- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ATLANTA (AP) - Tom Callahan first met Earl Woods in 1996 at the Greater Milwaukee Open, and he spent the next 10 years listening to stories and gaining insight. Few others had such access and trust.

The hard part was convincing his agent and a publisher that a book on the late father of Tiger Woods was worth writing.

“Nobody wanted me to do this book,” Callahan said. “They figured, ‘Who cares about Earl Woods?’”

Of all the books involving the world’s No. 1 player, this might be the most compelling.

“His Father’s Son,” published by Gotham Books, is scheduled to go on sale Oct. 28. Golf Digest, for whom Callahan is a contributing editor, plans to publish excerpts in its November issue.

Callahan devotes the first half of the book to Earl Woods _ his Kansas roots, the prejudice he faced as the only black baseball player at Kansas State; his military career; his first marriage, which produced three children; meeting his second wife in Thailand.

The second half is about Tiger Woods.

At times, the lines are blurred.

Callahan portrays Earl Woods as a womanizer, minus the names or the details. In one chapter, he writes about Tiger being furious with his father toward the end of his life. Earl implied that Tiger had to buy him out of what Callahan described only as “some kind of sexual jackpot.” It was Woods’ mother, Kultida, who served as peacemaker, urging her son to forgive his father.

Callahan was well into writing the book on Nov. 27, when Woods ran over a fire hydrant outside his Florida home, and soon after lurid details of his sexual escapades began gushing out in the media.

“The funny thing is, it didn’t change the book that much,” Callahan said. “The original outline was 40 chapters. I ended up with 31. Nine that were lost were melted into other chapters in the first half. I waited half a book to get to Tiger. I didn’t want people to be impatient.”

His publisher asked if Callahan was going to contact some of the women linked to Tiger.

“I said, ‘No, I don’t care about them,’” he said. “Leave that to the floozy books.”

This book was always about the intricate relationship between a father, who didn’t touch a golf club until he was 42, and a son, who has dominated golf at every level.

Callahan was fond of Earl Woods. The intention was not to bash either father or son, although he doesn’t duck any of the dirt.

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