|Tiger Woods, who is notoriously private, has expressed annoyance that Hank Haney, his former coach, would write about their six years together. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)
If you happen to be talking to Tiger Woods, just don't mention the navy.
Woods delivered a withering stare Wednesday and a sharp dismissal to a reporter who dared ask him whether it was true he had considered giving up golf to become a U.S. Navy SEAL.
An excerpt published this week from Hank Haney's book, The Big Miss, suggested Woods once showed interest in giving up the game for a career in the military, like his late father, Earl, who fought in Vietnam.
Woods, who is notoriously private, has expressed annoyance that Haney, his former coach, would write about their six years together.
When the topic of the book came up at a press conference in advance of the Honda Classic, Woods referred to comments he made in January when he said Haney writing about their relationship was "unprofessional" and "very disappointing" and that the book was simply "about money."
Asked Wednesday for his opinion of the book, Woods said: "It's still the same. Nothing has changed in that regard at all."
When Alex Miceli of the Golf Channel asked whether Woods was questioning the accuracy of the book, especially the part of becoming a SEAL, Woods said: "I've already talked about everything."
Later, his irritation bubbling, he told Miceli: "You're a beauty, you know that?"
When Miceli persisted, Woods said: "Have a good day."
Rumours had circulated that journalists were instructed before the press conference not to mention the book, but USA Today reported that was incorrect. But the moderator twice asked reporters "to get back to golf questions."
Haney, in his book, to be released March 27, wrote:
"Tiger was seriously considering becoming a Navy SEAL. I didn't know how he'd go about it, but when he talked about it, it was clear he had a plan. I thought, 'Wow, here is Tiger Woods, greatest athlete on the planet, maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime, basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life.' "