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Golf Star Tiger Woods to 'Join' US Army - 2004-04-13

World number one golfer Tiger Woods is joining the army - briefly. Woods is taking part in four days of military training this week at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, before hosting a junior golf clinic April 16 at the U.S. Army base. Tiger Woods' father, Earl, was a member of the elite Green Berets during the Vietnam War. Woods says he is looking forward to walking in his father's footsteps by training with Army personnel at Fort Bragg.

He is also looking forward to a different challenge than he normally faces in competitive golf.

"There is no physical challenge in golf," he said. "You walk around for four and a half hours. That is not tough. Their mental toughness I think is more what I would equate to how I used to train for cross-country [running]. Your body is saying 'no' but your mind will carry a lot longer than you would think. I do not think they will put me through the 'ringer' as what they would do. But hopefully it will be close. I want to have a challenge."

In March, Woods and fellow American golfer Mark O'Meara spent about two hours on a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf when they played in the Dubai Desert Classic. Woods says he would likely would have chosen a military career if his talents had not led him to the golf course.

"If I was never introduced to golf, I would be doing something like that," he said. "Hopefully something in the special ops [operations] arena. For me, it would be a lot of fun. You also get to experience something that very few people can experience."

About 75 children of Fort Bragg soldiers will also get a special experience during the Tiger Woods Foundation Junior Golf Clinic. The children will be selected from two local junior golf programs.

Woods' foundation supports community-based programs that promote health, education and welfare for children.