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.

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Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


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“Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

“There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.