Federer: Tiger to return soon
PARIS — Roger Federer says he's spoken to his friend Tiger Woods by phone and predicts he will be back soon "as the wonderful golfer we know."
The tennis star said in an interview published yesterday that Woods' car accident in November and subsequent reports about his private life have been hard on the golfer and his family.
Federer told French sports daily L'Equipe that he expressed his support, and said Woods' troubles were "instructive."
"The tabloids are going crazy, sponsor contracts are falling apart. ... I've always been aware that the image you patiently construct for an entire career can be ruined in a minute," Federer said. "It scares you a bit, but that's the way things are."
Woods has not played since winning the Australian Masters on Nov. 15. Two weeks later, he ran his SUV into a tree outside of his Florida home in the middle of the night, and allegations of rampant affairs soon followed. He confessed to "infidelity" and said Dec. 11 he would take a break from golf to focus on becoming a better husband, father and person.
Woods hasn't been seen in public since the accident, and other friends have said they have tried — unsuccessfully — to reach him.
"Tiger needs calm. And soon he'll become the wonderful golfer that we know again," Federer said.
WOODS PLANNING AID FOR HAITI CHILDREN
Tiger Woods plans to help with relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti by supporting groups that provide resources to children.
Greg McLaughlin, president of the Tiger Woods Foundation, said yesterday he has not received any information from rap mogul Russell Simmons, who has said on Twitter that Woods is providing $3 million to help with the recovery.
McLaughlin said the foundation staff was evaluating "the most appropriate role" to help the Haitian people.
"Our plan is to be part of the relief effort to help rebuild Haiti by supporting organizations that provide critical resources to young people, which is consistent with our mission and previous efforts regarding Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami," McLaughlin said in a statement.
Woods established the foundation when he turned pro in 1996. Its mission is to "deliver unique experiences and innovative educational opportunities to youth worldwide," and its most recent annual report says it has reached over 10 million children.
Woods' foundation gave $100,000 to tsunami relief efforts in 2004 through Give2Asia, with the money directed toward two groups providing sanctuary and relief to children. It also gave the Baton Rouge Area Foundation $200,000 to set up a Hurricane Katrina educational fund.