12/03/2003 at 12:00 AM EST
Groom-to-be Tiger Woods is lashing out at the founder of a South African game reserve for squealing to the press about his engagement to Swedish girlfriend Elin Nordegren, the Associated Press reports.
"I was betrayed by Adrian Gardiner, founder of the Shamwari Game Reserve," the world's No. 1 golfer fumes in his monthly e-mail newsletter to fans.
"It was such a great moment in our lives, and he cheapened the experience because he was so self-serving," says Woods. "The only positive out of the whole trip is that Elin didn't say no."
Woods, 27, and Nordegren, 23, who have a home in Orlando, Fla., reportedly met when she was working as a nanny to the children of Swedish professional golfer Jesper Parnevik. No wedding date has been reported.
In his e-mail, Woods went on to say: "He promised to protect my privacy during a four-day stay with friends, but went back on his word, not only alerting the newspapers about my engagement ... but inviting the mayor and local school children to the airport when we departed." Woods said Gardiner also took photos of Woods and used them to promote the reserve's Web site.
Gardiner, however, tells Reuters that he went out of his way to shield Woods during the champ's four-day stay the week after the Presidents Cup (the same week as Thanksgiving).
"His privacy was protected 100 percent," says Gardiner. "He had the lodge on his own with his party. We even moved guests that were in that lodge to give him total privacy."
"Saying we were uncomfortable and totally shocked is an understatement," Woods added. "I'm disgusted about the way he handled things. I had been planning to ask Elin to marry me for months and wanted to do it in a private, unique atmosphere."