Match Play golfers say Woods’ apology sincere

Stewart Cink felt Tiger Woods did well by making a public

apology. Luke Donald said the confession seemed sincere. Nick

Watney wanted to know when the world’s No. 1 player will return,

not about his private life.

The handful of golfers willing to talk about Woods as they

entered the clubhouse for the third round of the Match Play

Championship on Friday all offered their support.

“I was moved by how difficult it seemed to be for him,” Cink

said. “But it’s a big part of the process to go through that

difficulty and face up to what’s happened.”

Woods won the Match Play in 2003, 2004 and 2008. He is the only

player to win consecutive titles in the event’s 12-year history and

his star power is sorely missed.

“I agree with a lot of guys that were out here,” Watney said.

“Just more concerned about when he’s going to get back on the golf

course, not necessarily everything in his personal life.”

Ian Poulter said he didn’t even watch Woods’ appearance. It was

hard to avoid. Woods’ somber face filled the giant screen in the

media tent and was on every other television around.

“I think it was a sincere apology,” Donald said. “Obviously I

think he made it very clear that he wants the media to leave his

family alone, which I kind of agree with. Seems like he’s getting

the care and help that he needs, and hopefully he’ll get the help

he needs and he’ll be back on tour whenever he’s better.”

Cink said he saw only part of Woods’ speech.

“It sounds like it’s part of the recovery or the healing

process that he has to go through,” he said. “I’ve got a couple

of good friends at home that have gone through the alcohol abuse

program with AA, and similar steps are taken in the healing process

where you have to make amends to the people you’ve hurt and you

have to start the bridge to the other side. And I think that’s

where Tiger is.”

Golfer Ben Crane said he thought “it was an amazing

conference.”

“I think we all love him as a golfer and as a family man. And

we want to see what’s best for him, and I think everything he did

is going to help him get back soon,” he said.”

Cink said he believes the players will welcome Woods’ return,

whenever that may be.

“I think he’ll be received well,” he said. “One thing we have

to remember, we’ve all made mistakes and all sinned. And

forgiveness is a huge part of the process.”