News & Opinion

Tiger Woods to NBC: Thanks, but no thanks

Tiger Woods 2020
Tiger Woods declined NBC’s invitation to participate in the broadcast of next week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, site of one of his most memorable major-championship moments.

Network’s offer for Woods to join U.S. Open telecast from Torrey Pines, site of historic 2008 victory, is turned down, Dan Hicks says

Tiger Woods declined NBC’s offer to participate in the broadcast of the U.S. Open’s return to Torrey Pines next week, an NBC golf analyst said.

Dan Hicks, speaking with reporters this week on a conference call previewing the network’s coverage, said that Woods, who won the 2008 U.S. Open in a dramatic Monday playoff against Rocco Mediate, declined an invitation to participate in the telecast.

“We were thinking how good that would be,” Hicks said. “Who better, if he couldn’t be there, to voice it and have him be a part of the show? But we were rebuffed. He didn’t want to do it.

“I understand his situation. There is a lot going on in his world right now. There’s always a part of Tiger that he doesn’t want to become a sideshow, an event, that we should be concentrating on what’s happening. I believe that if he said ‘yes’ to something, it would be a nonstop parade of asks, and you’d have to start telling everybody ‘no.’

“Hopefully, he'll be at home watching on TV, and he’ll be inspired by us talking about what he did.”

Woods, 44, has been recovering from traumatic injuries to his right leg in a one-car rollover crash on Feb. 23 near Los Angeles. Woods underwent at least two rounds of surgery in L.A.-area hospitals before he returned to his home in Jupiter, Fla., to begin what is expected to be a rehabilitation that could take a year or longer.

Woods has not competed on the PGA Tour since November, when he tied for 38th at the Masters. He remains tied with Sam Snead for the all-time victories record on the PGA Tour, with 82.

Woods posted one of the most memorable of his 15 major-championship victories in the U.S. Open’s only previous visit to Torrey Pines. He holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to tie Mediate, a career journeyman who was on the verge of a Jack Fleck-like moment, forcing an 18-hole playoff the next day. Hicks’ call – “Expect anything different?” – remains one of televised golf’s most memorable moments. In the playoff, Woods built a three-stroke lead through 10 holes, only to fritter away his advantage before making birdie once again at the 18th hole to force sudden death, which he won on the next hole.

The victory, Woods’ fourth of the year, preceded a 2009 season during which he would win six times before the public fallout from his numerous extramarital dalliances. He didn’t win again until 2012. The 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines would be his last major title until the stunning victory at the 2019 Masters.

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