Ogilvy to Tiger: Minimize the circus

Geoff Ogilvy and Tiger Woods during the third round of the 2008 WGC-CA Championship.

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – The circus shouldn’t come to town.

If Geoff Ogilvy had his way, he’d make sure the Big Top was parked as far from the city limits as possible.

Ogilvy has called on Tiger Woods to make sure there isn’t a media circus when the disgraced world’s No. 1-ranked golfer makes his comeback to the game.

There is no set date on when Woods might re-emerge after the disclosures of infidelities in his private life. Sergio Garcia, speaking here before the PGA European Tour’s first of three consecutive Middle East events, thinks it will be “earlier than what everybody thinks.” Ogilvy said it could be a week or a month.

The Australian went further than speculating on his return. He said it should be as far removed from a golf tournament as possible.

“The craziness is going to go on because there’s going to be non-golf media around, and that’s always interesting,” Ogilvy said. “That first week he comes back, it’s going to be a circus. It will be hard if you have to play with him that week, for sure.”

Woods has never allowed his focus to wander to other players during his time at the top. However, Ogilvy thinks he should go out of his way to make sure that his fellow pros are inconvenienced as little as possible.

“The least amount of circus he could face would be if he went to Augusta first. That would be the most controlled environment he could be in. But if he truly, truly wants to win Augusta, he’s going to have to play before then.

“I think he should come out in public before, not at, a golf tournament. He should come out away from the golf course, one, out of respect for all of the other players, and two, to defuse the circus part of it, at least before he actually gets to the golf tournament.

“That would be the best thing for him, for every other player and for the tournament. I don’t believe a lot of tournaments want all the tabloid media floating around.

“It would be nice if he came out away from a golf tournament, and when he came out to a golf tournament it would still be big and crazy but that tabloid edge might be gone.”

There has been a lot of speculation about how Woods will be treated when he comes back to the game. Colin Montgomerie is one who has publicly stated that Woods’ aura will be gone. Ogilvy tends to agree.

“The first conference he does is going to be a crazy one. A lot of people who have been afraid to ask questions for 10 to 12 years won’t be quite as hesitant to ask questions as they used to be.

“He’s going to have to answer questions.”

Ogilvy has a couple of questions he’d like to ask Woods himself. Number one is, “What were you thinking.”

Number two is the same question everyone is asking right now. “Most guys are just wondering where he is.’’

“Everyone wants him back. Golf tournaments are more enjoyable when he’s there. It’s not a hollow victory when you win when he’s not there, but it’s a lot better when you win when he is there.”

The golf world is small, but it was caught out just like the rest of the public when Woods’ private life was revealed. Ogilvy, too.

“I’m just amazed. Everyone thought he just left the golf course and went to his hotel. I didn’t even know he went out. How did nobody know?”

Only Woods can answer the questions circulating since he smashed his SUV into a fire hydrant on Nov. 27 outside of his home near Orlando, Fla. Whether the world gets the true answers won’t be known until he comes out of hiding.

Ogilvy hopes the circus that will come with that appearance does not disrupt the game.

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