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Tiger Woods secret life adds to aura

The secretive life of Tiger Woods has only added to the aura that surrounds a player poised to break every record that Jack Nicklaus and every other legend ever set.

Despite being the most written-about golfer the game has ever seen, Woods has nevertheless managed to draw a wall of silence around himself.

The 24-year-old has matured dramatically over the past five years, and when he now speaks in public he gives little away about the real Woods. Instead his carefully crafted answers are planned not to cause controversy or give offense.

His earlier remarks of "I'm here to win," angered the tour's establised stars, who had difficulty taking to a precocious 19-year-old who bragged that he was going to beat them -- and then going out an doing it.

Instead Woods now chastises journalists about concentrating too much on him.

"There are some great players out there. Ernie Els is having a fabulous year," he announced on the eve of the USPGA before going out and simply running away from Els and every other world ranked player in the field.

But it is always golf that Tiger talks about. His private life is strictly off limits.

Woods' ruthless execution of his rivals is explained by his Thai mother Kultida.

"Tiger wouldn't be so good if he didn't have the fire. I think I gave him the fire. I tell him that I never give up," she said.

"I always tell him to go for the throat. I always tell his that as a little boy. I tell him always go for win, don't worry about anything else. His father was Green Beret but has more compassion than me. I want him to win everytime."

After his record-breaking victory in the PGA Championship on Sunday that is exactly what he appears to be set to do.

Coach Butch Harmon has no doubts his most famous pupil is simply streets ahead of his would-be rivals.

"Here's a guy that's making more putts than anybody, making a lot of putts on these greens and he's not happy with the way he's rolling the ball," Harmon said.

"So we go to the putting green for maybe a couple of hours and work on getting his release right. The way he was putting that was a very very small thing but he knows there is something that isn't the way he wants it so he's going to work on it until he gets it right.

"That's the way Tiger is. If something is a little off he'll work and work until he gets what he wants. He always gets what he wants from himself."

Tiger never gives anything away outside the world of golf. Allsport.

Nicklaus, who played with Woods in a tournament for the first time when he was paired with Woods for the first two rounds of the PGA Championship, had no doubts about the greatness lurking within Woods.

"I don't think I have ever seen somebody doing what he is doing," said an awed Nicklaus.

"He doesn't have to extend himself at all to do what he is doing. I knew he was good. He is better than I thought. He is obviously the cream of the crop right now by a mile."

But what it is that makes Woods such a phenomenon is firmly hidden by the wall of privacy the world No. 1 has built around himself.

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