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It took months to get never-before-seen footage of Tiger Woods' father Earl for his HBO documentary. The director explains why it was so important.

Tiger Woods Earl Woods Rick Dole Getty

Summary List Placement

The start of HBO's two-part Tiger Wood documentary, "Tiger," opens with a powerful moment that sets the tone for one of the major themes in the movie: the immense expectations Woods' father, Earl, had for his son.

The footage is from the Haskins Collegiate Award Banquet in 1996, which honors the most outstanding collegiate golfer in the US. In the never-before-seen grainy video, we see Earl at the podium speaking to a room full of people.

"Please forgive me," Earl says, "but sometimes I get very emotional when I talk about my son."

"My heart fills with so much joy when I realize that this young man is going to help so many people," Earl continues as we see footage of Tiger draining a putt as a PGA pro as the crowd roars.

"He will transcend this game and bring to the world a humanitarianism which has never been known before," says Earl as Tiger sits listening at the banquet.

"The world will be be a better place to live in by virtue of his existence and his presence. This is my treasure," Earl says as he chokes back tears. "Please accept it and use it wisely."

tiger banquet hboAs he says this, we see security footage of Woods being processed at a Florida police station during his 2017 arrest for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

"Tiger" codirector Matthew Hamachek said getting the footage of Earl speaking at the Haskins banquet was the most important archival footage in the movie because it laid the groundwork for Tiger's life, which was filled with ups and downs.

But getting the footage was a process.

Hamachek told Insider that through doing research for the documentary, he and codirector Matthew Heineman came across a 1996 Sports Illustrated story that chronicled Earl's speech at the Haskins banquet.

"The writer Gary Smith had basically been at the banquet and was scribbling notes on a napkin about the speech," Hamachek told Insider, who instantly knew they had to find out if Earl's speech was filmed.

"I felt it was necessary to get Earl actually saying those words," he said, especially since no one had actually seen it before.

So the director set out on a months-long process speaking to the organizers at Haskins about obtaining the footage.

"A lot of people had asked for [it] before, so they wanted to make sure to give it to someone who was going to do right by Tiger's story," Hamachek said. "It took a lot of time to talk to them and eventually in March of this year the organization finally agreed to release the footage to us. It was a huge day."

Hamachek said with that footage starting the movie, which was also teased in the doc's teaser, set the stage for a story that was centered on a "father-son relationship."

"It was the most important piece of archive [footage] in the entire film just because of how much it set up the relationship between Tiger and his father," he added. "A lot of what makes it complicated and loving at the same time are the expectations that Earl put onto Tiger."

Likely one of the most examined father-son relationships in golf, it was well reported that Earl had high expectations for his son thanks to him once being a member of the Army Special Forces and an athlete in his own right. In fact, he was the first Black baseball player in Big Seven Conference history. 

Before his death in 2006, Earl had accurately predicted that Tiger would win at least 14 major championships. The golfer currently has 15 majors.

Part 1 of "Tiger" is available on HBO Max now, part 2 airs on HBO and HBO Max on January 17.

SEE ALSO: HBO's explosive Tiger Woods documentary features interviews from people who know the golfing legend best including his former mistress— Here's how the directors got them to talk

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