Tiger Woods’ inner team includes girlfriend Erica Herman, ‘tough’ mum Kultida and fierce agent Mark Steinberg
TIGER WOODS is one of the world’s most famous athletes – yet hardly anyone knows the ‘real’ him.
Woods at his all-conquering best was aloof and secretive.
Ian Poulter, who has been competing against Woods for almost 20 years, once said: “I don’t personally know Tiger Woods. I don’t know if any of us do.”
But since a humiliating sex scandal and battle back from addiction and surgery, the Masters champ, 43, appears a different person, smiling to fans and hi-fiving followers.
Yet he still relies on a small group of insiders for closeness and comfort on the road – and they’ll be staying on his £15million yacht this week.
Here, we go inside Team Tiger.
Girlfriend – Erica Herman
Stunning brunette, 34, got close to Woods when she took over as manager of his Florida restaurant.
She has been praised for her “normal”, down-to-earth nature and credited with saving golf’s flawed genius.
Children – Sam and Charlie
Son Charlie, 10, was first to hug Woods when he won the Masters last month, echoing that scene 22 years before when Woods hugged late father Earl after winning his first green jacket.
Daughter Sam is 11, loves football and, like Charlie, is from Woods’ marriage to ex-wife Elin Nordegren.
Mum – Kultida Woods
Army veteran Earl grabbed the headlines, but Tiger said his mum was the real driving force behind his killer instinct on the golf course.
He has called her “tough” and the 75-year-old can still be seen in the crowd at his biggest tournaments.
Agent – Mark Steinberg
Fierce ‘Steiny’ began as Woods’ agent in 1998 while at IMG before becoming partner of Excel Sports Management in 2011, with Woods following him there.
Woods described the law graduate as “one of my best friends” and his role as chief of Woods’ golf and endorsements empire makes him one of the most powerful men in the game.
Caddie – Joe LaCava
The 55-year-old American has been loyal to Woods and not worked for anyone else despite his boss’ absences – for surgery or otherwise – since taking the bag in 2011.
Woods says he loves LaCava – who previously worked for Woods’ pal Fred Couples – “like a brother”.
PR guru – Glenn Greenspan
The 60-year-old has been in charge of Woods’ image since 2008.
He was previously director of communications for the Masters.
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Adviser – Rob McNamara
McNamara has known Woods since they were junior golfers and is basically a second set of eyes for the 15-time Major champion.
Woods does not employ a swing coach but 43-year-old McNamara is a scratch golfer himself and often plays alongside his boss.
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