Tiger's latest transgression differs from 2009

By Rex HoggardMay 30, 2017, 10:56 pm

JUPITER, Fla. – This doesn’t look good. It never did.

To be clear, according to the documents and evidence that was released to the public on Tuesday from the Jupiter Police Department, it appears Tiger Woods climbed behind the wheel of his 2015 Mercedes-Benz and drove when he shouldn’t have.

According to the arrest report, Woods was found in his car with the engine running on a road at around 2 a.m. on Monday. He was sleeping, his speech “slow, sluggish, very slurred” and when officers asked the 14-time major champion where he was coming from he said “L.A.,” and that he was going to “Orange County.” Whether he meant the OC in California or Central Florida remains unclear. What is clear, officers found Woods in his car in the southbound lane on Military Trail, which would be heading away from his home in Hobe Sound, Fla.

In an arrest photo that’s now threatened to break the internet, Woods looks tired and confused. In his defense, there’s never been a “good” arrest photo taken at 4 a.m.

Monday wasn’t a good day for Woods, but it could have been worse. It’s been worse.

As the news, which with Woods is normally a highly regulated trickle, began to rush from the Jupiter Police Department a strange picture emerged.

There were the initial revelations of Woods handcuffed and mumbling responses to questions from police officers to go along with that arrest photo. But along the way Woods seemed to break from his normal game plan of reclusive silence and embrace the strangest of concepts – the truth.

Only time and an ongoing police investigation will tell if Woods’ version of the events on Monday dovetail with reality, but the mountain of evidence released on Tuesday suggests that Woods made a mistake – a terrible mistake, but a mistake, nonetheless. And not only did he do so, but in a complete break from the norm it appears he has owned that miscue, no excuses, no qualifiers, no subterfuge.

“I understand the severity of what I did and take full responsibility for my actions,” Woods said in a statement. “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”

Whatever the cocktail of medication Woods was taking – he mentioned using Vicodin to officers but it’s unclear if he’d actually used the medication on Monday – his claim that he hadn’t been drinking alcohol was confirmed by a breathalyzer test. The results of a urine test won’t be in for a few days but given the fact that he had his fourth back surgery in April it’s worth giving him the benefit of the doubt.

In 2009, Woods’ world crumbled when he smashed his car into a fire hydrant after a domestic squabble with his then-wife Elin Nordegren. Months of speculation followed while Woods remained in seclusion. When he did speak it was in front of a select audience in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and he read from a carefully crafted statement.

The void his silence caused was filled by speculation and innuendo. His desire for privacy, although understandable, gave the story a life of its own. Whatever happened Thanksgiving night in ’09 was very personal to a very public figure, but instead of owing his misgivings, Woods went with stoic silence bordering on self-righteous indignation.

Having covered extensively that dark episode in golf, the juxtaposition between Woods’ actions in ’09 compared with this week is stark.

There are still plenty of questions to be answered. On Wednesday, police plan to release the dash cam footage from Woods’ arrest, a reality TV moment that almost never works out well for the accused.

But in the detailed reports released by police on Tuesday, officers pointed out that Woods was “cooperative” and answered most of the officers’ questions.

He was asked if he had been drinking alcohol. No. If he had been taking illegal drugs. No. If he was on any medication. Well, that part of the report is redacted, but as Woods’ own statement suggests that seems to be the likely culprit.

Make no mistake, Woods should not have been driving. He could have hurt or killed innocent people. He could have hurt or killed himself. There will likely be a price to pay, a suspension of his driver’s license, a fine, community service, whatever authorities deem appropriate.

But by all early accounts this seems to have been a mistake, honest or otherwise, an unfortunate episode of self-medicating that should not be ignored or dismissed, but a mistake nonetheless that Woods has thoroughly owned.

Getty Images

Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

Getty Images

Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

Getty Images

Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

Getty Images

Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.