Golfer Tiger Woods has given some strong encouragement to a boy who has been bullied in school because of his stuttering problem.
Woods wrote the boy a letter, which was published on Golf Digest’s website Tuesday.
"I know what it's like to be different and to sometimes not fit in," Woods wrote. "I also stuttered as a child and I would talk to my dog and he would sit there and listen until he fell asleep. I also took a class for two years to help me, and I finally learned to stop."
The plight of the boy, identified only as Dillon, was publicized when his mother reached out to eight-time Solheim Cup player Sophie Gustafson of Sweden, who played her entire career on the LGPA Tour and in Europe with a severe stuttering problem.
Gustafson shared the mother’s letter with Golf Digest, which published a story on its website April 30.
The mother said her son tried out for the football team, only to quit because of the constant teasing over his stuttering issue. She wrote that he was on the verge of jumping from his bedroom window on April 16 until his parents stopped him. The mother also wrote her son was a big fan of Woods.
Not long after Golf Digest posted the story on its website, the boy received a letter from the 14-time major champion. Gustafson tweeted on Sunday her thanks to Woods "for sending my friend Dillon a letter. He got so happy! It's being framed and hanged." She added a hashtag that said "class."
Woods said in the letter that he was younger than most kids he played golf against and often was the only minority in the field at tournaments.
"But I didn't let that stop me, and I think it even inspired me to work harder," he wrote. "I know you can do that too. You have a great family, and big fans like me on your side. Be well and keep fighting. I'm certain you'll be great at anything you do."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.