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Brad Faxon on D&C: Jordan to join Woods

02.19.10 at 10:28 am ET
By
Brad Faxon (AP)

Brad Faxon (AP)

On the morning of Tiger Woods’ press conference, New England’s own Brad Faxon checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday to talk about the media storm that has surrounded the No. 1 player in the world.

Faxon said that Woods’ wife Elin would not be attending the presser, but that Michael Jordan and Stanford buddy Notah Begay III would be in attendance.

Faxon, like other golfers on tour, is just looking for an end to the saga so they don’t have to talk about it anymore.

“It gets old and it will be good to get over, but the positive of this and the positive for us is we are learning what golf will be like or could be like without Tiger,” he said.

A transcript follows. To listen to the interview, click here.

What is the feeling on the PGA Tour about the Tiger situation?

There’s such a mixed bag out here between all the players and their feelings. Notah Begay III, who went to Stanford with Tiger, actually withdrew from the tournament. He was down here with his family and let me tell you this is not an easy place or a cheap place to get to. He withdrew so he could attend the press conference. I know Michael Jordan is going to be there. I know Elin is not going to be there. It’s kind of ironic that he scheduled this press conference during the Accenture Match Play where he was dropped by Accenture, the first sponsor to drop him. Commissioner [Tim] Finchem is allowing him to do this at the TPC Sawgrass, which I don’t know if this is Tiger’s move of trying to be nice or if it’s another thing of sticking it up you know where. Everything is a surprise and he only invited, and this in unreal, three golf writers. I talked to both Jim McCabe and Jim Ferguson last night and they both were thinking about boycotting the whole thing, because you are not allowed to ask questions, it’s going to be a prepared statement and then it’s going to be over. Some people think it may be, “Hey I’m going through my rehab. Things are going fine I’m going to come play at Doral in Orlando and then I’m going to play in the Masters,” or some people think, “Hey, I’m done. I’m retired.”

You really think that?

I’ve never thought he could do anything to take away from his chance to play golf. I don’t think that, but why would he make a statement where he’s not going to allow for questions unless he decided he’s going to take some time off?

Could this just be a way for him to test the waters with the public and then disappear again for a while?

There’s no question and maybe he has to go back to the rehab place. I don’t know how those things work and I don’t want to find out. Somebody has said to me that Billy Payne, who runs the Masters, has said, “I don’t want, Tiger, this to be your first tournament back. We don’t want the circus that comes with it.” This year at the tournament and the Farmers Insurance, it used to be the Buick one of Tiger’s sponsors, there were planes out there dragging signs behind them that I don’t think the Masters wants any part of.

Would the Masters be the only tournament that would or could say no to Tiger?

No question. Nobody says no to Tiger. I don’t know who’s driving this bus here. If this is Mark Steinberg, if this is Tiger’s wishes, it’s just very interesting this whole thing how it has played out. There was a picture of Tiger running in his long sleeve shirt and he’s all buffed out and looks happy and normal. I think they are trying to control this thing and in my opinion if he doesn’t appear contrite and apologetic about everything, then I don’t know. I hope this isn’t something of me against the world again.

What else do you know about the press conference?

I know Tim Finchem has set this up at the lawn at Sawgrass. I don’t quite understand, Tiger could easily do this is Isleworth in Orlando where he lives and control it even more. I know there is a great press head at Sawgrass and it’s only a two and a half hour drive in that Cadillac Escalade. I don’t know who else has been invited. I know when a guy like Notah Begay III withdraws from a tournament withouth a reason that’s fineable offense. We don’t have a policy that allows you to withdraw from a tournament without being sick or injured. I think Tiger really wants some friends there. That’s why this thing is a mystery to me.

What is the feeling about him winning tournaments this year?

There is no player out here that doesn’t think he can do that. Everybody knows that Tiger has been the best player ever and he’s overcome any obstacles there might be and seems to be able to turn anything off the golf course out of his mind at anytime. I’m sure he can do that again. It’s a mixed bag of feelings out here. There are some players that are mad and disappointed at how he’s handled this and what he’s done, David Duval would be one of those players we had dinner the other night, and the opposite side would be Kenny Perry who said, “He just needs a big hug.” He’s already got a few of those though.

What has Duval said, because he and Tiger used to be buddies?

They were, but Duval has turned into a real family man. He’s happily married and he’s got a couple of kids from his new wife. Susie Duval and my wife are all friends. He’s disappointed with the lies and the way this thing has been handled. Everybody is in shock at the way it’s been handled, but I don’t know what the truth is. It would be fantastic in this press conference if he laid out the actual timeline of what happened instead of keeping us all guessing and all talking about it, because that would remove all the talk about it.

How does this affect the PGA players when they speak to the media? Have they had enough?

When the interview is not about you or not about golf it gets kind of, I wouldn’t say boring in this case, but you kind of want every interview have to be about how well you just played. This has taken on a life of its own that is way beyond golf. For us we don’t get to many articles on TMZ or entertainment magazines. Those are the things we are just not used to handling. We are not good at handling it. It gets old and it will be good to get over, but the positive of this and the positive for us is we are learning what golf will be like or could be like without Tiger. We’ve done a pretty good job at filling sponsor holes. Finchem and his staff have done a great job in this economy. We don’t have many open spaces on our tour season now.

Do you think that the average person would watch golf if Tiger isn’t involved?

Phil [Mickelson] would have to pick up the slack. We’d have to have some other guys that could do it and I like that saying the cliché, “Nobody is bigger than the game.” Guys like Arnold [Palmer] and Jack [Nicklaus] would actually say that. You don’t really here that out of Tiger’s mouth or the actions. I always thought the great players tried to help the game and tour out in a lot of different ways. I hope that our top players realize that.

How about the wives on tour? Are they disgusted by all of this?

I think so. I certainly haven’t gone out and polled them all. It’s unbelievable and I think a lot of them are wondering what Elin’s going to do. I know in my situation if I pulled this off I’d be without body parts.

Do you think Elin is going to allow herself to be a prop in the press conference if she is there?

No way, absolutely not. I hate to say I have inside info but she’s not going to be there.

Any other Nike guys going to be there?

I don’t know if [Charles] Barkley got the invite, if he’d show.

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