Tiger Woods finds new challenges as a Dad

ORLANDO (Reuters Life!) - Golf is famed as a frustrating sport but what challenges the world’s number one golfer Tiger Woods, is something many people can relate to -- finding the right balance between family and work.

“It is frustrating,” Woods told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

“This morning Sam was crying when I left, that is only going to get harder, especially when they start talking, when they get in school,” he said adding that golfers find it particularly tough to carry out their roles as fathers.

“A lot of guys, early on their child’s development try to take them on the road with them so they can be a part of that development - but once they are in school it is a whole different story then,” he said.

While winning seven tournaments in succession through a six-month unbeaten streak, Woods, 32, has also been changing his daily routine to allow him the maximum possible time with his nine-month-old daughter Sam and Swedish wife Elin.

“I try and get my workouts in before Sam or Elin gets up. I go to the gym really early in the morning and get my lifting in and get my cardio done and come back and have breakfast.

“Then maybe a little walk and then right when Sam takes a nap I can go out and practice. I don’t want to miss anything, she changes every day,” he said.

Woods relishes talking about his daughter but confesses he has been surprised by fatherhood.

Tiger Woods speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kissimmee, Florida March 26, 2008. REUTERS/Joe Skipper


“I never thought that I would feel this way. You hear parents say it all the time, but you really don’t know until you actually go through it. I can’t imagine missing anything.”

But the challenge of organizing his life, which also includes commercial commitments to sponsors such as Gillette, hasn’t weakened his desire for a larger family.

“I want to be around as much as I can at home and especially since we are going to have more kids it is going to be even more difficult down the road,” he said.

Missing from Woods’s description of his daily routine is meditation - learnt from his Buddhist mother and one element of a religion that clearly shapes much of his attitude to life.

“I practice meditation -- that is something that I do, that my mum taught me over the years. We also have a thing we do every year, where we go to temple together,” he said.

“In the Buddhist religion you have to work for it yourself, internally, in order to achieve anything in life and set up the next life. It is all about what you do and you get out of it what you put into it.

“I am always continuing to work,” said Woods, who credits his late father Earl and Thai mother Kultida for his winning combination of aggression and control.

“If you look at my parents - my Dad was a former special forces, he was a pretty tough guy, very focused but I have to say the more competitive one was my mum,” he said.

There are no signs that his mother is letting that passion cool. Woods says she remains animated when watching him play.

“She still lives and dies over every shot - I just say ‘Mum, relax, I know what I am doing.’ She says to me - ‘you’ll know what I am talking about when Sam gets older’.”

Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith