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Tiger lashes out at magazine's allegations about wife

STRAFFAN, Ireland -- Tiger Woods was outraged Wednesday at
an Irish magazine and a tabloid that linked photos of his wife to
various pornography sites, and his agent was studying the merits of
a lawsuit.

The publisher, Dubliner Media Limited, issued an apology saying
it was a satire and didn't expect anyone to take it seriously.

Woods was among those who did.

"My wife, yes, she has been a model prior, and she did do some
bikini photos," Woods said. "But to link her to porn Web sites
and such is unacceptable, and I do not accept that at all. Neither
does our team."

The Dubliner magazine wrote in its September issue about Elin
Nordegren, his Swedish wife of nearly two years.

"Most American golfers are married to women who cannot keep
their clothes on in public," the magazine wrote. "Is it too much
to ask that they leave them at home for the Ryder Cup? Consider the
evidence. Tiger Woods' wife can be found in a variety of sweaty
poses on porn sites."

The Irish Daily Star gave it front-page treatment Wednesday
with the headline, "Tiger's Fury at Naked Pictures."

Inside the tabloid, it reprinted photos of Nordegren in a
bikini, along with a nude photo of a woman purported to be
Nordegren. Woods vehemently denied it was his wife when it first
came out three years ago.

"The publisher and staff at The Dubliner acknowledge that the
satirical article was inappropriate and wish to sincerely apologize
to Tiger Woods, his wife, Elin Nordegren and other Ryder Cup
players and their families for any offense they may have taken to
it," said the statement.

"I know the media can be a little bit difficult at times, but
when you ... it's hard to be very diplomatic about this when you
have so much emotion involved, when my wife is involved in this. As I said, I don't want that to deter from the beauty
of this event."
-- Tiger Woods

Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at IMG, said he was debating whether to pursue a lawsuit.

"It's ridiculous," Steinberg said from IMG headquarters in
Cleveland, Ohio. "I can't say much now because of prejudice,
because I'm not sure what we'll do in the future. Everyone knew [the nude photo] wasn't her. It's plain as day. You can see it's
not factual. It's kind of ironic they bring it up this week."

It was the first topic Woods brought up at his press conference
leading up to The Ryder Cup, which starts Friday at The K Club.

"I thought Tiger handled that extremely well," U.S. captain
Tom Lehman said. "He dealt with it first thing today. He got it
out of the way so that we all move on. I think the whole team
understands his frustration. Nobody likes that. But it was kind of
like, 'I want to say something ... and let's get back to the
business of the Ryder Cup.'"

Woods said his anger has nothing to do with the Irish people or
the gallery who have come out to the golf course, even on Wednesday
when the course was closed for three hours in the morning because
of 40 mph wind and rain.

"I know the media can be a little bit difficult at times, but
when you ... it's hard to be very diplomatic about this when you
have so much emotion involved, when my wife is involved in this,"
Woods said. "As I said, I don't want that to deter from the beauty
of this event."

Woods said making public his feelings was a matter of sticking
up for his wife.

"You do things for the people you love and you care about,"
Woods said. "My father got ridiculed for years, and I always felt
for my father and my mother the same way. My wife, we're in it
together. We're a team, and we do things as a team. And I care
about her with all my heart."

Phil Mickelson was asked how the U.S. team felt about the
stories.

"I don't think it shows too much about your profession,"
Mickelson replied, pausing for effect. "Other than that, I just
heard about it recently."