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Tiger Woods By Jeff Benedict & Armen Keteyian

Release date: 27th April, 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

List Price: 10.99
Our Price: 7.69
You Save: 3.3 (30%)
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Tiger Woods’ recent Masters victory was rightly proclaimed as one of sport’s greatest individual comebacks, matched only by Muhammed Ali’s return to the ring following a four-year hiatus.

Ali, though, was still a young man and would go on to reclaim the heavyweight title he effectively forfeited by refusing to serve in Vietnam. Woods is 42, his body seemingly irreparably damaged by years of corrective surgery. Nevertheless, the sight of Tiger in red shirt and highly polished golf shoes surging to the top of the leader board on the back nine at Augusta brought back memories of a period when such well-timed moves were commonplace.

Woods proved beyond doubt that he is an exceptional athlete, tough in mind and body, and the timely publishing in paperback of Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict & Armen Keteyian affords an opportunity to pick up an exceptionally well-written biography.

A little over 12 months ago, this column reviewed the hardback version , noting that: “The authors have…committed themselves to researching and double-checking, weeding out the myths and focusing instead on fact which makes Tiger Woods the best type of sporting biography: well-written, accurate and gripping.”

How this contrasts with another (very loosely) golf-related book focusing on the US President’s game which has garnered so much publicity recently. Fortunately, Tiger Woods is free of hearsay, half-truths and supposition; it avoids re-hashing unchecked material or that with which we’re already familiar. Discovering that Tiger was once so nervous he developed a stutter, or that he listened to motivational cassette tapes so often he wore them out, adds depth to the subject’s character and makes for a fascinating read.

As is the case with Ali, there are dozens of salacious, cut-and-paste ‘biographies’ focusing on Woods’ extraordinary life, but the exceptionally well-researched and often revealing details presented by Benedict and Keteyian make this bumper offering (it runs to more than 500 pages) a cut above the rest. When it was released in the States, the New York Times called it a ‘perfectly pitched biography’; it’s difficult to disagree.

Woods’ fall from grace has, like his professional career, been well documented and golf fans around the world – as well as the professionals who have grown extraordinarily rich as a result of the ‘Tiger Effect’ upon what was once considered a dull, moribund sport – are delighted to see him back.

Most sporting biographies are published in paperback to ‘mop-up’ an audience who tend not to buy expensive hardback versions; for less than eight quid, Tiger Woods in paperback is a snip.

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