Tiger Woods, a self-acknowledged control freak, insists on loyalty as a fundamental quality in employees, associates and friends. Just how much Woods values allegiance was summed up by his father, Earl, in an interview shortly before he died.
“Loyalty is No. 1 to Tiger,” Earl Woods said in a biography of his son. “You’re loyal or you’re history.”
In one of his first moves after turning pro in 1996, Woods fired the director of his foundation, John Merchant, a prominent lawyer and the first African-American member of the U.S.G.A. executive committee. Two years later, he fired his first agent, Hughes Norton of International Management Group, who had assembled Woods’s $120 million endorsement portfolio. The next year, he showed the door to his caddie Mike Cowan, known as Fluff.