You think Earl did
all this to get rich? Then why didn't he ever leave that little house in
Cypress, Calif., the one he was living in when Tiger was born? No, Earl did it
because golf's Stevie Wonder fell into his big lap. He did it for the three
kids' childhoods he missed. And maybe he did it to make up for all the
father-son days he missed when his own dad died.
And when Tiger hit
his mid-20s and started to pull away--moved away from that little house all the
way to Florida--Earl nodded proudly, but secretly ached. "It's sad in a
way," Earl was quoted as saying. "This is what I've prepared for.
Still, it leaves a hole because he's not there."
Now, Tiger must
know exactly how he felt.
But more than all
else, the thing Earl will be remembered for is his hugs. He did for hugs what
Mrs. Fields did for cookies.
Remember the one
he gave the triumphant Tiger coming off 18 at the 1997 Masters? That hug always
chokes me up. Earl swallowed him in his huge arms and reminded us that this
baby-faced, ice-blooded hit man was still somebody's little boy. From then on,
those hugs became the one place this new god in spikes knew he could go to hide
from the cameras and the pressure, the one place he knew he could feel loved
and wanted and safe. Bet Tiger could use one right now.
And that's the
best way to celebrate Earl Woods's life, by finding your kids right now--no
matter how old--and giving them one of those great, smothering, lungbuster Earl
Specials. See if you can squeeze the Skittles out of them.
Because all kids
need to be reminded that they don't have to be Tiger Woods to be the chosen
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