Local Fans React to Woods' Troubles

December 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Tiger Woods' admitted "transgressions" have cost him the support of many valley fans who said they held him to a higher standard than many other pro athletes.Members of the Riverside women's golf club were all smiles until the conversation turned to Tiger Woods. Lola Swan of Fresno said, "We were even comparing it to Clinton this morning, saying guys seem to get in high places and have power and they seem to think this is okay." On this day, golf was a good way to release their frustration. Paula Yost said, "We were so disappointed because you know, you look up to him and he's such a clean-cut guy. We just thought no way is it true."

Tiger and Elin Woods appeared to be a happy couple as they took in a Stanford football game less than a week before his accident.

Fans say the public will be quicker to forgive than his family. Riverside golf pro Marvin Wiggs explained, "I really don't think it's going to hinder him much. I mean, there have certainly been other sports icons that have gone through personal issues and have taken the appropriate steps."

Some say Tiger's troubles don't deserve any attention at all. Carl Chance of Fresno said, "It's kind of private. It should be left there. They say the public has the right to know but I don't think so."

Mike Firpo heads First Tee of Fresno, a non-profit group which introduces kids to the so-called gentlemen's sport. Firpo said, "This is a great opportunity for me to talk to the kids about the honesty and integrity factor in golf and how we take that for granted out here and yet if you apply that to your life, you can actually avoid situations like this."

Despite the disappointment, Firpo believes Tiger's fan support will gradually come back. He added, "He's still gonna draw. People can say what they want. We've seen it in all the other sports. It's gonna happen in golf."


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