Padraig Hamilton - dipshit!

Padraig 'amazed' at golfer's sordid tales
By Karl MacGinty
Friday December 18 2009

IRELAND'S top golfer Padraig Harrington spoke for the first time last night about the secret life of Tiger Woods, and said he was "amazed" about the sordid stream of kiss-and-tell tales.

Harrington claimed all of Woods' friends and rivals on the professional golf circuit were taken completely by surprise.

"I'm amazed by the fact that I'm out on tour and knew nothing -- I'm beginning to think I must have my head in a hole, or something like that," Harrington said.

"Seemingly, nobody knew anything and that just amazes me."

The three-time Major-winning Dubliner is also staggered by what he described as Woods' "triple life -- golf, home and when he was away".

"Imagine trying to manage that," said Harrington. "I told two lies to my wife the other day after I'd received a phone call about her Christmas present. I couldn't say who the person was because the surprise would be given away. I wouldn't say I felt guilty but I was brutal at it."

On tour, Woods betrayed none of the usual signs that he was almost as relentless in his pursuit of birdies off the course as he was on it.

"If somebody goes down that road, you usually can tell because of who they are talking to or hanging out with," said Harrington. "There's a bravado in it -- all that sort of stuff. That's what fellows are like. They have a few drinks and they are telling everybody about it.

"Yet there was no indication whatsoever of Tiger doing that," he went on. "I just think to myself 'wow, I'm out there on tour with this guy for 10 years and, often times, Tiger himself described me as a friend, and I'd no idea this was going on in his life'."

Harrington admitted he used to feel sympathy for Woods on the occasions they stayed in the same hotel at tournaments.

"I thought the guy had a particularly, I'm loathe to use the word, but let's say quiet life," Harrington explained. "He seemed just to go back to his hotel room every night ... and sitting in your room for six hours is not a pleasant experience, I can tell you.

"Most of us would go out to dinner at tournaments but Tiger couldn't go out. Living in a goldfish bowl, there was so little he could do and I kind of felt sorry for him in that sense.

"The odd time you'd see him getting his ice and going back to have a nice bath for his knee. You'd also see him in the gym or whatever. He always was incredibly diligent."

Harrington often thought of asking Woods if he'd like to join them for dinner, adding: "But then you'd think maybe he's trying to do his own thing and be professional.

Freedom

"I just assumed life on tour for him was real tough and that's why you knew that when he was off tour, he enjoyed his boat, going fishing and things like that. That was the only freedom he ever got."

Woods announced last week he was taking an indefinite break from his sport in the increasingly forlorn-looking hope of rescuing his marriage to Swedish wife Elin, mother of his daughter Sam Alexis (2) and baby son Charlie Axel.

Though he felt unqualified to suggest when Woods might return, Harrington insisted the golf course would offer sanctuary to a player and expressed the firm belief that Woods would still go on and beat the record 18 Major Championships won by Jack Nicklaus.

"It is more for the counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists or whatever to establish why it's happened," Harrington said. "Was it a cry for help? Was it to do with the fact that he's in the fish bowl and wanted (to feel) the risk of the chase?

"Whatever it is, I have no idea. I have no ability to say why it happened or what was the root cause of it and where he is going with it. This is what the experts do. I am fascinated by the fact that I knew nothing. Nothing!"

Woods has not been seen in public since ploughing his car into a tree outside his home on the exclusive Isleworth Golf Resort, a gated community in Orlando.

Inevitably, Woods will endure media interrogation when he eventually returns on tour but Harrington said: "No matter what happens in his life, the only peace and freedom he'll get will be on the golf course. Out there, he's in his own environment.

"Whenever a golfer goes through issues in his private life -- it could have been the death of my father or his father -- on the golf course is a nice place to be because we are pretty good at hitting that little white golf ball and that means we feel at home there. Dealing with our emotions and trying to explain things is far more difficult.

"Tiger's going to have to talk about this but, whatever he's going through, he's no expert or marriage counsellor himself. He hasn't experienced this or seen this before, so he's not going to be comfortable in that situation ... but he will be when he's playing golf."

- Karl MacGinty
 
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