The real Tiger Woods is outraged over an interview with the fake Tiger Woods.
Golf Digest’s Dan Jenkins tried his hand at satire in the upcoming issue of the magazine, conducting a fake interview with Woods that at times depicted the 14-time major champion as cold and cheap.
At one point, the Woods in Jenkins’ mock interview says he fires people out of boredom. Later, the fake Tiger confesses that he doesn’t “understand why you’re supposed to tip people for doing a job they’re already getting paid to do.”
Accompanying Jenkins’ piece was a photo of a Tiger Woods impersonator taking a selfie.
Woods, the real one, didn’t find any of this funny. Writing as a “guest contributor” for the Derek Jeter-founded website The Players Tribune, Woods said Jenkins’ latest effort was “a grudge-fueled piece of character assassination.”
“Journalistically and ethically, can you sink any lower?” Woods wrote. “I like to think I have a good sense of humor, and that I’m more than willing to laugh at myself…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.”
He and his representatives sent a letter of protest to Golf Digest (which was published on The Players Tribune), but Woods said that the magazine “responded by saying it was Dan’s humor, and they didn’t think it was unfair or they wouldn’t have run it.”
Woods said he “was surprised when I saw this piece came from Jenkins, who is one of the most distinguished golf writers out there,” but Jenkins has criticized Woods for a lack of access before.
A few months after Woods’ early-morning car crash, which began months of personal turmoil and ended with his divorce, Jenkins declared that the golfer’s “reputation is ruined, possibly forever.”
At the end of that February 2010 piece, Jenkins lamented that he never cultivated a relationship with Woods.
“I once made an effort to get to know the old silicone collector. Tried to arrange dinners with him for a little Q&A, on or off the record, his choice,” Jenkins wrote. “But the closest I ever got was this word from his agent: ‘We have nothing to gain.’ Now it’s too late. I’m busy.”
In his fake interview, Jenkins made reference to that alleged quote from Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent.
Why did you turn down previous interview requests with me?
Like Steiny said: We had nothing to gain.
So why now?
Steiny says we have to rebuild my brand.