Privacy May Be Tigers Biggest Issue as a Father

By Associated PressJune 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
OAKMONT, Pa. -- Perhaps the most famous photo of Jack Nicklaus as a father came from the 1973 PGA Championship.
 
He had just completed a 68 in the second round at Canterbury when 4-year-old Gary, the fourth of his five children, ran onto the green and into his arms. Nicklaus walked off the 18th green clutching his son with one hand and his putter with the other.
 
Two days later, he won the PGA to break the record for most majors.
 
Don't expect that to happen to Tiger Woods.
 
Fatherhood won't stop or even slow his pursuit of Nicklaus' 18 professional majors. Woods already has shown that life-changing moments, such as marriage or the death of his father, haven't changed a thing about his dominance in the game.
 
Far more difficult to imagine is a warm and fuzzy photo of his family in public.
 
Woods became a father Monday morning in Orlando, Fla., when his wife, Elin, gave birth to a daughter they named Sam Alexis Woods. The news was announced on his Web site, leaving out such details as height and weight and when she was born.
 
'Pictures of Sam Alexis Woods will be made available shortly,' it said beneath a short note from Woods.
 
The big question is when anyone will see this child in public.
 
Woods can rarely go anywhere at a golf tournament without getting pounded by the press and the public, and sometimes his peers.
 
He draws such a clear line between private and public that Woods won't reveal his schedule until a week before a given tournament. He doesn't let anyone except his friends inside his home, even before he got married. The name of his yacht says it all -- 'Privacy.'
 
Ditto for his wife, a one-time model from Sweden, who will turn and walk away from a conversation when she sees a group of photographers pointing cameras at her.
 
There was one moment in South Africa at the Presidents Cup when Woods had just lost a match and was standing behind the 17th green at Fancourt with his wife, watching his teammates. A dozen photographers began taking pictures of them, and Woods finally stepped in front of his wife and barked, 'You got enough, already?'
 
Imagine how much more protective he will be of his daughter, or any other children who follow.
 
The great coincidence about this birth was the timing.
 
Woods' daughter was born the morning after he finished second by one shot at the U.S. Open, needing a 30-foot birdie putt on the last hole to force an 18-hole playoff Monday. It might be the one time, in hindsight, Woods didn't mind settling for second.
 
Eight years ago, Phil Mickelson was about to become a father when he missed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Pinehurst No. 2 that would have forced a playoff against Payne Stewart. His daughter was born the next afternoon.
 
Everyone knows the Mickelson children because they are dressed to the nines when they run out to the 18th. The exception was THE PLAYERS Championship, when Amy and the kids were in San Diego, and Mickelson had to settle for a hug from Butch Harmon.
 
The only time Elin Woods was a prominent part of the picture was last summer at Hoylake, and only because Woods was a blubbering mess of tears having captured his first victory since the death of his father.
 
Elin once talked about wives and children going out to the 18th green to celebrate victory, and while she thought it was 'very cool,' she had a hard time doing it herself because 'it's just not my personality.'
 
For other players, children are part of their careers, traveling to tournaments, caddying at the Par 3 Tournament at the Masters.
 
Ernie Els wants his 8-year-old daughter Samantha to watch him play at least nine holes during the weekend so she has an understanding of what he does for a living. Few moments were more charming than the American Express Championship in Ireland in 2004, when Samantha had a sketch book, like her mother, drawing pictures of every hole Els played.
 
Els was working his way up the leaderboard in the third round, walking up the eighth fairway, when Samantha pressed up against the ropes and waved wildly, as if she were watching a parade.
 
Woods is so protective of his private life, it is difficult to imagine allowing his child or children to be at a tournament lest they feel part of the circus.
 
That's something Nicklaus never faced. His stardom came during the era of Sports Illustrated, not People magazine.
 
Nicklaus had to cope with Palmer, Trevino and Watson.
 
Woods has Nikon, Canon and Kodak.
 
Inside the ropes, it is hard to believe anything will change. Woods has talked in recent weeks about not getting as much sleep and changing his schedule to accommodate the needs of fatherhood. That's no different from a plumber or an accountant.
 
Some were curious to see how marriage would affect his practice and play, and Woods entered marital bliss in the fall of 2004. He won two majors the next year. Just as many figured the death of his father would send Woods into a funk, and it looked as though that might be the case when he missed the cut at a major for the first time. He finished the season with two more majors and six straight TOUR wins.
 
Will children make him any different?
 
It was never a problem for Nicklaus, whose first child was born after he won the 1961 U.S. Amateur.
 
'You can't practice all day long,' Nicklaus said earlier this year. 'You get your work done and prepare. You've got plenty of time for a family, and plenty of time to play golf. That's not a big deal. Tiger will do just fine.'
 
He might be even better.
 
Related Links:
  • Woods Becomes Father to Baby Girl
  • Tiger Expected to Play in Own AT&T National
     
    Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry