Tiger Woods sent encouraging letter to bullied teen
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Tiger Woods sent encouraging letter to bullied teen

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Kids are mean -- extraordinarily so. And this comes from a guy who, as a kid, could say some pretty biting things. In high school, the bizarre cocktail of feelings of entitlement, overconfidence and insecurity lead to some downright horrid stuff.

That's where pro golfer Sophie Gustafson comes into the story. Gustafson, who has bravely and publicly battled a stuttering problem for her entire career, had recently taken to mentoring a high schooler, Dillon, with a stutter of his own. Dillon was on the receiving end of a lot of nasty taunting and bullying from kids at his school -- all because of his stutter.


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After some positive signs, including trying to play on the football team, things got worse. Some of Dillon's teammates mocked him to the point that he quit the team. He attempted suicide. Unsure of what to do, Gustafson reached out to friend and Golf Digest writer Ron Sirak in hopes of finding some direction and encouragement for Dillon.

RELATED: Read the letter Tiger Woods wrote to Dillon

In Sirak's story sharing the heartbreak he and Gustafson felt, he shared an email from his mom to the golfer.

“He continues to love to watch golf and is still a fan of Tiger,” his mom wrote. “Is there anyway we could get his story to Tiger and see if he could help find something encouraging for [him] to look forward to?”

Sirak said he would do his best to communicate Dillon's story to Woods. Well, however word got to Woods, the 14-time major winner delivered, as Gustafson shared Sunday.

In response to a tweet, Gustafson offered an update on Dillon's progress.

Good on Woods, Gustafson and Sirak for doing their part to encourage Dillon.

One of golf's most revered figures, Ken Venturi, overcame a childhood stuttering problem to become one of its best players and most beloved broadcasters. Hopefully his story can rub off something positive on Dillon, too.

The high school years are the roughest. So many people frame them as the best of their lives, but it's a myth. The best years are to come, Dillon.

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