And yet, in the same breath, he understood just how different he really was. Asked in the same interview where he could go in the world and not be recognized, he said: “Underwater! That’s why I like diving.”
So, he’s probably not going to like HBO’s new two-part documentary which puts the trajectory of his extraordinary life story under the microscope.
Woods’ agent didn’t immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
One of the contributors, the Woods family friend Joe Grohman, agonized before sharing one particularly sensitive detail, saying: “He’s not going to like this sh*t at all.”
Many will be familiar with the broad strokes of the Woods story: the prophecy of greatness, the ruthless dominance and global stardom, the beautiful family, the spectacular and humiliating fall from grace and the Hollywood comeback of epic proportions.
But how many people understand the nuance and the complexity of the man? The fine details that shaped the arc of his journey. Just how did Woods happen?
One of the co-directors, Matthew Heineman, told CNN Sport that trying to understand Woods presented the kind of challenge that filmmakers crave.
“Like all of us, he’s human; he’s flawed,” said Heineman. “And unlike all of us, his life has played out in the public eye in a way that probably no one else’s life has. Tiger is an incredibly complex person; we want to really embrace that nuance and that complexity.”
Both triumphant and inspirational, it’s also tragic and painful.
Very few of the characters leave Woods’ orbit unscathed , according to the filmmakers. More often than not, they are scarred and discarded, and the viewer will feel sympathy for many of them — even, at times, Woods himself.
“I mean, you can’t help but feel for a guy,” says co-director Matthew Hamachek, “who was thrust into the national spotlight at the age of two.”
Hamachek and Heineman believe that the crux of this story is the relationship between a father and his son. “Earl has this vision for what his son was going to become,” Hamachek added. “It wasn’t just about golf.”
In one particularly awkward TV interview shown in the film, he unwittingly broke the tension by responding to the question “Do you like playing golf?” with the answer: “I want to go poo-poo.”
Testimony from one of his early teachers, Maureen Decker, affirms that a young Woods wanted to try other sports, but his father wouldn’t allow it.
“The world is ready for a non-White golfer to be successful. I have availed Tiger of this, and he takes that…
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