Golf

Tiger's book has world abuzz

2012-03-20 11:57
Hank Haney and Tiger Woods (Getty Images)
Miami - Tiger Woods's fascination with the Navy SEALs and how he might have incurred his leg injuries are sure to generate plenty of buzz when Hank Haney's book goes on sale next week.

There also is plenty of gossip involving other players, such as the time Ian Poulter invited himself to ride home on Woods's plane after a practice round at Oakmont.

But there is a bigger picture in "The Big Miss," which chronicles the six years Haney spent as his swing coach.

He shows Woods to be a complicated person who sought change to keep stimulated, who was rarely satisfied, self-centred in his pursuit of greatness and whose work ethic in the gym was geared toward being accepted as an athlete.

"In Tiger's mind, satisfaction is the enemy of success," Haney writes.

The book goes on sale on March 27 - one week before the Masters - and it already has been getting plenty of attention because of a few sections that raise questions about how Woods injured his leg.

Haney cites Corey Carroll, one of Woods's closest friends at Isleworth, as saying that Woods injured his right Achilles tendon doing Olympic-style weightlifting as he returned from reconstructive knee surgery in December 2008.

Haney also tells of a woman who approached him during an outing in Minnesota last year. Her husband was a Navy SEAL in California and told her Woods came in for training in 2007 at a Kill House - an urban-warfare simulator - and "got kicked pretty hard in the leg, and I think he hurt his knee pretty bad."

Haney said that matched a story from Carroll, who said Woods revealed to him that the complete tear of his left knee ligaments really happened in a Kill House when he had lost his balance and been kicked in the knee.

Haney does not consider the book a "tell-all," and much of it reveals Woods's pursuit of his place in history. He also delves into the relationship Woods had with his ex-wife, and how guarded they were in public.

Haney said Woods ignored phone calls when they started working together, but later began returning text messages. Haney said he was not aware of Woods' extra-marital affairs, except for Woods making the occasional comment about a woman he saw in the gallery. He also wrote that Woods told him his ex-wife wanted him to take two years away from golf after his serial adultery was exposed.

Haney said he felt as though he had won the lottery when Woods called him in 2004 and asked him to be his swing coach. He was paid $50 000 a year, plus a $25 000 bonus for Woods winning a major.

Haney expects to be criticised for trying to make money off his six years coaching Woods, especially with the book going on sale a week before the Masters. He has said on Twitter in recent months that the memories do not solely belong to Woods.

"I wanted to write the book about my observations of greatness, an athlete superior to his competition," Haney said. "Obviously, people will have their thoughts. But when people read the book in its entirety ... if Tiger read the book, in his heart, he'd have to say it's an accurate portrayal, and it's honest."

Perhaps a more accurate assessment is something Haney wrote late in the 247-page book.

"My guess is that the publication of this book won't bring us closer."

Read more on:    tiger woods  |  golf
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