PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods is to return to therapy after he speaks publicly for the first time about his infidelity, according to a letter from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem that was obtained by The Associated Press.
Finchem’s letter to the PGA Tour policy board and other officials explained why Woods chose Friday to make his first public comments, which are to be televised live by the major networks.
Woods’ statement comes during the Match Play Championship, sponsored by Accenture, the first company to drop Woods as a pitchman.
“As we understand it, Tiger’s therapy called for a week’s break at this time during which he has spent a few days with his children and then will make his statement before returning,” Finchem said in a letter Thursday. “Accordingly, there was very little flexibility in the date for the announcement.”
Woods is to speak at 11 a.m. EST from the clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour.
The letter shed no light on whether Woods plans to return to the tour anytime soon.
Ernie Els was among players who were upset to learn that Woods had chosen the week of a World Golf Championship for a public appearance that was sure to take attention away from the tournament. “It’s selfish,” Els told Golfweek magazine.
Finchem told reporters in Marana, Ariz., earlier this week that he didn’t think Woods’ appearance would undermine Accenture, and that Woods’ handlers “have their own reasons for their schedule.”
In the letter, he said the tour discussed the timing with Accenture and “they understand that the PGA Tour was not involved in determining the timing of the statement.” Finchem also noted that Woods’ comments would be over well before television coverage of the third round from Dove Mountain.
The PGA Tour made available its sprawling, Mediterranean-styled clubhouse for the announcement, and is helping set up adjacent ballrooms at the nearby Sawgrass Marriott for media, where they can watch Woods on closed-circuit TV.
Finchem said in the letter that Woods’ management asked for the facilities, and “we agreed as we would for any member of the PGA Tour.”