Mar 2, 2010, 11:00 AM EST
Hold the phone, America; it seems that President Obama did not call Tiger Woods to offer encouragement prior to Tiger’s big press gathering last month. But Bill Clinton did, sort of. In a recent Golf Digest story, author Jamie Diaz referenced an unnamed source who said that Woods received calls from both President Obama and President Clinton prior to his apology press gathering in Florida on Feb. 19. (That info was, strangely, buried in the middle of the piece). The Obama call came as news to the White House. From Ben Smith on Politico:
A somewhat baffled White House spokesman Tommy Vietor says President Obama did not, in fact, call Tiger Woods to offer support, as was widely reported over the weekend.
The reports seem to source a Golf Digest story that made the claim in an earlier version but removed it, and now just uses a related quote from Obama’s interview with People.
On Monday Golf Digest issued the following email press release:
“An article in the April issue of Golf Digest incorrectly reported that President Obama made a personal call to Tiger Woods to offer encouragement. Our mistake was due to a misunderstanding between the writer and a trusted source. We regret the error.”
Although not confirmed, that source may have been Tiger’s mom, Kutilda Woods, who is quoted in the story and knows Diaz well.
Meanwhile, Politico also got in contact with Bill Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna, who conformed that Clinton and Woods did talk by phone. But it was Tiger who called clinton, not the other way around as suggested in the Golf Digest piece. “Tiger called President Clinton on another matter and President Clinton wished him well,” McKenna said.
The Golf Digest graph in question has been altered, and now reads like this:
“I’m a strong believer that anybody can look within themselves, find their flaws and fix them,” President Obama said. Bill Clinton, whose experience might be particularly instructive, made a personal call to offer encouragement.
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