The Tiger Woods saga is getting weirder by the day

By Rex HoggardNovember 30, 2009, 5:09 am

WINDERMERE, Fla. – On a chamber-of-commerce, picture-perfect central Florida Sunday Tiger Woods’ options, legal and otherwise, became much more cloudy.

Among the seven satellite trucks and dozens of media types lined up along Conroy-Windermere Road, questions wildly outnumbered answers, particularly after news surfaced that Woods dismissed another request for an interview from the Florida Highway Patrol and the release of the 911 call made by a neighbor the night of Woods’ now-infamous fender-bender.

The emergency call, which lasts a little over 4 minutes, sheds little light on what happened early last Friday morning and for the third time Woods declined to clarify himself with officials. Instead, the world No. 1 enlisted the services of Mark NeJame, a high-profile Orlando criminal defense attorney who is perhaps most famous for representing the parents of Casey Anthony.

“The traffic crash remains under investigation and charges are pending,” was the e-mail response from FHP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes.

There will be a rush to judgment. Always is. Call it guilt by association. If Woods has nothing to hide why not spill the story? Why put a hired gun on retainer? Why give officers the Heisman when a simple explanation will clear all this up?

That, of course, is naïve.

As a rule, Samuel Kohrs, an Orlando-area criminal defense attorney, tells his clients to never give law enforcement officials a statement.

“People think they can talk their way out of things and they can’t,” Kohrs told on Sunday. “If they are going to arrest or charge you it will not matter what you say. If they aren’t going to arrest you nothing good can happen from (giving a statement).”

Kohrs has seen all of this before, sort of. Much of the way this has been handled by FHP is standard except for the repeated trips by officers out to Isleworth, the tony gated community where Woods lives.

“I’ve never had a client who said they didn’t want to talk and (officers) kept coming back,” Kohrs said. “It’s kind of weird.”

And getting weirder by the day.

In the same lunar cycle golf again finds itself sullied by the same brush that taints other sports and once again it appears as if the smoking gun is wanting by comparison.

Earlier this month we learned Doug Barron had become the first to violate the PGA Tour’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Baseball has Barry Bonds and a cartoonish-looking mad scientist named Victor Conte. Golf has a 40-year-old journeyman with a medical history that would flummox Dr. House.

Basketball has Kobe Bryant’s well-documented legal woes. Golf has Woods careening off a fire hydrant, a tree and now the mainstream press. Lost amid the rush to judgment is the fact that the only thing Woods appears guilty of right now is an aversion to fire hydrants and an explanation of Friday’s events that’s not sitting well with the assembled media masses.

Either way, both cases make it clear that golf is increasingly being held to a higher standard.

Truth is, at worst Woods could be charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor, although Kohrs said these type of minor accidents are most often negotiated down to careless driving, a moving violation that carries a fine, a ticket and four points on your driver’s license.

As for the “rest of the story” – you know the one that surfaced in last week’s National Enquirer and suddenly has more shelf life than a pack of beef jerky – the curious public should get used to disappointment.

The man who named his yacht “Privacy” has no plans to divulge to the FHP or anyone else what occurred before his 2:30 a.m. accident, and he shouldn’t have to.

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

On Saturday, New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica wrote that, “If (Woods) can win the U.S. Open on one leg, he can stand up on this one.”

As far as Woods’ wayward driving goes, agreed. When celebrities large and small run afoul the laws of the land there is, to pinch a buzz word, a public option. Had Woods been drinking, which FHP makes clear he wasn’t, or under any influence the public’s curiosity is justifiable. Yet given the current state of the FHP investigation that verdict is days, if not weeks, away.

As for Woods’ personal life, that is between the world No. 1, his wife, Elin, and perhaps a few CEOs (Nike, Gatorade and AT&T come to mind) who are financially vested in one of the world’s most lucrative images. Not Lupica or anyone else.

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

Getty Images

Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

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.