Tiger Woods rips golf writer over fictional Q&A interview

Tiger Woods rips Golf Digest writer Dan Jenkins for a fictional Q&A he conducts with the golfer.Chris Condon/US PGA TOUR
Tiger Woods rips Golf Digest writer Dan Jenkins for a fictional Q&A he conducts with the golfer.

Tiger Woods has been the object of satire before — think 9-irons and fire hydrants — but
a parody interview concocted by veteran writer Dan Jenkins in Golf Digest pushed the wrong buttons and has Woods hopping mad, bad back and all.

Woods took to his pal Derek Jeter’s new website, The Players Tribune, Tuesday to fire back. His swing speed was off the charts.

“Jenkins faked an interview, which fails as parody, and is really more like a grudge-fueled piece of character assassination,” Woods wrote in the piece headlined “Not True, Not Funny.” “Journalistically and ethically, can you sink any lower?”

The often acerbic Jenkins, a crony of many of golf’s legends since fellow Texan Ben Hogan, has never warmed up to the 14-time major winner and his standoffish ways with the media. In the piece, he zeroed in on Woods’ renowned penny-pinching and his history of firing caddies and swing coaches. He even questioned Woods’ loyalty to his friends.

“All athletes know that we will be under scrutiny from the media,” Woods wrote. “But this concocted article was below the belt. Good-natured satire is one thing, but no fair-minded writer would put someone in the position of having to publicly deny that he mistreats his friends, takes pleasure in firing people, and stiffs on tips-and a lot of other slurs, too.

“Whether it’s misreported information or opinions I think are way off base, I let plenty of things slide,” Woods said. “But this time I can’t do that. The sheer nastiness of this attack, the photos and how it put false words in my mouth just had to be confronted.”

Woods suggested that Jenkins acted out of frustration that Woods has not made himself more available to him. He was just as unhappy with the magazine.

“I guess Golf Digest’s editors believe this is a good way to sell more magazines,” he said. “I’ll bet their readers don’t think so. Funny they didn’t think this poorly of me when I worked with the magazine (as part of their golf instruction section). I have to say I was surprised when I saw this piece came from Jenkins, who is one of the most distinguished golf writers out there.”

Woods said he and his people contacted the magazine to complain but was told it was merely Jenkins’ brand of humor and if they thought it was unfair they wouldn’t have run it.

“Those aren’t great answers,” he said.

Jenkins is widely considered among the best sports writers in history and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, inducted under the Lifetime Achievement category in 2012.

It isn’t the first time that Woods has had it out with members of the media. After Woods was voted Player of the Year for 2014, Golf Channel’s Brandle Chamblee , in a piece he wrote for Golf.com, said he should have been disqualified from consideration, suggesting he cheated with his improper drop at the Masters.

Chamblee gave Woods an “F” grade for the year because “ethics matter more than athletics.”

Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, wanted Chamblee fired by Golf Channel even though the piece was written for another outlet.

After missing much of last season with a back injury, Woods returns to action Dec. 4-7 at the Hero World Challenge, the tournament he will host at Isleworth outside Orlando.

Jeter’s web site has been designed to give athletes an unfiltered voice, and Woods’ piece was hyped as the first “Straight Up” column — which gives jocks a chance to respond to “something that has been written or said about them.”

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