Oh Tiger, You Spaz!

America’s leading newspapers yesterday helped Tiger Woods evade controversy by ignoring his use of the word `spaz’ to describe his poor putting in the final round of the Masters at Augusta,” Lewine Mair wrote in the Telegraph.

“The LA Times, changed the word to ‘wreck’ while The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe all expunged the word completely. Only two US sports news services ran his words in an unedited form.”

Mair labelled it “an extraordinarily insensitive, if impromptu comment, from a player who usually shows nothing but compassion for his fellow men.” Britain’s biggest selling tabloid The Sun took umbrage at the comments.

They included reaction from Scope, the British charity for cerebral palsy sufferers formerly called the Spastic Society.

“Although in the US the term ‘spaz’ may not be as offensive as in the UK, many people will have taken exception to linking a poor golf stroke to a spastic,” a Scope spokesman said.

The last top sportsman to use the word publicly was Australian tennis player Lleyton Hewitt who was fined during the 2001 French Open for calling a linesman a “spastic”.