Tiger Woods‘ high school sweetheart has opened up about their dramatic breakup in HBO’s new documentary about the golf star, revealing that he ended their three-year relationship with a short, ‘awful’ letter.
Part one of ‘Tiger’ premiered last weekend, and in it Tiger’s ex-girlfriend Dina Gravell-Parr details how she didn’t fit into the ‘plan’ Tiger’s parents had for him — so after three years together and talk of a future with marriage and babies, he said goodbye with a four-sentence note.
‘It was like a death,’ Dina admitted. ‘It was awful. We had been in this three year relationship … I replay play that day over and over again.’
Looking back: Tiger Woods’ high school sweetheart has opened up about their dramatic breakup
Young love: In HBO’s new documentary ‘Tiger,’ Tiger’s ex-girlfriend Dina Gravell-Parr talks about their three-year-long relationship as teenagers
The HBO doc covers Tiger’s career as well as his upbringing, with some focus on how his parents, Earl and Kultida, drove his obsession with golf from a young age.
And as far as Dina is concerned, her relationship with their son wasn’t what they wanted for him, so they put an end to it.
Next up: Part one of ‘Tiger’ premiered last weekend; part two will air on Sunday
Tiger and Dina had met in accounting class at Western High School in Anaheim, California, and were friends first before delving into a romantic relationship that spanned three years.
But while she says they were both in love with each other, it ended in heartbreak after Tiger lied to his parents and came home from Stanford University a day early to visit Dina.
Earl and Kultida found out and were furious, and were reportedly considering kicking him out of the house if he didn’t break up with Dina.
So he did, sending her a letter.
‘Dina,’ reads the note, which she read on camera in the doc, ‘the reason for writing this letter is to inform you [that] my parents and myself never want to talk or hear from you again.
‘Reflecting back over this relationship, I feel used and manipulated by you and your family,’ it went on.
‘I hope the rest of your life runs well for you. I know this is sudden and a surprise but it is, in my opinion, much warranted. Sincerely, Tiger.’
Sad stuff: She read the letter Tiger wrote her, saying: ‘The reason for writing this letter is to inform you [that] my parents and myself never want to talk or hear from you again’
Surprise: The letter came as a shock, as she said she and Tiger were in love (pictured in a home video)
Hanging out: She said Tiger was ‘shy’ but liked her house because ‘he could be himself and there was no judgement and no pressure to live up to all these expectations’
A short postscript asked her to please mail back something of his that he gave her.
‘It was awful,’ Dina said. ‘We had been in this three year relationship. And I thought about, should I drive over there?
‘I just waned to confront him. I just wanted him to look me in the face and tell me this. If it’s the truth, then we’re good, then our relationship is a whole lie. That’s fine, but I want to hear it from you.
‘I replay play that day over and over again,’ she went on, saying she asked herself what had triggered the hasty note.
She decided that it must just not have been part of his parents’ plan.
‘It was like a death, and I had to treat it like a death, because I had to just let it go and pretend like he was gone,’ she said.
‘Because honestly the person that I fell in love with … had died. That part of him, the part of his soul that I knew would never treat me that way.
Meet the parents: But, she said, Tiger’s parents Earl and Kultida wanted him to dump her; she said she doesn’t think she was part of their plan for him
‘His sweetness was stolen from him. The new Tiger was here, and he was all about golf,’ she said.
Joe Grohman, a former family friend and golf coach for Tiger, also thinks it was Tiger’s parents who made the decision, recalling how Tiger called him for help.
‘I was shocked,’ Joe said, remembering that he went to the Woods house and found Earl ‘incensed,’ saying Tiger didn’t ‘need this’ and that Dina would get pregnant and ‘blow the whole goddamn thing.’
‘And they’re ready to just kick him out of the house, they were so mad,’ he said.
Dina also shared details about happier times in their relationship, including her impression of him when they met.
‘Tiger was shy. He didn’t have friends,’ she said. ‘He had the highest grade in the class so it mind of became this competition. I think I was teasing him a little bit about it. And that’s kind of how it started, just as friends.’
Rude: In the breakup letter, he wrote: ‘Reflecting back over this relationship, I feel used and manipulated by you and your family’
He concluded: ‘I hope the rest of your life runs well for you. I know this is sudden and a surprise but it is, in my opinion, much warranted. Sincerely, Tiger’
‘He would say, “I’m in love with you, I want that. I just wanna have a life with you,”‘ Dina said
Eventually, he invited her to see him play in a tournament, and she saw a different person when he played: one who was confident.
But though he gamely signed autographs afterward, she said, ‘He knew that the fame was not normal. He always knew that.’
She added: ‘I think he definitely saw the bridge to me being able to give him a normal life.’
Dina said Tiger liked going to her house because it was loud.
‘I think the quietness of his house sometimes drove him crazy,’ she said. ‘He knew that he could be himself and there was no judgement and no pressure to live up to all these expectations.
‘I was in love with him,’ she went on. ‘And I would tell him all the time, golf is good, it’s your passion. But it’s not everything. There’s more to life. I wanted to protect that sweetness in him.’
‘His sweetness was stolen from him. The new Tiger was here, and he was all about golf,’ she said
But she saw that she wasn’t what his parents wanted for him.
‘I felt like their plans were creating this robot. There was all this preparation for golf — but he had no life skills. He was not prepared for life,’ she said.
‘I would tell him, “You know, you are gonna wanna get married and have kids, and golf is not gonna be the most important thing. You’re gonna have to find that balance.”
‘He would say, “I’m in love with you, I want that. I just wanna have a life with you.”‘
Part two of ‘Tiger’ will premiere Sunday, January 17.