Clinton, Obama Called Tiger; Mom The Source?

In a recently published piece, celebrated golf writer Jaime Diaz of GOLF DIGEST has the most credible account of the life of Tiger Woods since his Thanksgiving accident. Why? It appears that some of the previously unreported information cited by Diaz came from the mother of the golfer, Kultida Woods.

Bill Clinton called Tiger Woods

Last year as part of a GOLF DIGEST profile of Kultida, Diaz traveled with her to her native Thailand as part of what turned out to be the definitive portrait of mother Woods.

Kultida Woods and Jaime Diaz

(Golf Digest’s Diaz also profiled Tiger’s Mom in May, 2009, from Thailand)

In his latest Golf Digest effort posted on the web last week, Diaz reports scads of new, intimate details about Tiger Woods’ ordeal. Most importantly, the story includes new on-the-record quotes from Kultida. That access may have happened because of the relationship forged during the Golf Digest profile by Diaz on Kultida.

Since a little boy, Tiger always loved competition — he born with that,” she says. “So he will face himself, solve the problem, and when he comes back, he will still love to play and love to win. I think more than ever, because his closet will be cleaned out and his mind will be free. And I know he will break Jack’s record.”

Most of the details of Woods’ life since the accident reported by Diaz in the current Golf Digest story are anonymously sourced, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that a good portion of the info came from Kultida.

Excerpts:

Just before his 34th birthday on Dec. 30, she accompanied Tiger on their annual visit with a Buddhist monk. Afterward, her son confided that he was struggling with all the upheaval. “I tell him, ‘Tiger, right now you are in a dark hole, and I know it’s hard, but you can do it,’ ” Tida says. ” ‘You know Mom is strong, and you have my blood. You are strong, too. You made a big mistake, but now you know the cost. So you are going to be much better and stronger, a good husband and a good father. Just go to work like you do.’ ”

President Obama also made a personal call to offer encouragement. So did Bill Clinton, whose experience might be particularly instructive.

Elin Woods spent several days in Mississippi to attend therapy sessions with her husband. Despite photos showing Elin without her wedding band and tabloid reports that she was preparing for divorce, she and the children — 2-year-old Sam and Charlie, who turned 1 on Feb. 8 — spent Christmas with Tiger at the family’s Southern California home.

According to friends, Woods has not hit a ball since winning the Australian Masters two weeks before his scandal was set in motion by his single-car accident outside his Orlando residence on Nov. 27.

After an initial evaluation period in January, Woods entered a six-week program called Gentle Path, euphemistically named considering it includes a nothing-held-back Disclosure Day with a spouse. 

It was surreptitiously snapped from a distance: dark, grainy and out of focus, the subject shrouded in a hooded sweatshirt. Still, the photo of Tiger Woods at a Hattiesburg, Miss., rehabilitation clinic in late January offered clarity. Despite the lack of official confirmation — and the bizarre photo days later of a person dressed to resemble him — there was no doubt it was Woods. It was surreal to see him again some 50 days after his world imploded, but after a pause, the photo also signified something hopeful.

About Diaz’s claim that Woods spent Christmas with wife and two kids, TMZ.com reported on Dec. 10 and Dec. 19 that Kultida was in Southern California. She also happens to live there fulltime. So it’s far from a stretch that the Woods would spend Christmas with Grandma. (A lot warmer than Sweden too.)

Perhaps Kultida didn’t supply all of the anon-sourced, new info reported by Diaz, but because of her relationship to the reporter, I have to believe some of it came from her.

Do you think Kultida would be quoted for a story by a reporter who she thought might include inaccuracies in the piece?