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Comeback king Tiger Woods delivers vindication of father’s tough love | Andy Bull


Earl Woods’s ‘psychological training’ gave his son the reservoirs of resilience needed to recover from a decade of ugly ordeals

They say Earl Woods was a poet laureate of profanity, that he knew so many curse words that he could cuss for 30 minutes straight and not repeat himself once. Earl told Golf Digest that this was “a family thing”, a habit he inherited from his father and passed on to his son. Tiger was 11 when Earl started to swear at him during training. “Fuck off Tiger,” he would say during his backswing, “motherfucker” he’d utter, “you little piece of shit”. Tiger said later he “didn’t mind and even encouraged” his father’s swearing, that “eventually, I started laughing at it”.

His father was not the first nor last man Tiger Woods heard shout those words, or worse. “I heard it at school and during tournaments.” Which is exactly why Earl repeated them to him. He abused his boy because he wanted to teach him how to take it. “He helped,” Tiger wrote, “in ways other people thought were hurtful.”

Related: Europe team does not fear Tiger Woods, says Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn

Nobody in any sport has suffered the sort of long, public humbling Woods has endured

Related: Tiger Woods: I didn’t know if I’d ever win again after my injuries

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