Fans at Augusta ready to forgive Woods

Tiger Woods hands a ball to a fan Monday at Augusta.

Tiger Woods hands a ball to a fan Monday at Augusta.

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3:44:01 AM ET. 04/17/2014




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How will Tiger finish at the Masters?

  • Win 21%
  • Top 5 26%
  • Top 10 22%
  • Top 30 19%
  • Missed cut 13%

1428 total votes.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Golf fans at the T-Bonz Steakhouse weren’t interested in more sordid details about Tiger Woods’ philandering. They wanted to see him play golf.

“I adore Tiger,” said Vicki Jones, who watched Woods’ practice round and press conference on TV Monday from the restaurant, located about a mile from Augusta National.

The 60-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., said she came to the Masters primarily to support Woods.

“What he did, it definitely is wrong,” said Jones, wearing a Nike cap with the “TW” logo. “He even admits it’s not right. But all in all, I think he’s a good person.”

Robert Szocinski, an Augusta firefighter, agreed.

“The man’s a Buddhist and this is the Bible belt. We forgive,” Szocinski said. “This week, people in Augusta look at one thing – how well do you hit a white ball?”

About 20 people watched silently, forgetting their beers, as Woods opened his news conference.

“He’s nervous,” one man said as Woods stumbled over the name of his practice partner for the day, Fred Couples.

Not everybody watching was impressed with how Woods handled reporters’ questions.

Phil Sloan of Boston said he found the golfer’s promise to show more appreciation for his fans a bit too fluffy to be sincere.

“He did what Tiger does, which is he’s good with the public and with the media,” Sloan said. “I very much want to see Tiger play. I think he’s going to tear it up. It’s fabulous theater.”

Woods didn’t offer many new details about his personal life or what happened the night of his car crash. That was fine with Wendell Jones, who traveled to the Masters from Tennessee with his wife, Vicki.

“Who wants to know all the minor details?” Jones asked. “I don’t want to know it, and I don’t think anyone else does.”

Charlie Ferguson of Hilton Head, S.C., said he was impressed with Woods’ demeanor on the course, that he frequently flashed a smile and signed a few autographs.

“When this stuff broke, he let his fans down,” Ferguson said. “And today he got them all back.”

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