ORLANDO, Fla. — Marriage between Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren quickly stagnated into a “calm, almost cool relationship” in which the golfer’s wife became conditioned to keeping her emotions in check whenever he won, according to more excerpts from former coach Hank Haney’s book.
Selected passages from “The Big Miss” were included in a New York Times review of the book, available in stores March 27, and a subsequent blog post on the Times’ website.
Woods and Nordegren already were engaged when Haney was hired in 2004, with the wedding taking place that October.
“But as life became more complicated,” Haney wrote, “I thought Elin changed. By the time she and Tiger married, she remained friendly but had become more guarded, even in her own home. She and Tiger developed a calm, almost cool relationship in front of other people, and conversations with them tended to be awkward and strained.”
The dynamic began to change just three months into the marriage, Haney suggested, after Woods won at Torrey Pines for his first stroke-play victory in nearly 16 months.
Nordegren wanted to celebrate, noting that during her days as Jesper Parnevik’s nanny, a victory would prompt the family to throw a party.
According to the book, Woods responded: “E, that’s not what we do. I’m not Jesper. We’re supposed to win.”
Nordegren was taken aback, Haney wrote, and her smile got smaller. He added that “in the future Elin would keep her emotions under wraps whenever Tiger won.”
Haney also wrote that sometime in 2007, Woods’ cellphone began going off more often. Rather than ignoring it as in the past, Woods more frequently took time to answer the call or check for texts.
Two years later, text messages allegedly from Woods went public as dozens of women stepped forward to claim affairs with the golfer.
The Times’ blog post centers on Haney’s insight into disdain that Woods had for various golfers, including a chill with Phil Mickelson partially driven by “racial vibes in what he read and heard on and off the course.”
“For years, Tiger reveled in the idea that Mickelson had trouble playing in his presence,” Haney wrote. “But Phil adjusted, and in recent years he’s outplayed Tiger down the stretch in several tournaments.
“His increased confidence against Tiger, along with the positive energy of the gallery, has flipped the psychological advantage in their matchup in his favor.”
Other pros who Haney said received Woods’ cold shoulder: Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Ben Curtis.