News 12 at 11 o'clock, March 16, 2010
AUGUSTA,Ga.-- Ask almost any golfer in the CSRA their thoughts on Tiger Woods' return and they'll all gladly give you their take on what's ahead for Woods now that he'll be playing in the Masters. Tournament.
Members of the River Golf Club in North Augusta were buzzing about Woods' return on Tuesday at the course and in the clubhouse. Woods fans say it is time for him to resurface and get back to what he does best - playing golf. His skeptics however, say it is time for him to step up to the plate and quit hiding out.
"My name is Earl, "Tiger Woods" Barton!" says Earl Barton a, proud Tiger Woods fan.
Barton makes it no secret-- he is happy to hear Woods is back and will play at the tournament. As he sits among friends at the River Golf Club, the talk is all about Tiger's comeback.
I think it's great," says Barton."It is the Masters, he's a professional golfer and he's won it before. He needs to come back."
Jeff Wolf has a slightly different take on Woods' return.
He says it's long overdue for the golfer to face the game and his fans. However, he predicts, this Masters Tournament may be Tiger's toughest one.
"It is about time he came out of hiding and faced the crowd and play golf," says Wolf. "But I don't think there's any doubt that he's going to be distracted to some degree."
Jessica Hoang is a golfing great in the making. She id the Junior LPGA Champion of the Carolinas. The North Augusta 9Th grader, could be the next Michelle Wie. She says regardless of what happens in Wood's personal life you can not deny his skills.
"I think everybody should just leave him alone," says Jessica.
"He has a good mental game and he never gives up.He's an inspiration for how his game is, and how strong he is."
"His marriage is his business, his wife's business, and professional golf is his business too," says Barton. "He needs to keep it private and that's what he needs to do."
Wolf has a different viewpoint.
"To some degree, his private life is going to be public," he says. "All of us are not in the limelight like he is.I don't think that there's any way that you can't help but cross over to some degree."
Barton and Wolf do agree on one thing all eyes will be on Augusta this year. With his mistakes in the past, his future is the focus is now.
"The past is past, you can't change it, you might as well change the future and stay with the present," says Hoang.
The talk of Tiger re-launching his career in Augusta has certainly started to affect businesses and services. We talked to Berckman's Golfhouse and Hospitality on Tuesday. They say they were unusually busy today handling a new rush of reservations after Tiger's announcement. Other businesses along Washington Road are also hoping that business will be good this year.