Q: Is the announcement that Tiger Woods will return to golf at the Masters in April a surprise?
A: Yes. And no. It makes sense, certainly. The Masters is as tightly controlled as a sports event can be. Heckling is not tolerated. Running is not tolerated. The same "patrons" have been attending for generations. Press credentials are closely monitored, and the Enquirer need not apply. It's a bit surprising that he'll go directly to a major without another tournament first.
Q: Can he win at Augusta?
A: In his thirteen full years on Tour, he's won his first event of the season six times. You'd have to say he's got a shot.
Q: What do you think about the timing of the announcement?
A. It takes away a few weeks of speculation and scrutiny, as everyone was watching each Friday to see if he'd meet the deadline to enter the following week's tournament. He's given us all decent notice, but it was pretty arrogant of him to upstage the Winthrop v. Arkansas-Pine Bluff NCAA play-in game.
Q: Does this mean the talk of sex addiction treatment was a convenient smoke screen?
A: I don't know.
Q: Does it mean he and Elin have come to a final decision about staying together?
A: I don't know.
Q: Does it mean the big apology last month was just a sham?
A: I don't know. I don't think so, but anyone who says he knows any of these things has been inhaling too close to the Delphic Oracle. In the statement about his return, Tiger says he is continuing his treatment after almost two months of inpatient therapy. His public apology looked like part of a twelve-step program, but we don't know the details and probably never will.
Q: Will he now resume a full playing schedule?
A: Which part of the Delphic Oracle comment was too confusing? I don't know. Nobody knows, perhaps including Team Tiger. Speaking of which...
Q: Will there be any changes in Team Tiger?
A: It doesn't look like it, though if past performance is any indication, he won't be happy that caddie Steve Williams spoke publicly about him on New Zealand television.
Q: Is there anything you're willing to predict with some measure of confidence?
A: At the Golf Writers Association dinner in Augusta the night before the first round of the Masters, Tiger's PGA Tour Player of the Year Award will be given in absentia.