Saturday 1 October 2016

Off The Ball: Employees' books chip away at crumbling edifice of Tiger's image

Joe Molloy

Published 04/11/2015 | 02:30

File photo dated 22-07-2012 of USA's Tiger Woods on the ninth hole PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday October 26, 2015. Despite his many successes, 14-time major winner Tiger Woods is not known for his cool temperament and all too often his bad temper has let him down at key moments in tournaments. See PA story SPORT Tantrums. Photo credit should read Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.
File photo dated 22-07-2012 of USA's Tiger Woods on the ninth hole PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday October 26, 2015. Despite his many successes, 14-time major winner Tiger Woods is not known for his cool temperament and all too often his bad temper has let him down at key moments in tournaments. See PA story SPORT Tantrums. Photo credit should read Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.

The initial excerpts from the Steve Williams book don't do much to dissuade you from the general sense that Tiger Woods is not a very nice man.

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Did the caddie, who earned an estimated $6m from Woods' prize-money, really need to spill the beans on his former employer?

No. But then Williams, the self-proclaimed 'very confident front-runner', has never let class or an overbearing sense of humility stand in the way of a good quote.

More to the point, he was sacked abruptly by Woods (right) post-scandal, and over the phone, which did nothing to assuage the Kiwi's ego. Throw in what he deemed to be Woods' disrespectful behaviour generally on the course, and a publisher's offer becomes more palatable.

Woods' former coach Hank Haney was another who wasn't too laden down with loyalty when a publisher came knocking.

It must be said that Haney's excellent book is not especially sensationalist. Much of it focuses on the intricacies of Woods' game, but then perhaps those revelations are just as treacherous.

Of Woods' character he wrote: "Self-centredness went with the territory. Whenever I joined Elin and Tiger for a meal in their home, the moment Tiger finished, he simply got up and left without a word.

"If you were with him in a restaurant, when he was done - and he habitually ate fast - you were done.

"Whenever we got takeout food from outside the club, I'd go pick it up, and I always paid."

And more illuminating: "His favourite series was the animated comedy South Park. In the aftermath of his public scandal when a Tiger Woods character was lampooned in one of the episodes, Tiger confessed that he laughed and actually seemed proud to have made the show."

This from the Tiger who grovelled to the world, and his sponsors, in that oversized suit.

Haney portrays an utterly selfish, unlikeable character. The thing is, nobody was supposed to know.

JM

Irish Independent

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