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

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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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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President at the Presidents Cup


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Finances


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm