Masters chairman Billy Payne chastises Tiger Woods in address

Augusta — Augusta National Golf Club and Masters Tournament Chairman Billy Payne took Tiger Woods to task during his annual chairman’s address.

After comparing Woods the golfer to Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, Payne proceeded to chastise Woods the role model for his behavior off the course and toward fans.

“As he ascended in our rankings of the world’s great golfers, he became an example to our kids that success is directly attributable to hard work and effort,” Payne said during his opening remarks. “But as he now says of himself, he forgot in the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibility. It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here; it is the fact that he disappointed all of us and, more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to the expectations we saw for our children.”

Payne seemed to be as bothered by how aloof Woods is in public as he was by his private transgressions.

“Certainly his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par, but measured by the sincerity in his efforts to change,” Payne said. “I hope he realizes that every kid he passes on the course wants his swing but would settle for his smile.

“I hope he can come to understand that life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who bring joy to other people.”

Payne, a UGA graduate and Atlanta native, also addressed several other subjects in his annual remarks, traditionally delivered the day before the Masters begins.

  • The new practice facility and Augusta National’s commitment to “the concept of perpetual improvement.”
  • Changes to the golf course, which includes lengthening the tees on No. 5 and No. 13, expanding the patron corridor between the No. 1 tee and the practice green and rebuilding the greens on Nos. 2 and 15 to encourage more players to try to reach the par-5 holes in two shots.
  • Broadcasting the tournament — and today’s Par-3 Contest — for the first time in 3D.
  • Sponsoring (along with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in Great Britain) the Asian Amateur Championship. The winner is an automatic qualifer.

246 comments Add your comment

NO WAY

April 7th, 2010
3:43 pm

I’m no Tiger fan and less of a Billy Payne fan. Who care what this clown thinks? Perhaps he should realize not everyone clings to his every word as he seems to think they do.

CaseyMac

April 7th, 2010
3:45 pm

Why is it so important that a woman become a member of this private club? I just don’t get it.
It is a private club……..private means it can exclude. Go fight a more worthwhile and meaningful battle. Like salaries, jobs, promotions, etc. Get a life!!!

Y'All Finished????

April 7th, 2010
3:45 pm

While you’re at it, can you speak of how disappointed you were of all the women who got down with Tiger? One sided, hypocrisy. For the record, none of us — no group, no race, no creed — has the market on the moral compass. I bet there are other golfers who are just hoping and praying their dirty laundry doesn’t get aired.

I am sick of these so-called righteous folk condemning Tiger. As if they are so chaste and pure! Just which one of us is without sin that we can cast a stone at Tiger. And at the Masters? If he was so bad, why didn’t you just keep him out. To allow him to play and chastise him is just grandstanding to me. What? I’m disappointed at all the Conservative Republicans who went out to a strip club and asked for reimbursement!!

If ya living in a glass house, don’t throw no stones! Tiger has moved on. He’s playing. It’s over.

Dawglasville

April 7th, 2010
3:45 pm

IMHO- “Typical” implies “most” not “many.” I graduated from UGA and none of those apply to myself or any of my fellow UGA friends. I am a white, middle aged, Georgia native and Billy Payne has never represented me. I am glad to see that the AJC will edit some stereotypes but are slow to edit others. I guess they wait and see how offended people get before they take them off. Maybe if you would have used the word “cracker” that would have put you over the top.

Faith and Balanced

April 7th, 2010
3:47 pm

Risky statements by Payne. Would be interested to see the entire speech and context of each of these statements. Truth is that he stated the truth whether anyone likes it or not – and Tiger agrees. Why is it so judgmental to state the truth and basically to quote Tiger himself?

Interesting that when people disagree with ANYTHING that comes out of Augusta National, the race and gender card is played! I didn’t notice any reference to race or gender in Payne’s comments.

Tiger had grown distant from fans, had grown arrogant (by his own admission) and had failed in his clearly stated mission to be an ambassador for golf. He has to take some heat for this failure – not just in therapy, but in the world of golf. The Masters is a good place for him to make a comeback, and a good place to set the record straight about where we are with this failed ambassador.

Actually, Tiger would do well to say “Amen” to what Payne had to say. After all, he has already agreed to all of this in his public confessions. By the way, all the networks, newspapers, the PGA and just about everyone except for the tabloids, have tip toed around Tiger too much for too long and basically sold out to the Tiger driven money on the tour for years and during this personal crisis. British and European TV do not cut out his terrible verbage, taking God’s name in vain or his throwing clubs that go into the gallary that almost hurt people – and with no apology from the man himself. Public figures (like it or not) will have to endure some scalding when they mess up and Tiger’s turn was coming. But this will pass as he makes a comeback both on the course and in his home. I’m pulling for him – first in his home and secondly on the course.

Millicent

April 7th, 2010
3:47 pm

Billy Payne is crazy as hell!! The only children and grandchildren Tiger owes anything to are his own! And if children are at golf tournaments, especially the Masters, they have enough of everything anyway…whether Tiger smiles or speaks to them! They’ll be OK!

Y'All Finished????

April 7th, 2010
3:48 pm

I’m also sick of all this talk about “our children.” It ain’t never about the kids. It’s all about the speaker wanting to grandstand. Parents should be a child’s role model. Your kids are no one’s responsiblilty but your own. To put that on athletes and entertainers is a cop out. Why? Because everybody has faults. Parents, be a role model to your own children, then you wouldn’t have to worry about people the children don’t even know failing them!

IT’S NEVER ABOUT THE KIDS!!!!

Blackberry Cobbler

April 7th, 2010
3:50 pm

This is the kind of attention the Masters and golf doesn’t need. If Billy Payne would just shut up his pie hole, this Tiger crap would eventually blow over. But blowhards like Payne can’t resist the opportunity to draw attention to themselves. He needs to just stick to golf and leave everything else alone.

Y'All Finished????

April 7th, 2010
3:50 pm

One more thing . . . until you have dealt with your loose women, this type of thing will always occur. Why don’t you address the women, groupies who fall over these celebrities, not caring whether or not they have a wife.

Are you disappointed at all the women who “would date Tiger” or who are waiting for him?

To attack the man without getting at the women involved is one-sided and not fair. It takes two to tango. Deal with the loose and immoral women, too!!! Everybody on the planet knew he was married and they could not have possibly thought they were the only one WHEN THE MAN HAD A WIFE!!!!

Derek

April 7th, 2010
3:52 pm

Billy Payne is a jerk. Who is Billy Payne? A jerk who has made his living off of other people. Pack up your red dirt and head back to the farm you silly hillbilly!

Sick of the Palin(ites)

April 7th, 2010
3:52 pm

Billy Payne is NOT God. Tiger Woods has apologized although I don’t know why. This is his business and not anybody else’s. Besides, Tiger has made the Masters, Augusta, Nike, Billy, and the whole golfing industry…a whole lot of money. So shut up Billy! Just because your transgressions haven’t hit the news yet, doesn’t make you better than Tiger Woods. How dare you chastise another grown man. Grow up Billy!

IMHO

April 7th, 2010
3:53 pm

Dawglasville

When did I ever say a word about Billy Payne being white in my post? The things I described are how I see SOME uga fans/alums/attended but never graduated persons. For all I care, these persons could be black, native-american, Indian, or pacific islander.

I thought that I made that point clear that I was not referring to all uga fans/alums/attended but never graduated persons but clearly i’ve fallen short of that.

However, even if I didn’t feel those things about SOME uga fans/alums/attended but never graduated persons, Billy Payne still needs to sit down and shut his mouth.

What he is doing now is a cowardice as if you were to kick a wounded man in his ribs as he is asking for forgiveness. Billy Payne has shamed himself and any person/organization that he is affiliated with (i.e., his family, Augusta National, and UGA)

The Dawgfather

April 7th, 2010
3:54 pm

Well said, “Faith and Balanced”. I couldn’t agree more.

Rod

April 7th, 2010
3:56 pm

This from a place that was only integrated in the 1990’s. And still doesn’t let women in? The nerve!!

GA Native

April 7th, 2010
3:56 pm

It is a private club, they can allow who they wish. If you don’t like it, don’t go, don’t watch, don’t support the master’s no one will miss you. As for Tiger, WHO CARES, he did what thousands have and will continue to do. It was wrong, we all know that. Worry about yourself and raise your kids yourself. Why do people continue to worry about everyone else being the example for their kids, YOU be the example for your kids.

Dawglasville

April 7th, 2010
4:00 pm

IMHO- agreed that Payne is kicking a wounded dog. He should shut up. I just wish we would all go easy on the stereotypes. That is all I am asking for.

SA

April 7th, 2010
4:01 pm

Why is it that some groups feel they’re entitled to everything that exists?

IMHO

April 7th, 2010
4:01 pm

GA Native

It is not about the club being private etc (i’m referencing your reply to ‘Rod’) but rather it is the blatant hypocrisy of a many to chastise Tiger about anything on moral grounds when he himself is a integral part of an organization that has been ostensibly supported separatism and STILL advocates sexism

CV

April 7th, 2010
4:01 pm

GET OVER IT!!!!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!

