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Navy SEALs: Tiger did not train with us

Robert Lusetich on Tiger Woods-Hank Haney flap
Robert Lusetich on Tiger Woods-Hank Haney flap
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Robert Lusetich

After more than 20 years of covering everything from election campaigns to the Olympic Games, Robert Lusetich turned his focus to writing about his first love: golf. He is author of Unplayable: An Inside Account of Tiger's Most Tumultuous Season. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Navy SEALs deny that Tiger Woods trained with them, and had no indication that he wanted to quit golf to join the elite fighting unit.

SEALs spokesman Capt. William Fenick told FOXSports.com that Woods had visited the Naval Special Warfare Center on Coronado Island, off the coast of San Diego, "on a couple of occasions" but not since 2006.

Woods' former coach, Hank Haney, says in an upcoming book, "The Big Miss," that the golfer was obsessed with becoming a SEAL and undertook "a program that approximated the training for a Navy SEAL candidate."

"The purpose was a sort of 'dry run' to determine whether he could physically and mentally handle the demands, and if so, whether he wanted to go forward with actually becoming a Navy SEAL," Haney writes.

"To my knowledge, he did training in parachuting, self-defense, urban-warfare simulations and shooting."

Capt. Fenick characterized Woods' visits to the SEALs base as "a walk and talk."

"We did give him the opportunity to shoot a couple of guns at our range but as for the reports that he was doing SEALs training, he didn't do that with us," he said.

Haney writes that when he told Woods — whose father was a special forces soldier in Vietnam — that SEALs can't be older than 28, Woods responded: "It's not a problem. They're making a special age exemption for me."

"We never understood his visits to mean he was interested in becoming a SEAL," said Capt. Fenick.

"He was interested in the SEALs and when a high visibility person like him wants to know what it is that we do, we're happy to show them.

"This wasn't unique. We've hosted CEOs, sports figures, entertainment industry folks. But that doesn't mean they're going to be training with SEALs."

Capt. Fenick said there were private companies run by ex-SEALs which could've been training Woods.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, meanwhile has hit back at Haney for twisting the golfer's admiration for the military into "something negative."

Tagged: Tiger Woods

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