Woods says accident his fault

By Associated PressNovember 30, 2009, 12:26 am

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Despite presenting his side of the car-crash story and asking that it remain “a private matter,” Tiger Woods may still not be in the clear.

Troopers arriving at his Isleworth home requesting an interview were turned down for a third straight day, but the Florida Highway Patrol said it will continue to investigate. Yet the tabloid-fueled rumors now swirling around one of the world’s richest and most-recognizable athletes could turn out to be more troublesome still.

About an hour before the troopers arrived Sunday afternoon, Woods released a statement on his Web site taking responsibility for – but providing few details about – the middle-of-the-night accident that left him dazed, bruised and bloodied.

“This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way,” Woods said. “Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible. …

“I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received,” the statement concluded. “But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be.”

Yet several public-relations experts believed there was little chance of that request being honored.

“The goal of putting out a statement, or having a press conference, is to make sure questions are answered so you’re not continuing to have questions that are crisis-related,” said Mike Paul, whose firm, MGP & Associates, frequently works with athletes. “There are still over a dozen questions we have regarding his reputation because the statement is not enough.”

The world’s No. 1 golfer remained hunkered down at home in an exclusive gated community outside Orlando. He was scheduled to compete at the Chevron World Challenge, which starts Thursday in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The tournament director, however, did not know whether Woods would play or even attend.

When troopers arrived at Woods’ home Sunday, his attorney, Mark NeJame, gave them Woods’ driver’s license, registration and insurance, as required by law for such accidents. This time, the meeting was not rescheduled.

But patrol spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes said investigators spoke with the neighbor who made the 911 call on Saturday and might seek out others who were at the scene as well.

“If we have somebody who we feel is pertinent to the investigation, then we will interview them,” she said.

In the 911 call released by the FHP on Sunday, the unidentified neighbor told the dispatcher, “I have a neighbor, he hit the tree. And we came out here just to see what was going on. I see him and he’s laying down.”

The caller did not identify the neighbor as Woods. When asked if the victim was unconscious, the neighbor replied, “Yes,”

Parts of the call were inaudible because of a bad connection. At one point, the voice of a woman is heard yelling, “What happened?”

Yet even the release of the 911 tape and Woods’ statement failed to answer that question and several other.

– Where he was going at that time of the night?

– How did he lose control of his SUV at such a speed that the air bags didn’t deploy?

– Why were both rear windows of the Cadillac Escalade smashed?

– If it was a careless mistake, why not speak to state troopers trying to wrap the investigation?

Montes said authorities towed the Cadillac SUV that Woods was driving and have already documented the damage to the vehicle and the point of impact. According to the FHP accident report, Woods had just pulled out of his driveway when he struck a fire hydrant and then a tree. His wife told Windermere police she used a golf club to smash the back windows to help him out.

“The only person responsible for the accident is me. My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble. She was the first person to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false,” Woods said.

The reference in his statement to “false, unfounded and malicious rumors” may have involved a story published last week in the National Enquirer alleging that Woods had been seeing a New York nightclub hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters.

The woman, Rachel Uchitel, denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by The Associated Press. On Sunday, she flew to Los Angeles and was met by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred at the airport.

Uchitel didn’t speak to reporters except to ask that she be left alone. Allred, however, confirmed to the AP that she would be representing Uchitel.

“We plan to meet and then we’ll decide on the next step, which we do not plan to announce to the press,” the attorney said in an e-mail.

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson in Jacksonville, and Associated Press writers Linda Deutsch in Los Angeles, and Sarah Larimer in Miami contributed to this report.

Note: Golf Channel will air a Golf Central Special on Tiger Woods Monday at 7 p.m. ET, where golf insiders sit down and discuss everything regarding the Tiger Woods car-crash saga.


Related Content:
9-1-1 audio
Photos from the crash
Woods' statement
Mell: Tiger's nightmare

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.