JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The only questions Tiger Woods fielded before his next tournament came from his fans.
Instead of a news conference before this week's Wells Fargo Championship, Woods answered 19 questions Monday in a 15-minute video posted on his website. The questions were submitted through Facebook and Twitter.
The timing of the decision was peculiar. Woods is coming off his worst performance ever at the Masters, a tie for 40th in which he finished 15 shots behind and was roundly criticized for kicking his 9-iron in disgust in the second round after a poor tee shot on the par-3 16th hole.
Woods typically speaks to the media before every tournament. This time, he will not speak to reporters until his first round, Thursday at Quail Hollow.
This is believed to be the first time Woods has ever skipped his media obligations before the tournament.
His agent, Mark Steinberg, told the Charlotte Observer that Woods' trading the traditional media for social media was not in response to the criticism he received at the Masters.
"The media will continue to have access to him," Steinberg said. "This isn't anything more than a couple of times a year to interact with the fans. They deserve that. This isn't intended to make a statement. This is intended to be more inclusive."
Among the softball questions he took for the video:
Do you have a good chance of winning?
Have you ever made an albatross?
What was the difference between Bay Hill (where he won) and the Masters?
Another question was what he had been working on with swing coach Sean Foley since the Masters.
"At the Masters, I was kind of struggling with my ball-striking a little bit," he said. "Sean and I fixed it. It had to do with posture. My setup wasn't quite right, as well as my takeaway. I just needed to do hundreds of reps. I'm getting dialed in."
On other topics:
He said he has made an albatross twice in his career, but not in competition. One was during a practice round at the Walker Cup in Wales in 1995, the other at Isleworth just two days after watching Mark O'Meara make a 2 on the par-5 seventh hole.
His favorite trophy from the majors is the claret jug awarded the British Open champion.
As for his chances of winning?
"I feel like I do, yes," Woods said. "I feel like if I do the things that we've been working on, and get my posture and takeaway dialed in, then yes, I feel like I have a good chance. . . ."