IMHO

April 7th, 2010
4:02 pm

Dawglasville

point taken – i will commit to achieving that goal as well

alonzo

April 7th, 2010
4:03 pm

Do we really need to hear Everybody’s opinion about something that is none of their business?? So, he has an opinion. So what?
Move on people!

GT

April 7th, 2010
4:04 pm

Billy ain’t hiding, he is right there with what he thinks and he thinks like a mature adult not a golf groupie who needs a life. Augusta’s not for everybody, they don’t try to be. The masses don’t understand that and Augusta has shown in the past they don’t need the masses.

Jeff

April 7th, 2010
4:05 pm

He who is without sin cast the first stone. The man made several mistakes. He apologized for them. Now lets move on.

Jeff

April 7th, 2010
4:07 pm

Augusta National looks to be a beautiful golf club; however, as a black man, I will not lose any sleep if I never go there.

droopydawg

April 7th, 2010
4:08 pm

shocking that a racist POS like him would have something bad to say about the top black athlete in a traditionally white sport. I’m sure Trevino, Nicklaus, Palmer, et al NEVER cheated on their wives. Just like JFK…people in the 50s and 60s were just more moral right?

IMHO

April 7th, 2010
4:08 pm

GT

You’re entitled to your opinion, but please post under another handle and not one that has any affiliation with georgia tech – I would like to think that a Tech Man/Woman wouldn’t condone the belief that it is ok to limit someone’s access/participation due to said person’s race/color/sex/creed/etc

Jeff

April 7th, 2010
4:09 pm

What would you all think if Tiger decided not to play at your restricted club?

Canedawg

April 7th, 2010
4:09 pm

Again…

Augusta National does not descriminate against minorities. It discriminates 100% against ANYONE WHO IS NOT FILTHY RICH…

I mean, the first and only condition you have to meet is to be worth several hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s it.

Now, let’s look at the percentages of our society that is worth that much money, and have any desire to join a golf club. How many of them are minorities and how many of them are women? If you could find that statistic and make the comparision, I would bet that Augusta National isn’t too far off.

Seems like the problem with our society may be that almost all the people worth that much money are while males. That’s a culture problem, not an Augusta problem.

Those guys are rich people – really rich people – who probably joined Augusta just to say they were members.

Find me a woman worth a billion dollars who won’t use the situation for her own political gain – and who wants to join – and you may find Augusta’s first female member. Again, I don’t know the statistics, but I would venture to say that number is limited…

Just Sayin'

April 7th, 2010
4:11 pm

Those who have a problem with Mr. Payne and AN, don’t join and don’t watch. They don’t need you but it sure sounds like you need them. And THAT is far worse than what Mr. Payne could EVER say.

IMHO

April 7th, 2010
4:12 pm

Canedawg

I can think of a few….

Hillary Rodham

and the mother of them all….Oprah

Can you explain why either two of these political powerhouse billionaires are not members?

SA

April 7th, 2010
4:16 pm

IMHO,

Yeah, they can’t golf.

Canedawg

April 7th, 2010
4:17 pm

And to revisit an earlier comment:

This is one of the nicest, most fan-friendly environments in sports. Can’t take your kids to a football game anymore, that’s for sure. All 3 Georgia games I attended this year were a little over the top with the drunks, and cursing, and puking – entertaining, sure, but my 8 year old daughter just doesn’t fit in. And I am not knocking Athens. I have been to USC (yearly) and LSU and Auburn and Tech and they all have gotten really bad.

Baseball games aren’t bad, but you still get beer spilled on you and your kids and have to explain the occasional F-bomb when it flies…

Conyers Golfer

April 7th, 2010
4:17 pm

Everyone involved in this latest and ongoing mess should chill out. Everyone has opinions which is the same as everyone having a nose. If this what blogs are for, its my opinion that no one should judge
Tiger Woods or Billy Payne.

IMHO

April 7th, 2010
4:17 pm

SA

lol, ok and how exactly do you know that?

A Fan

April 7th, 2010
4:18 pm

People seem to believe that a critic has to be perfect themselves. That’s crap. Billy Payne never claimed to be perfect. What he did was express his opinion, and as the Chairman he has the appropriate forum to do so. I don’t find this earth shattering. Tiger is the biggest news item at the Masters so far this week.

Also, what was said was no great tongue lashing. It’s an expression of disappointment and a wish for the future. I’d bet that Tiger expects some of this with all the uproar. If not, he isn’t as smart as people think he is.

My hope is that these comments will be the last. I enjoy playing and watching golf. My hope is that Tiger works things out with his wife and they are both happy. In the mean time, I would like to see some golf and enjoy the TV view of one of the most beautful places on earth. The worst day on a course is better than the best day at the office.

