Hank Haney's upcoming book about Tiger Woods has been as closely guarded as the bird-flu virus, but The New York Times managed to get a copy of The Big Miss, which will be released on March 27. Here are some of the juicier parts, via the Times' article and blog post. Tiger tore his ACL in workouts with Navy SEALs
The book has already received attention for the chapter titled “Distraction,” which details Woods’s 2007 season, in which, in the wake of his father’s death the previous year, Woods grew obsessed with military training. He frequently attended three-day sessions with Navy SEALs, which involved parachuting, hand-to-hand combat and firearms training. After excerpts of the book were released by Golf Digest, Woods had a terse news conference at the Honda Classic last month.
But the Golf Digest excerpt did not include one of the more damaging assertions by Haney about the effect of this training. 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.
Tiger and Elin
After Woods won the 2005 Buick Invitational, his first stroke-play victory in nearly 16 months and his first with Haney as his coach, Nordegren wanted to celebrate. She pointed out that when she was a nanny for Jesper Parnevik, his family would hold a party whenever Parnevik won. Woods responded: “E, that’s not what we do. I’m not Jesper. We’re supposed to win.”
Haney writes that Nordegen was taken aback and her smile got smaller. He noticed that “in the future Elin would keep her emotions under wraps whenever Tiger won.” He describes several awkward encounters with the couple after the revelations of Woods’s affairs, but includes brief moments in which Woods was open about the state of his marriage and his therapy.
Tiger and Phil
…Haney writes about the relationship at length, saying that Woods would smile in agreement when any of his friends called Mickelson a phony. He added, “I have no doubt Tiger felt racial vibes in what he read and heard on and off the course, especially when he was matched up against Phil.”
While careful to note that he did not think Woods actually disliked Mickelson, Haney says, “Phil is a really verbal, high-energy guy who, for Tiger’s taste, is too opinionated, is too much of a know-it-all, and just revs too fast.”
Haney says Woods tended to like quiet, modest players like Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, or droll veterans like Fred Couples and Jay Haas. But Woods was averse to loud and cocky players. He doesn’t like Ian Poulter in particular. Haney recounts an incident in which Woods got angry when Poulter “mooched a ride” on his plane back home to Orlando, Fla. Haney listed Sergio García and Vijay Singh as other players to receive Woods’s cold shoulder.
“I learned one thing for sure,” Woods said. “When I play golf again, I’m going to play for myself. I’m not going to play for my dad, or my mom or Mark Steinberg or Steve Williams or Nike or my foundation, or for the fans. Only for myself.”