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From Green Jackets To Green Berets

Fresh from the green jackets of Augusta National, Tiger Woods arrived Monday at the home of the Green Berets, hoping to get a feel for the Army training his father endured here following a tour in Vietnam.

The world's top golfer, who finished a dismal 22nd at last weekend's Masters tournament, is expected to get a sanitized version of real Special Forces training during the weeklong visit.

So far, they were taking it easy on him: Woods was issued a camouflaged uniform bearing his name and received an orientation to the post, said Lt. Col. Bill Buckner, a spokesman for Fort Bragg.

"He's not going to have a drill sergeant barking up and down at him and yelling at him to get in line," Buckner said "He's going to get some exposure and experience with how Special Forces operators conduct business."

The 28-year-old golf star is scheduled to watch Green Berets handle their weapons and sweep through an urban assault course before getting a chance to try it for himself, Buckner said.

While some Army grunts rolled their eyes Monday over the special treatment for the golfer, others were complimentary of his attempt to connect with his father's military experience.

Earl Woods, an ex-Green Beret, first trained at Fort Bragg in 1963 following a tour in Vietnam, and he was assigned to a Special Forces unit here before leaving for another tour in 1970.

Woods did not make himself available for questions Monday, and his representatives have said he wants his experience at Fort Bragg to be private. He is scheduled to meet with reporters Friday, when he gives a golf clinic and demonstration at Bragg's Stryker Golf Course.

Clarence Gainor, a member at Stryker, was a Green Beret in Vietnam a bit earlier than Earl Woods. He predicted Tiger will come through his military experience in fine form.

"He's in good shape and he's young. It won't hurt him."

By Emery P. Dalesio

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