Canedawg

April 7th, 2010
4:19 pm

Pretty sure the second part of my conditions (the political gain part) kicks out both of IMHO’s examples…

Canedawg

April 7th, 2010
4:21 pm

Although I would love to see Oprah Winfrey hit a golf ball…

G-Money

April 7th, 2010
4:21 pm

This is absolutely, positively, one of the most funniest things I have ever heard. The fact that anyone from that racist, sexist institution in Augusta can possibly sit in judgment is beyond me. I believe he should state in his conservative Christian drawl that Tiger is forgiven by the Lord, and not add his spin on how he let people down. Tiger Woods is not responsible for instilling morals and values into my children. He is here to score lower than everyone else, and make terrific golf shots.

A Fan

April 7th, 2010
4:21 pm

How do we know August National is an advocate of sexism? Has any woman with the money to join tried to gain membership? Hell, it took Bill Gates years to gain membership. The report a couple of years ago was they approached a few rich women who turned them down. This club conducts their business in private, and many clubs have trouble recruiting women.

Good Ole' Lefty

April 7th, 2010
4:23 pm

Are you gonna sit there and tell me that White Trash Payne hasn’t ever had a woman on the side????? Give me a break!!! That doesn’t change the fact that Tiger is a cheating POS, but I don’t think Deliverance Payne needs to be casting any stones.

Canedawg

April 7th, 2010
4:23 pm

And the point of my comment was that Augusta is just representative of how screwed up the socio-economic landscape of our society is…

IMHO

April 7th, 2010
4:24 pm

Canedawg

What politically could Hillary or Oprah gain that they don’t already have?

Secretary of State….1st lady for 8 years….hosted President Obama on her show…

yeah, joining augusta national will get them more political power than all of those accomplishments

dj stokely

April 7th, 2010
4:25 pm

Maybe someone needed to talk to Ty Cobb about way the childreen looked up to him. He was a frequent guest at Augusta National and was welcomed and what he did was a lot worse than a bunch of bimbos. Billy just STFU and stick to running your golf club.

Chairman Get A Clue....

April 7th, 2010
4:26 pm

To the CHAIRMAN A SPORTS FIGURE SHOULD NEVER BE THE ROLE MODEL, THAT THE PARENTS JOB WHAT WORLD ARE YOU LIVING IN FANATASY THIS IS THE REAL WORLD. GET OFF THAT PRE MADONNA WORLD. PARENTE ARE ALWAYS THE ROLE MODELS. THAT WHATY YOU SAY WHEN THEY DO THINGS AT HOME. GO EAT A JARED SUBWAY SANDWICH LOSER!!!!!

Jim

April 7th, 2010
4:27 pm

If you don’t like the way it’s run don’t attend or watch. Simpleton.

JUSTTHETRUTH

April 7th, 2010
4:28 pm

For the most part, Blacks will cut any amount of slack to any successful black because they think that somehow that persons success =their own success. Vicarious existence is a waste of time!

Also, it is perfectly FINE to Judge others..only an idiot thinks you can’t judge others.

rlm

April 7th, 2010
4:29 pm

Billy Payne is well named. What a jerk. This in not his place. What an embarrassment he is. So his idea was the Olympics. He embarrassed the City of Atlanta the way it was run. He is so amateurish and classless. Why does anyone give him a pulpit. Please stop

IMHO

April 7th, 2010
4:32 pm

JUSTTHETRUTH

What planet are you from?!

I that you are black and are speaking from first hand experience and knowledge since you’re making such a staunch BOLD decree

Sid

April 7th, 2010
4:32 pm

So here we go again!! Please understand that as a man…more importantly a black man I am the role model to my children, not Tiger Woods. My children can aspire to be a great golfer like Tiger, but as far as being a man….that is my job…period!!

Stop making celebrities your children’s role models because you are too LAZY to take on that responsibility for yourself!! If you want your son to be a man…let him see a man! And if that man is not you, then you are no better FATHER than Tiger was as a HUSBAND!!

Tiger has to life his life knowing that he hurt his wife and didn’t be a positive role model for HIS CHILDREN..not mine or yours!! Billy Payne…MAN UP!!!

Joe Pashi

April 7th, 2010
4:33 pm

Don’t we remember the Olympics and Billy Payne. He has now come out of the woodworks and questions Tiger Woods influence on his kids and grandkids. I think Tiger has been forthwith his personal affairs. He is popular because his is good in golf. If he is not equally good in his control of hormones, who cares. Cheating is part of our national character that no body makes any comments of until those who are jealous of other’s success. Tiger was stupid to have married someone not from his species and this then would have been spit in the wind. Tiger, you’ve been a thorough gentleman in your press conferences. Stop apologizing to these racists. Don’t let it bother you when they compare you to others. You are great my yourself.