Billy Payne’s remarks on Woods

Remarks by Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne
regarding Tiger Woods. They were made at the end of Payne’s opening
statement during his annual press conference at the Masters:

“Finally, we are not unaware of the significance of this week
to a very special player, Tiger Woods. A man who in a brief 13
years clearly and emphatically proclaimed and proved his game to be
worthy of the likes of Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold
Palmer. 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 and effort.

“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 importantly, our kids and our grand kids. 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. I hope he now realizes that every kid he passes on the
course wants his swing, but would settle for his smile.

“I hope he can come to understand that life’s greatest rewards
are reserved for those who bring joy to the lives of other people.
We at Augusta hope and pray that our great champion will begin his
new life here tomorrow in a positive, hopeful and constructive
manner, but this time, with a significant difference from the past.
This year, it will not be just for him, but for all of us, who
believe in second chances.”