Thursday, 8 April 2010

An excellent telling off

Billy Payne was openly critical of Tiger Woods

"Our hero did not live up to his expectations of the role model we saw for our children," he said.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, Payne described Woods as a "very special player" who had proved himself one of the greats of the sport, but one who had let himself down.

"As he ascended in our rankings of the world's great golfers he became an example to our kids that success is directly attributable to hard work and effort.

"But, as he now says himself, he forgot the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibility.

"It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here. It is the fact that he disappointed all of us and, more importantly, our kids and our grandkids," he said.

"Is there a way forward? I hope yes, I think yes. But certainly his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par, but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change.

"I hope he now realises that every kid he passes on the course wants his swing, but would settle for his smile.

"I hope he can come to understand that life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who bring joy to the lives of other people."

Payne added: "We at Augusta hope and pray that our great champion will begin his new life here tomorrow in a positive, hopeful and constructive manner, but this time with a significant difference from the past.

"This year it will not be just for him, but for all of us who believe in second chances."

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