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Tiger Woods Slams Magazine Writer for ‘Grudge-Fueled Piece of Character Assassination’

Athlete calls out Golf Digest journalist Dan Jenkins for ”cheap shot“ parody interview

Tiger Woods is furious over a recent fake interview, and was quick to fire off his own angry response.

The professional golfer penned an op-ed on Derek Jeter’s new website The Players Tribune on Tuesday, blasting one of his sport’s most iconic journalists over a parody piece written for Golf Digest.

The offending article, written by Dan Jenkins, featured a humorous but completely fabricated interview with Woods.

“Did you read Dan Jenkins’ interview with me in the latest Golf Digest?,” Woods wrote in his response column, which was titled “Not True, Not Funny.”

“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.”

Jenkins parody piece, which appeared in Golf Digest’s December issue, was titled “My Interview With Tiger: Or How It Plays Out in My Mind.” It centered around a fictionalized question and answer session with Woods, touching upon a variety of unflattering topics, including the athlete’s alleged poor tipping habits and proclivity for firing associates.

But Woods didn’t see the funny side of it.

“I like to think I have a good sense of humor, and that I’m more than willing to laugh at myself. In this game, you have to,” explained one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. “But this concocted article was below the belt. Good-natured satire is one thing, but no fair-minded writer would put someone in the position of having to publicly deny that he mistreats his friends, takes pleasure in firing people, and stiffs on tips — and a lot of other slurs, too.”

The golfer took particular exception to the pictures accompanying the faux one-on-one.

“Golf Digest even hired an actor to pose as me in photos,” he wrote. “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.”

He did note Jenkins was a distinguished sports journalist, but revealed he was ultimately unsatisfied with both the piece and Golf Digest’s explanation for why it ran.

“My representatives and I asked Golf Digest for an explanation, some reason for what I think is journalistically wrong and a pretty cheap shot,” Woods said. “Digest responded by saying it was Dan’s humor, and they didn’t think it was unfair or they wouldn’t have run it.

“Those aren’t great answers,” he concluded.

Woods’ role as a guest contributor is the first in a new series on Jeter’s site called “Straight Up,” where can “offer their side on something that has been written or said about them.” The Players Tribune was launched by the former New York Yankees star on Oct. 1, just days after he played his final ever major league baseball game.

Jenkins, however, stood by both his story and his sense of humor in a tweet Tuesday aimed directly at Woods.