Accenture on Tiger’s interruption: ‘We’ll carry on’

MARANA, Ariz. – For all their millions of dollars, the folks at Accenture are getting the back seat to the golf news this week.

That’s the power of Tiger Woods merely announcing that he’s going to make an announcement.

It hardly sits well with players here at this World Golf Championship, but if Accenture officials are unhappy, they’re not saying so for the record.

Fred Hawrysh, the director of corporate communications for Accenture, indicated the company was pleased with the way this 64-player tournament was unfolding. Told that several national golf writers had left the premises to fly to Florida and cover Woods’ appearance Friday, Hawrysh seemed surprised, though he was pleased to hear a number of players offer words of support for Accenture.

“We don’t feel so bad. We’ll carry on,” Hawrysh said.

He confirmed that Accenture had been contacted by Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, as an alert to any of the spotlight that might be taken away. “We talked to Mark, who gave us a heads-up, but I don’t think we were consulted on the dates.”

Speculation has been forwarded by media members and PGA Tour players that Woods is hardly concerned about spoiling the Accenture party, since the company cut him loose from a lucrative endorsement deal. Hawrysh insisted he thought “it was coincidental, not deliberate,” though he confirmed that the golfer’s sordid affairs were at the heart of the decision.

“Our advertising (with Woods) didn’t work,” Hawrysh said. “The message wasn’t getting through.”

When asked why Accenture hadn’t had any contact with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, Hawrysh said the company would have “loved to have contact, but things were moving so fast.”

Later, Hawrysh was told that the PGA Tour had known about reserving a room for the Friday, Feb. 19 Woods affair as early as Monday, Feb. 15. Hawrysh seemed surprised the Tour knew about it that much in advance, but didn’t want to comment further.

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