At least Charlie Rymer of Golf Channel didn't cry this time, after Tiger Woods' first one-on-one interviews. You remember that the analyst was infamously in tears after Woods' public apology on Feb. 19. This time, Charlie was his old cheerful self, effusively praising Woods for the great job he had done with his network's Kelly Tilghman and ESPN's Tom Rinaldi.
Reflecting on it again today, it is clear that Woods decided on the interviews not to offer new groundbreaking information. He firmly refused to talk about the accident and about what kind of rehab he has undergone. That, he said, is to remain private between Elin and Tiger. He really gave nothing that he didn't give in that sometimes painful deer-in-the-headlights apology before the blue curtain and PGA Tour headquarters that day. What he did was appear more like the Woods that the public thought it new. He was wearing his golf outfit, he was on the veranda at a country club. He smiled.
It was a warmer Tiger, which seems to be the whole plan. No soul-baring Oprah moment for him. Just a quick bite of humanity as he makes his way back to public life bit by bit. That seems to be the strategy, that appears to have been the aim in doing the one-on-ones.
Still, he like the old Tiger--totally controlling the environment: Strict time limit, and standing, rather than sitting, which made it less casual and less likely to be deeply emotional.
As for Rymer, his Golf Channel colleague Tim Rosaforte said after the teary episode that Rymer has had family history of people who went through difficult times that included therapy program, so it hit home. So he gets a little slack on that. Also, he is generally a terrific, genial insightful announcer.
But good for John Hawkins of GolfWorld, a regular Golf Channel contributor, to throw a bucket of cold reality on the smoldering warmth after the interviews last night. He pointed out that the praise is going a little too far. He is acknowledging his faults, fine. That is healthy for all of us. As for giving him high marks for how he's doing, maybe that should stay behind closed doors, a private matter between Elin and Tiger.