The I of the Tiger

Woods is going to write a book about himself. Wow! Or not?

The I of the Tiger - Woods set to write autobiography
Tiger Woods during the final round of the Zozo Championship. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

In the words of the man involved, Tiger Woods: “I have been in the spotlight for a long time and because of that there have been books and articles and TV shows about me, most filled with errors, speculative and wrong.” Accordingly, he has, to borrow the time-honoured phrase, decided to set the record straight. He is going to write a book about himself. Wow! Or not?

Earlier this week he added another extraordinary story to his career, winning the Zozo Championship, the first PGA Tour event to be staged in Japan. Because it was an official tournament, it was an official win – enabling him to tie Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour victories. Woods is 43; Snead was 52 when he won his last one. Like I said, it’s an extraordinary story and it will no doubt form part of his book whenever it’s published, although whether he’ll have passed Snead’s mark by then, let alone overhauled Jack Nicklaus’s tally of 18 major championships (Woods is on 15), is another matter entirely. His win in Japan came just nine weeks after he had his fifth knee operation and despite a typhoon last Friday requiring him to play 29 holes on Sunday and the last seven on Monday. Having opened with a pair of 64s, he won by three shots from local hero, Hideki Matsuyama, and by six from Rory McIlroy.

While Tiger’s life story should be a wonderful read, will it? We’ve already heard so much about him from such as former teachers, caddies, mistresses and arresting police officers. Is he going to say that none of them ever taught him, none carried his bag, he never met her or her or her, and the cops fitted him up. That’s not possible. There may be the odd juicy negative comment about a few of his rivals but it is hard to see the book telling us anything we don’t know that we’d be really interested in knowing.

I’d say that in order to shift the number of copies his publishers are likely looking for, especially given the size of the advance they will have paid him, he’d better first win those four extra majors, say he hates being wheeled out to play golf with Donald Trump, admit the number of women was nearer 80 than 18, and do a mea culpa about suggestions that Dr Anthony Galea administered performance-enhancing drugs to him. Then we might really be on to something sensational in terms of sales.

No date has yet been set but his autobiography will eventually be published by HarperCollins. “This book is my definitive story,” said Woods. “It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts. It describes how I feel and what’s happened in my life. I’m looking forward to…creating a book that people will want to read.” Well, we’ll all be the judge of that.

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While I doubt that this particular anecdote will make it into his book, it is remarkable in its own small way. In a Skins Game in Japan ahead of the Zozo Championship, Tiger took on Matsuyama, McIlroy and Jason Day. (As the commentator put it –“20 major championships between them”; indeed, Tiger with 15 and Hideki with none.) On the 177-yard 5th hole, the other three all hit in the water off the tee and Woods won the skin with a six-foot putt for par. Not quite the chip-in on 16 at the 2005 Masters, granted, but it’s not something you see very often!

You can follow Robert Green on Twitter @robrtgreen and enjoy his other blog plus you can read more by him on golf at

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