Poll: Tiger Woods' apology was sincere, but favorable rating plummets

March 04, 2010

The public sincerely believes Tiger Woods was sincere in his apology. But given his overall poll numbers, Woods probably couldn't win a seat on his local school board.

An ABC News/ESPN poll revealed 54 percent believe Woods truly is sorry for the extramarital affairs that have put his marriage and reputation in peril. Of the more than 1,000 polled last week, 22 percent did not believe he was sincere and 24 percent hhad no opinion.

His overall favorable rating, though, is at 39 percent, compared with 88 percent in 2000 and 85 in 2005.

Equally revealing were the results of a Sports Illustrated poll of Golf Magazine's top 100 teachers. Only 12 percent said their opinion of Woods went up after the apology (30 percent down, 58 percent unchanged), and the instructors were split on how the affair of affairs will affect Woods' golf game.

Same: 45 percent. Worse: 33 percent. Better: 22 percent.

"Better," said New Jersey teaching pro Mike Lopuszynski. "How could 18 girlfriends and a wife not be a distraction?"

Where's the beef? Masters champ Angel Cabrera will make sure his Champions Dinner guests will not leave the table hungry. His traditional Argentine "asado" will feature chorizo (pork sausage), morcilla (blood sausage), mollejas (thymus gland of bull), costillas (beef ribs) and vacio (beef).

Cabrera said during a Masters conference call that the victory has impacted his hometown of Cordoba, Argentina: "I have seen a lot of kids picking up the game."

Cabrera hopes Woods returns in time to play Augusta, but … "the Masters will be the Masters with or without Tiger," he said.

Jack Nicklaus weighed in on Woods on Wednesday, saying it would surprise him if Woods did not return to competitive golf in time for the Masters. "I've been very noncommittal about anything as it's not my business," he said. "But as it relates to him playing golf, my guess is as a golfer he's going to want to try to play Augusta if he's got his other things in order."

Chip shots:Annika Sorenstam has a new digital magazine, and the first issue was released Wednesday (annikasorenstam .com/Magazine.htm). … The Golf Writers Association of America named Ernie Els the recipient of the Charlie Bartlett Award, given to a pro golfer for his or her contributions to society. Els and wife Liezl are raising $30 million for the first-of-its-kind Autism Center of Excellence, a facility in Florida that will research autism and help kids such as their son, 7-year-old Ben Els.

- Teddy Greenstein

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