Woods still unavailable for state troopers

By Associated PressNovember 29, 2009, 8:15 am

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Tiger Woods and his wife were not available to speak to state troopers for the second straight day, asking that they return Sunday to try to clear up questions about how he crashed his SUV into a neighbor’s tree.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the announcement that the world’s No. 1 golfer and his wife, Elin, could not speak Saturday to authorities came from his agent. Mark Steinberg of IMG did not immediately respond to a text seeking comment.

Troopers previously tried to talk to Woods on Friday afternoon. The patrol said his wife told troopers Woods was sleeping, and they agreed to return the next day.

Woods smashed his Cadillac near his $2.4 million mansion at 2:25 a.m. Friday and was briefly hospitalized, police said. His lips were cut, and Windermere police chief Daniel Saylor has said Woods’ wife used a golf club to smash out a back window and help Woods from the car.

Isleworth C.C.
News trucks camp outside Isleworth in Windermere, Fla. (Getty Images)

Sgt. Kim Montes, the patrol spokeswoman, said Woods’ agent contacted dispatch and the call was put through to the troopers, who were on their way to Woods’ house.

“I don’t know what was said,” Montes said.

Montes said it was “kind of normal” for Woods not to speak on Friday, the day he was treated and released from a hospital.

“It is unusual that we haven’t gotten a statement,” she said. “This just delays us to getting closer to the completion of the investigation.”

Montes said Woods is not required to talk to troopers in a traffic accident; they only need is driver’s license, insurance and registration. She said troopers inside the gates at Isleworth are “looking at other things for their investigation.”

She said Woods’ Cadillac Escalade was not impounded, but taken to an undisclosed tow yard. She said the front and right of the SUV was damaged, and that both rear passenger windows were busted out.

“We still are going to move forward with our crash investigation,” Montes said.

The 911 tapes of the crash could be released as early as Sunday.

Still unanswered is where Woods was going in the wee hours of the morning after Thanksgiving Day. The police report said alcohol was not a factor.

The world’s No. 1 golfer and his family live in the exclusive, gated community of Isleworth, an exclusive subdivision near Orlando, set on an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course and a chain of small lakes. The neighborhood, which is fortified with high brick walls and has its own security force, is home to CEOs and other sports stars such as the NBA’s Shaquille O’Neal.

On Saturday, more than two dozen media and clusters of TV trucks were camped out in front of its gates.

Woods’ news conference for the Chevron World Challenge, the tournament he hosts that benefits his foundation, had been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. It’s unclear whether he would still play, or even attend.

“We do not know if Tiger is playing; we are anticipating a great week of competition,” said Greg McLaughlin, the tournament director and president of his foundation.

One of Woods’ neighbors, who didn’t want her name to be used, said it was quiet in front of his house. She said there are usually two or three cars parked outside his home and that was the scene Saturday.

Saylor said his two officers found the 33-year-old Woods lying in the street with his wife hovering over him.

Saylor said she told officers she was in the house when she heard the accident and “broke the back window with a golf club.” He said the front-door windows were not broken and that “the door was probably locked.”

“She supposedly got him out and laid him on the ground,” he said. “He was in and out of consciousness when my guys got there.”

In a telephone interview, Woods’ father-in-law, radio journalist Thomas Nordegren, told The Associated Press in Stockholm that he would not discuss the accident.

“I haven’t spoken to her in the last few … ” Nordegren said about his daughter, Elin, before cutting himself off. “I don’t want to go into that.”

Woods’ mother-in-law Barbro Holmberg also refused to address the matter.

“She doesn’t want to comment on private issues like these,” Holmberg’s spokeswoman Eva Malmborg said.

Roger Federer, who has become close with Woods in recent years, said after losing in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London, “I haven’t spoken to him. I heard it’s not too serious, which is a good thing.”

Asked at a Friday evening news conference if the couple could have been arguing, Saylor said he had no knowledge of that.

The accident came two days after the National Enquirer published a story alleging that Woods had been seeing a New York night club 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 AP.

“I resent my reputation is getting completely blasted in the media,” she said during a telephone interview late Friday. “Everyone is assuming I came out and said this. This is not a story I have anything to do with.”

Uchitel said she was in Melbourne two weeks ago with clients and never saw Woods the entire time she was there.

“The story stands for itself,” National Enquirer executive editor Barry Levine told the AP on Saturday.

Saylor described Woods’ wife as “frantic” when two officers arrived and found her kneeling over him in the street. The couple has been married five years and have two children, a 2-year-old daughter named Sam, and son Charlie who was born in February.

Nordegren, a former model from Sweden who once worked as a nanny for golfer Jesper Parnevik, is as private as Woods. She keeps a low profile at tournaments, watching her husband from behind the ropes, and moves on when photographers start taking her picture.

Woods rarely faces such private scrutiny, even as perhaps the most famous active athlete in the world.

He usually makes news only because of what he can do with a golf club. Few other athletes have managed to keep their private lives so guarded, or have a circle of friends so airtight when it comes to life off the course.

Woods has won 82 times around the world and 14 majors, becoming the first player of black heritage to win a major at the 1997 Masters when he was 21.

He won six times this year after missing eight months recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left knee. Even though he failed to win a major, Woods said he considered this a successful year because he did not know how his knee would respond.

Doug Ferguson reported from Jacksonville, Fla. Associated Press writers Tamara Lush and Lisa Orkin Emmanuel in Miami and Louise Nordstrom in Stockholm contributed to this report.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

The statement reads:

The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.