The contents of instructor Hank Haney's book on Tiger Woods, The Big Miss have been closely guarded beyond the excerpt that ran in the April issue of Golf Digest. But the New York Times obtained a copy in advance of its March 27 publication date, and provided several revelations in its Saturday edition:
Woods' infatuation with the Navy SEALs, documented in the Golf Digest excerpt, was responsible for his knee injury. "Haney says he was told Woods tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in an exercise with the SEALs, not while running at home," the Times reporters Naila-Jean Meyers and Julie Bosmon wrote.
It also examines Woods' expanding interest in his workout regimen, including weight-lifting, Haney noting that Tiger was "inordinately interested in muscle-building."
Haney does not avoid the scandal that resulted in the end of his marriage, devoting most of one of the book's eight chapters to the scandal. In 2007, Woods' cell phone began ringing more than usual, according to the Times' account, but rather than ignoring the calls as he had done before, Woods either answered them or read the text messages he was receiving. "A few years later, the world found out that the calls and texts were coming from women he was having affairs with," the Times wrote.
The Times' story begins, oddly, with an anecdote about sugar-free popsicles that Woods kept stocked in his refrigerator at home. Woods, Haney reveals, would often fetch himself a popsicle, but never offered him one and he was afraid to ask. "The story is one of several in Haney's book that offer glimpses into Woods's personality, which was [sic] been walled off to the public throughout his career."
Woods, though he has not read it and said he does not intend to read it, was publicly critical of the book ("unprofessional and very disappointing," he told ESPN.com). He has since said he won't comment further.
-- John Strege