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Tiger Woods’ first agent, Hughes Norton, has opened up on his relationship with the 15-time major winner, who he has not spoken to since being sacked by the golf legend

Tiger Woods’ first agent, Hughes Norton, has opened up about the “worst part” of his relationship with the golfing legend.

Despite not having spoken to the 15-time major winner since being let go by him, Hughes had some critical words about Woods’ social skills.

Hughes represented Woods for two years starting in the summer of 1996, when the golfer was just 20 and turning professional. He first met Woods and his father Earl seven years prior, when he hired Earl at IMG as a junior talent scout.

The super-agent has worked with a list of golfing greats, including LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, whom he represented for 11 years. Hughes secured record-setting sponsorship deals for Woods at the start of their partnership but never worked again after being fired, which soon led to IMG following suit.

Woods remained with the sports agency and started being represented by Mark Steinberg, who is still his agent.

Hughes, on the other hand, was bound to silence for ten years as part of his substantial payoff and was prohibited from competing against the company. He never returned to that line of work but has now shared his experiences in his recently published memoir ‘Rainmaker ‘.

Hughes does not mince words when recalling his split with Woods.

“The worst part honestly was that there was no explanation,” Norton revealed in an interview with to Today’s Golfer. “It’s just so bizarre the way Tiger severs relationships with people in his life, whether it’s caddies or girlfriends or managers. I would love to sit down with Tiger today and say, ‘Flashback 25 years, what was the reason?

“‘You never gave me any indication that something was wrong or that you weren’t happy’. That leads into my feelings of betrayal because it was very tough to swallow,” before later commenting: “He was pretty disloyal to say, ‘See you later’, after such a short time.

Hughes added: “Tiger was unbelievably self-centred. He focused on one thing and one thing only from an early age, which was to become the greatest golfer in the history of the game. He was quite selfish; his needs were all that mattered.

“He never really learned how to interact with people, so there was a total lack of empathy. ”

The former agent acknowledged that when recalling how an “emotionless Tiger stood zombie-like” when delivering the news, which was the last time they interacted.

Hughes also believes Woods going from an amateur to Masters champion to world No. 1 within 12 months left him uneasy. “Fame was something that was uncomfortable for Tiger,” he recalled. “It really was. It was an intrusion into his life.

Hughes recalled a moment that highlighted this perspective: “At one point he said, ‘You know there’s this $40 million from Nike, $20 million from Titleist, it’s paper money, Hughes’.

“He picked up a winner’s cheque from a tournament he’d just won and said, ‘See this, this $300,000 I won in Las Vegas, that’s real to me. This other stuff is paper money. It’s an interesting outlook but it showed you how narrow-focused he was.”


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