There will be no appearance on Oprah, no chat with Larry King, and though the subject matter would certainly fit, no screaming from Jerry Springer's couch, either.
Three months after his solo car crash started a chain of events that precipited the biggest fall from grace of any prominent sports figure, Tiger Woods is going to beg forgiveness -- on his own, tightly controlled terms.
What, you're surprised?
Making his first public comments since before his long-running sex scandal began, the world No. 1 will make a press statement before a small, mostly hand-picked group Friday at 11 a.m. outside Jacksonville, Fla., where he is expected to offer an apology for what he recently characterized as "transgressions."
Woods won't field questions and will appear before a contingent of friends, business associates, PGA Tour personnel, corporate types and a group of six reporters. His comments be broadcast live via a video feed from inside the clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass, a few yards from tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Before the press conference was announced, Woods' publicist spoke with the president of the Golf Writers Association of America, who helped select which reporters would be allowed to attend. Woods' publicist said Woods mostly plans to explain himself and fall on his sword.
"That's it," said Vartan Kupelian, the GWAA president. "He just wants to come out and tell his side of the story. Not even so much that, but to mostly apologize and to see if he can start making amends."
How much illumination will be shed on the state of his family life, his playing schedule or his extra-marital activities of the past few years will be left solely up to Woods. The attendees were screened and could include Woods' mother and Nike officials in the group of approximately 30 that will be allowed to listen in person, Kupelian said.
The Golf Channel will broadcast the Woods statement live, beginning at 10:30 a.m., which conceivably could produce the highest rating in the network's history.
Woods, who has been romantically linked with more than a dozen women, including a couple of porn stars, has been on an indefinite break since the scandal began with a mysterious solo car crash outside his Orlando on the morning after Thanksgiving. His only comments have been made via his website and he hasn’t said anything since Dec. 11, when he announced he was withdrawing from tour competition.
Reporters from three major wire services have been green-lighted to attend, and Kupelian said three other pool reporters will be granted access: Kupelian, formerly of the Detroit News; Bob Harig, a writer from ESPN.com; and a third reporter from a national golf magazine are expected to be admitted. Kupelian invited Mark Soltau of Golf Digest to serve as the magazine representative, but hadn't heard whether he could attend. Golf Digest pays Woods a fee to write instructional articles for the magazine and Soltau, a member of the GWAA board, is employed by Woods to write stories for his website.
In typical Woods fashion, he didn't seem too concerned with other issues in golf, namely that the richest tournament of the year to date is being held this week in Tucson, the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Then again, Accenture was the first company to drop Woods as a spokesman in the aftermath of the sordid scandal. The timing of the announcement was entirely Woods' call, the spokesman told Kupelian.
When Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, was asked if the news conference could have waited until after the Accenture tournament, Steinberg told the Associated Press, "No."
"This is all about the next step," Steinberg told the A.P. "He's looking forward to it."
Steinberg characterized the invitees as "small group of friends, colleagues and close associates," so pretty clearly, Woods won't address any issues he isn't comfortable with.
If he addresses many at all.
Woods posted the following on his website Wednesday afternoon:
"Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future, and he plans to apologize for his behavior.
"While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between him and his wife, he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends, and that's what he's going to discuss.
"His remarks will be open to a press pool for live coverage. It is not a news conference."
That much is pretty clear. This is an exercise in toxic cleanup and finally getting in front of a story he has avoided for parts of four months.
Steinberg issued a press release noting that other reporters excluded from the session would be allowed to watch from a nearby room ... located a mile away at the Sawgrass Marriott. It read: "As a courtesy, there will be a room made available at a nearby conference center for credentialed reporters."
The bolded type was supplied by Steinberg himself. In other words, TMZ, Radaronline, the National Enquirer and the other tabloids that have been breathing down Woods' neck since Thanksgiving needn't bother coming.
In another curious development, PGA Tour Commissioner Finchem seemingly confirmed Wednesday that Woods had been in sex rehab, which had been reported by various tabloids, but few mainstream media outlets. Of course, given the multiple issues Woods has been wrestling with, rehab is a term that could have several applications.
"I don't know what his plans are in terms of what he's going to say," the commissioner said from the press room in Arizona. "I don't know what he's going to do after he finishes his rehab."
Players in Arizona wondered whether Woods was being vindictive -- hardly an unknown character trait for him -- with his timing. He had three months to stand up and account for his actions, and he picked this weekend.
“I suppose he might want to get something back against the sponsor that dropped him,” Rory McIlroy told reporters, though Golfweek reported that the comment was magically edited out of the tour's supposedly verbatim transcript.
Ernie Els was even less magnanimous, as players in Tucson felt the life being sucked out of theior tournament by Woods' ego.
"It’s selfish," he told Golfweek. "You can write that. I feel sorry for the sponsor. Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday.”