As Tiger Woods prepares to tee off at the Masters on Thursday, an ESPN report said his half-brother is suffering from multiple sclerosis and is in danger of losing his house, but has not been able to reach the superstar golfer.
Another of Woods’ half-brothers, Earl Woods Jr., said Kevin Woods, 52, was diagnosed with the disease in 2009 and has been unable to work, prompting them to reach out to Tiger for assistance.
"I leave messages," Earl Jr. told ESPN columnist Rick Reilly. "I leave updates on Kevin, but for whatever reason I don’t get a response. … Kevin loves Tiger. A call from Tiger would really pump Kevin up. When he doesn’t call, it just makes him feel worse."
Earl Jr., Kevin, and their sister, Royce, were the children of Earl Woods’ first marriage. Tiger, who is between 17 and 20 years younger than his half-siblings, was the product of Earl Woods’ second marriage, to Kultida Punsawad.
The siblings say they have not heard from Tiger since 2006 when their father died. Earl Jr. said the family had been close until Tiger turned "15 or 16."
"We haven’t asked Tiger for a dime," Earl. Jr said.
"Not even tickets to a tournament. But Kevin’s losing his home. He needs a caregiver and he can’t have a caregiver and keep his home at the same time. And we can’t do that; we don’t have the means."
Earl Jr. now lives in Phoenix while Kevin and Royce live in San Jose, Calif.
According to the report, Tiger’s spokesman declined to comment on the matter. It is unclear what led to the apparent falling-out between the four-time Masters winner and his siblings.
"I’d like to [slap] Tiger, wake him up," Earl. Jr said.
"Maybe when you see the world like he does, you don’t see what other people are going through. But, seriously? You’ve got problems with your knee? That’s nothing compared to what Kevin is going through. Nothing."
The revelations come one day before the year’s first major. Woods has arrived at Augusta in his best form in years, recently winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill to break a 30-month PGA Tour drought.
But the 36-year-old has been stuck on 14 major championships since winning the 2008 US Open, dealing in recent years with injuries and a messy divorce that was highlighted by his public admission of infidelity.