In retrospect, maybe Tiger Woods should have gone to lunch with Dan Jenkins

Of course, then we wouldn’t have their feud, which escalated to a new level Tuesday. Woods, writing in Derek Jeter’s Players Tribune of all places, took exception to a parody piece Jenkins did in which he does a fake interview with him.

Woods writes:

Did you read Dan Jenkins’ interview with me in the latest Golf Digest? I hope not. Because it wasn’t me. It was some jerk he created to pretend he was talking to me. That’s right, Jenkins faked an interview, which fails as parody, and is really more like a grudge-fueled piece of character assassination.

Journalistically and ethically, can you sink any lower?

Later, Woods writes:

Golf Digest even hired an actor to pose as me in photos.  The truth is, Jenkins has no idea how I think or feel about any of the things he claims to know about, which is why he had to make things up. Frustration or resentment because I have not been more available to him should not give him a license for an underhanded attack on me as an athlete, as a professional and as a person. I guess Golf Digest’s editors believe this is a good way to sell more magazines. I’ll bet their readers don’t think so. Funny they didn’t think this poorly of me when I worked with the magazine. I have to say I was surprised when I saw this piece came from Jenkins, who is one of the most distinguished golf writers out there.

None of this happens if Woods had a relationship with Jenkins. The legendary writer is forever miffed that he never got a sitdown with Woods at the height of his powers.

I’d say join the club since Woods rarely granted one-on-one interviews. Then again, Jenkins is in a much different club than us mere pedestrians in the press room.

Jenkins vented in a 2008 interview I did with him at the U.S. Open:

“I can’t talk to him. I don’t know him. I tried for 10 years to get a one-on-one. You know what Mark Steinberg says? ‘We have nothing to gain.’ I said, ‘You can read it before you print it. Take things out.”

Jenkins then said with considerable disgust, “We have nothing to gain.”

Later, Jenkins talked of how things used to be between golfers and the writers.

“I knew everybody,” he said. “Knew Hogan better than anybody. Knew Jack, Knew Arnold. I was friends with them. Had dinner with them. They would tell you things you knew you wouldn’t write. There was a relationship. There was a camaraderie.  I miss it.”

One lunch would changed all that. Given Jenkins’ standing in our profession, it was a missed opportunity for Woods. Besides, he probably would have liked it. Woods would have enjoyed hearing all of Jenkins’ Hogan stories.

More to come.





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