PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Tiger Woods' mother sat in the front row, arms folded across her black sweater, eyes fixed on her world-famous son as he apologized again for letting so many people down with his infidelity.
Kultida Woods usually is seen, not heard.
She is the Thai woman with the wide-brimmed visor, leaning on a portable seat just beyond the ropes. With rare exception, she does not give interviews.
Yesterday was different.
After Woods and all but a few of his 40 associates left the room, Mrs. Woods stayed in her seat.
"I would like to talk," she said.
It was her voice that was heard on the 911 tape the night of the Nov. 27 car accident that led to revelations of Woods' rampant affairs. "What happened?" she could be heard asking in the background.
Mrs. Woods did not want to discuss details - only to reveal she was upset. Mostly she is angry at media outlets that stalked her in airports and the relentless coverage of Woods' downfall.
"Some of media, especially tabloid, hurt my son bad," said Mrs. Woods, who moved to America some 40 years ago and speaks haltingly. "Sometimes think there double standard. He didn't do anything illegal. He didn't kill anybody. But he try to improve himself. He try to go to therapy and help. He change that and making better.
"When he go do all this thing, he will come out stronger and better person."
Woods walked directly to his mother when he finished his 13 1/2-minute statement. After they embraced, she placed her hands on his shoulders. She said she whispered in his ear, "I'm so proud of you. Never think you stand alone. Mom will always be there for you, and I love you."
Along with Woods' apology, his mother was pleased to hear him say he would return to his Buddhist faith.
"Since he was young, always Buddhism," Mrs. Woods said. "Buddhist teach go inside deep to soul and correct bad thing to be a good thing. He got back to practice Buddhism again, that make him much better person."
She said his recovery from his extramarital affairs, and his eventual return to golf, would be the toughest road Woods ever faced.
MARANA, Ariz. - Paul Casey has yet to play the final four holes at Dove Mountain after three days of the Match Play Championship.
That's because the Englishman has won all three of his matches 5 and 4, the latest over Brian Gay in the third round yesterday. Casey lost to Geoff Ogilvy in the final last year and won the European World Match Play Championship in 2006.
Casey, the highest remaining seed at No. 6 and one of three English players still in it, advanced to a quarterfinal this morning against Stewart Cink, the lone surviving American and a semifinalist in 2008 and 2009.
Cink beat South African Charl Schwartzel in 19 holes, rolling in a 29-foot putt on the 16th and an 18-footer on the 18th to avoid elimination.
Spain's Sergio Garcia advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time, beating Tim Clark of South Africa 2 and 1. Garcia will play Oliver Wilson, who beat fellow Englishman Luke Donald in 20 holes. The other two matches have South African Retief Goosen against Colombian Camilo Villegas, and Ian Poulter of England against Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.
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