What seemed like a harmless statement at media day for the RBC Canadian Open last week at St. George’s Golf and Country Club put tournament director Bill Paul in the midst of a minor media storm.
The Open has announced a pretty solid field for next month, but to some, the field isn’t complete without Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Paul responded to that sentiment with this statement about Tiger, post-scandal and post-injury.
“Having walked with Tiger for two holes at The Players, I think we will have the premier players here. He wasn’t hitting it too well,” said Paul.
That’s hardly news these days and if that’s the worst thing that’s been said about Woods in the past six-plus months, he’s doing alright. However, some feel it was enough to anger Woods to the point of never coming back to the Open, which he hasn’t done since 2001 anyway.
Robert Thompson opined on Paul’s quote in his Canadiangolfer.com blog last week. You can read that here. The blog is entitled CanOpen Faux Pas: Tiger Not A Premier Player.
First of all, I doubt Woods will ever hear about it. Secondly, if he does, he has too much on his mind these days to worry about it. Also, he has known Paul long enough that I doubt he would consider it a putdown.
Even if he did react, boycotting a national championship as a result seems extreme even for Woods and, if it went that far, it would fly in the face of the kinder, gentler Tiger that was presented when he launched his comeback at the Masters.
The reaction to Paul’s statement has been overreaction and you can read more in my most recent Sun Media column by clicking here.