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Tiger's Diabolical Masters (Media) Plan

I am not sure how many former White House press secretaries, or people who are generally in a position to know but can't speak for Tiger Woods, vetted this release Tuesday, but I tend to believe at least 25 percent of it came from Tiger himself.

The big news in the highly sanitized, five-paragraph announcement is that Woods will be returning to competitive golf at next month's Masters tournament.

This caught nobody off guard because several people in a position to know, but in no position to use their names when leaking information to the Associated Press, have indicated this is what Tiger would do.

I don't know why I am at all surprised that Woods would go into the first-person mode with a release that Ari Fleischer's group mostly typed, entirely edited, and completely reeks of cow manure.

I'd just suggest that if Tiger is really intent on wandering the path of self-destruction and deceit so many big-time athletes and politicians past and present (Bill Clinton comes to mind in this case) have taken, he'd be wise to do so with both boots pulled up high to his hips.

Fact is, any truth in the release can actually be found between the lines: There is not a major sporting venue on earth that exercises more control over the press than the Masters. This is not a return to the public for Tiger. It's anything but.

Any media ultimately allowed through the high-end gates of Augusta National better behave themselves like they were Fox News covering a Tea Party convention.

There will be no dissent.

I'd bet a dozen Titleists that anybody daring to ask a relevant or challenging question about Tiger's frisky, and notorious double-life will be run from the pristine, private Georgia countryside, and pronto.

I have it on no good authority whatsoever, that prior to releasing his washed-down release, Team Tiger had a brief conversation that resembles this with Masters officials at Augusta.

Tiger Woods: Hey, dogs.

Masters Officials: Hello, sir.

TW: I am calling to make your day.

MO: We have been awaiting this call ever since your little drive on Thanksgiving night.

TW: You think that's funny, junior?

MO: No, of course not. Sorry, sir.

TW: You know ... Arnie's bummed I'm not making my return at his tourney ...

MO: Yes, sir. But we understand. Too many of those heathens from the press might actually get unfettered access to you in Orlando -- ask you questions that have absolutely no relevance to what you and Ari want people to believe your life might just be.

TW: Huh? Er, right. Anyway ... I want a list of who has applied for Masters press credentials first thing tomorrow, or I swear I'll call this whole thing off. Ari's already prepared a nifty little out for me where I call a highly controlled press conference and sniff and moan about having to return to some sex clinic again or something. My mother has already agreed to attend.

MO: Yes, sir, we understand. We will be sending you a very, very short list of reputable media that have applied.

TW: They will understand in no uncertain terms that I will not be talking about anything but golf. If they dare ask a question about that other stuff, they get run. Oh, it would also be nice if you guys could provide me a cell phone that Elin doesn't know about.

MO: Check, and check.

TW: I also want a conference call with CBS ASAP, to lay out the ground rules for them, too.

MO: Yes, sir, of course you do.

TW: We'll also have something for (Jim) Nance to read on the air each day that kind of glosses over things and makes me look appropriately victimized.

MO: Perfect. We'll make sure they get it.

TW: And, nobody, and I mean nobody, is to follow me on the course except for (David) Feherty.

MO: Yes, sir.

TW: Ari will have the script for him in the next day or two. I want plenty of fawning and crap from David about how nobody can understand what I've been through. How hard it is for me to even be playing golf, etc. David slings that bull better than anybody. Weird thing is, I actually think he means it. Sad sucker.

MO: Oh, yes, sir. We'll make sure that you are surrounded by nothing but suckers for the entire week.

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)