He revealed that he played the whole tournament (U.S. Open) knowing that his wife, Elin, was in a Florida hospital with complications from her pregnancy. He also recalled that he was in continuous phone contact with Elin and that both she and her doctor insisted that he keep playing the major championship in Oakmont, Pa.
The message, the golfer said, was: “There is nothing you can do. So go out there and just get a ‘W.'”
Tiger did not end up winning The U.S. Open, finishing back just one stroke to Angel Carberra of Argentina. After the tournament was over Tiger returned home in time to be present for the birth of his first child.
He describes that night as “infinitely more rewarding than any ‘W’ could have been”. On choosing the name Sam for his daughter:
“My father had always called me Sam since the day I was born,” said the 12-time major champion whose given name is Eldrick and whose more popular nickname was taken from a soldier who was a friend of the elder Woods in Southeast Asia. “He rarely ever called me Tiger. I would ask him, ‘Why don’t you ever call me Tiger?’ He said, ‘Well, you look more like a Sam.’ I said, ‘All right, that’s cool.’ “
On being a first time daddy:
“It’s been fantastic these last couple weeks to have Sam Alexis as part of our life,” he said. “It was a dream come true for both Elin and myself. I’ve been changing diapers and doing feedings. I definitely don’t sleep now.”
On their love for their new baby:
“Elin and I talked that first night and said, ‘How can you love something so much that didn’t exist the day before?’ We never experienced anything like that.”
The Gift Phil and Amy Mickelson sent for Sam:
Woods and Mickelson are known for their rivalry on the course and a cool relationship off it, but they have been known to have fiercely friendly pingpong games during the Ryder Cup. The Mickelsons sent Sam a miniature pingpong table with the message, “We thought we should give Sam Alexis a chance to jump-start her own game.”
Just in case anyone is wondering…Sam has already had a club in her hand. “She couldn’t quite hold it, but it was there.”