ADARE, Ireland - After another warm welcome from the Irish public, Tiger Woods turned cold and dismissive at a news conference yesterday when asked about his state of mind since the sex scandal that's wrecked his marriage.
Woods was questioned following his 3-under-par 69 in his final round of the charity J.P. McManus Invitational Pro-Am, his first foreign appearance since the turmoil.
When asked whether his liaisons with other women had been "worth it" since it cost him his marriage and endorsements, Woods replied, "I think you're looking too deep into this." He torpedoed the follow-up question with an icily firm "Thank you."
Woods is returning immediately to his Florida home rather than heading to Scotland to prepare for next week's British Open at St. Andrews, where he won Opens in 2000 and 2005. Once the subject was broached, the previously easy-speaking Woods flipped a switch into staccato half-sentences.
How will you prepare? "Practicing." Where? "Home." Why not try and play some links golf in Scotland beforehand? "I need to get home." Silence.
Why? "See my kids." Silence.
Throughout the 15-minute news conference Woods had to parry various attempts at a comment on how his marital implosion was affecting his game.
"There are times in one's life when things get put in perspective, one being when my father passed, and obviously what I've been going through lately," he said in his most expansive reply.
But when asked again whether he was finding personal worries overshadowing his game, Woods responded: "Everything's working itself out."
Out on the Adare Manor Golf Course, Woods felt nothing but love and admiration from the more than 20,000 fans.
Among the thousands who came to see Woods was Marie O'Sullivan, a 32-year-old high school teacher. She said her County Kerry village did a recent dramatization of Woods' personal troubles, an earthy variety show called "Pride of the Parish," featuring Woods and wife Elin Nordegren in marriage counseling. In the show, she said, the couple mended their troubles with help of a counselor.
"If only life imitated art," said O'Sullivan, who played the role of Nordegren in the revue.