The trigger point: The champ's agent, Mark Steinberg, informing the Associated Press on Thursday that "a small group of friends, colleagues and close associates" – along with six hand-selected reporters – will be permitted to join Woods at 11 a.m. Friday at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where he "plans to discuss his past and his future and he plans to apologize for his behavior," according to Steinberg and the golfer's spokesman, Glenn Greenspan.
The idea of Woods's establishing a controlled situation, where no questions will be allowed, prompted a disappointed reaction from Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Bamberger.
He opined for Golf.com: "Tiger Woods is a world-class control freak, and in his re-entry into public life – which has showered him with wealth and opportunities and trappings that we can only imagine – he is picking up right where he left off. He controls all. He's the same way with his golf ball. He tells it exactly what he wants it to do."
Some SympathyThen again, as expressed on message boards across the Web, many are less outraged by Tiger's seemingly patchwork attempt to repair his shattered personal reputation than they are by his professional absence from the game.
As posted by someone named Steve in response to the Golf.com article: "The media, including Michael Bamberger, needs to get over themselves. Newsflash: Tiger doesn't owe you anything, especially an apology. The only people he owes an apology to are his family and possibly his flock of bimbos. What he did was very scummy, but I couldn't care less. He's not my role model – I just want to watch him play golf."
Part of that same sentiment is also echoed by Paul Abric, who posted a message Thursday on PEOPLE.com. He wrote, "Tiger has not committed a crime! As a matter of fact, he just got caught doing what comes naturally – people should check their closet, how many others have done the same – I would love to know!"
Not that everyone is so forgiving. Also writing in response to a PEOPLE.com story on Woods, a reader named Steve Keezer posted: "He's a loser. Trying to apologize so he can get back in the money. He'll just be more careful now about his cheating and lies!"