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Golf Writers Group Boycotts Tiger Woods' Event
Members of the Golf Writers Association of America voted to boycott Tiger Woods' first public appearance in three months. As a result, the tightly controlled event at PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., only had wire-service reporters from the Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg News Service on hand, with no GWAA pool reporters in attendance.
There was one television camera that beamed his statement around the world and across three major American networks. Woods made his 13-minute public apology before a gathering of 40 friends, family members and business associates.
Here is the full statement on the GWAA 26-member board's decision not to participate in the event:
"I cannot stress how strongly our board felt that this should be open to all media and also for the opportunity to question Woods," said Vartan Kupelian, president of the 950-member group.
"The position, simply put, is all or none. This is a major story of international scope. To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question Woods goes against the grain of everything we believe."
The statement continues:
"The GWAA also believes strongly that its presence, without the ability to ask questions, gives credibility to an event that isn't worthy of it. The vote reflected the sentiment. Nineteen voted for the proposal to protest by boycotting the proceedings. There were four votes against the proposal and three abstentions."
Woods' camp originally sought three pool reporters for today's statement. After extended negotiations, Woods' advisors agreed to increase the number of pool reporters to six, all selected by the GWAA. That offer was also rejected.