Lloyd, 64, of Wheatley Heights, said "I think Tiger really could have given more detail so people know what he's really going through . . . and what took place. . . . By him coming forward and having that press conference, it does help." But Lloyd said Woods came across as too rehearsed.

Honey Eberhardt, 67, of West Babylon said, "I think it's a shame that people's personal lives are so publicized." And while she thinks the news conference might help his image, she found him repetitious and rehearsed. "I think he should be a little more apologetic."

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