On February 23, Tiger Woods underwent emergency surgery after a car crash in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California (via CNN). Although details are scarce at this point, Woods will likely have a long road of recovery ahead of him. One thing we do know is that we can expect his mother, Kultida, to be by Tiger’s side every step of the way — as she’s been his whole life.
Kultida Woods was born in Thailand but has spent the majority of her life in America. “I[‘ve] live[d] in [the] U.S. 40 years now, in Thailand for only 25,” Kultida told ESPN in 2009. “In that way, I’m more American than Thai.” Still, she shared that Thailand is the place she feels most at home and she makes frequent trips back, often doing philanthropic work.
Kultida also told ESPN that she and her son are cut from the same cloth. She described them both as “loners” who don’t waste time with people they don’t like. “I am independent and strong-willed. That way, you survive,” said Kultida. “When I was a girl, my mother would always be worried, ‘What will people say?’ And even then, I would think, ‘I don’t give a damn.'” She added that she instilled in her son the importance of being happy in himself.
Tiger and Kultida Woods have had their differences
Although Kultida is her son’s biggest supporter, she isn’t afraid to give him tough love. According to The Daily Beast, she was furious with Tiger when she learned that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Elin Nordegren. The pair split in 2010, shortly after his infidelities became known to his family and the public.
The issue hit close to her heart because Tiger’s own father, the late Earl Woods, repeatedly cheated on Kultida and she shared a close relationship with her daughter-in-law, Nordegren. A source told The Daily Beast that she was “hurt, angry, and disappointed” by her son’s actions and “want[ed] to know how he could do this to his family.”
However, Tiger and Kultida have managed to rebuild and maintain a strong relationship. In 2019, she shared an emotional hug with her son when he won The Masters (via SB Nation). Tiger Woods also embraced his son, Charlie, that day in the exact same spot where he’d hugged his own father 22 years prior. “It’s been 22 years. Life goes on,” he said of the parallel. “But there’s been one continuity through it all — my mom was there.”
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