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 GolfChannel.com 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 TigerWoods.com 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

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

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.