At Match Play, Tour players support Woods

At Match Play, Tour players support Woods

Published Feb. 19, 2010 10:10 p.m. ET

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."

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."