Tiger Woods, an athlete who at one time dominated his sport like few athletes in history, wishes he'd just enlisted in the Navy and become a SEAL.
"It was very, very serious," the friend says. "If he had had a hot two years and broken the record, he would have hung up his clubs and enlisted. No doubt."
To be sure, Woods may have had some difficulties signing up. Woods, 40, passed the SEALs' age limit of 30 a decade ago.
Pro golfer Tiger Woods got special access to Navy SEALs and reportedly considered joining them as his troubles mounted, according to an ESPN article. Woods viewed SEAL weaponry in 2006.
Photo Credit: Cmdr. Jeffrey Bender/Navy
At times, Woods' presence at the training facilities rubbed some SEALs the wrong way. The article reports some SEALs were particularly miffed by an incident at a local restaurant after training one day.
Then there's the story of the lunch, which spread throughout the Naval Special Warfare community. Guys still tell it, almost a decade later. Tiger and a group of five or six went to a diner in La Posta. The waitress brought the check and the table went silent, according to two people there that day. Nobody said anything and neither did Tiger, and the other guys sort of looked at one another.
Finally one of the SEALs said, "Separate checks, please."
The waitress walked away.
"We are all baffled," says one SEAL, a veteran of numerous combat deployments. "We are sitting there with Tiger f---ing Woods, who probably makes more than all of us combined in a day. He's shooting our ammo, taking our time. He's a weird f---ing guy. That's weird s---. Something's wrong with you."
"I walk and I walk some more," Woods responded.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.