TIGER Woods has been branded a “pathological narcissist” in a bombshell book that claims the millionaire golfer was so tight with his money he paid his coach just $50,000-a-year.
The 15-time Major champion rose to the top of the game by ruthlessly unloading acquaintances who couldn’t help his career, it’s alleged.
And even when he was at the height of his powers – earning an estimated $1.5 billion (£1.16bn) – he was staggeringly stingy with his cash, a new biography suggests.
Woods, 43, is said to have been ungenerous with tips – and even paid his former coach Hank Haney, who worked with him from 2004 until 2010, just $50,000-(£38,650)-a-year.
The shocking revelations appear in a new bio by sports writer and former golf pro Curt Sampson.
Sampson interviewed respected sports journalist John Garrity – who first met wunderkind Woods as an aspiring teen sportsman.
Garrity, who has worked for Sports Illustrated since the 1980s, says that Tiger was unassuming when they first crossed paths in 1992.
But he claims the golfer’s personality hardened and changed significantly by 2007 – when his powers on the coarse began to wane.
In the book, Roaring Back: The Fall and Rise of Tiger Woods, Garrity says of Tiger: “All of his human relationships were transactional.
“If you couldn’t help him achieve his goals, he had no use for you.
“He’d walk past and look right through you.”
They were the most unappreciative. They never once said thank you.
Country club owner
Expanding on the claim that Tiger was a cheapskate, Sampson quotes a country club owner who twice hosted Woods and his father Earl.
The owner says: “They assumed we’d buy them breakfast, lunch and dinner… which we did.
“But they were the most unappreciative.
“They never once said thank you.”
Sampson writes: “Narcissists don’t mind spending other people’s money because we’re in their debt already, and they find it hard to say ‘thank you’ for the same reason.”
Coach Haney even had to fork out for his own accommodation while travelling with Woods from his relatively meagre salary, according to the book – parts of which appeared in The New York Post on Saturday.
That’s despite Woods earning more than $700m (£541m) in prize money, sponsorships and investments between 2004 and 2010, according to Golf Digest.
The book also reveals details of Woods’ ambitions to become an elite Navy SEAL.
He began taking part in combat drills, parachute jumps and diving exercises as part of special ops training in 2007.
The then 31-year-old Woods was past the SEAL recruit limit of 28 – but the golfer allegedly told one of his caddies he believed the military would make an exception for him, the book claims.
STRING OF AFFAIRS
Just two years later, Woods’ string of extramarital affairs were revealed – leading to personal and professional calamity.
His game collapsed and endorsement deals were torn up as Woods spectacularly fell from grace.
Sampson writes: “He fell from such a high place that he was halfway to earth before we mere mortals even recognized him as one of us.”
But the book also tracks Woods’ redemption – with the star defying critics to once again reach the top of the game in the biggest sporting comeback in history.
Woods won his fifth Masters title in Augusta in April – and was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump.
Sampson writes that Woods’ stunning return to form coincides with a significant change in his personalty – becoming more measured and respectful.
Former basketball icon Michael Jordan, a close friend of Woods, said after the 2019 Masters win: “It’s the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”
- Roaring Back: The Rise and Fall of Tiger Woods, published by Diversion Books, is out now.
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