Tiger Woods: What happened and what next on and off course
Former world number one and 14-time major winner was arrested on Monday on a DUI
Tiger Woods during his last appearance on a golf course at the Dubai Desert Classic. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Tiger Woods was found asleep at the wheel before he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence near his home in Florida in the early hours of Monday morning.
The former world number one blamed ”an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications” in a statement issued after his release, with the police record supporting his claim he had not been drinking alcohol.
Here are some of the questions and answers surrounding the 14-time major champion:
What happens next in the case?
Woods is scheduled to appear in court on July 5th to answer the DUI charge, unless a deal is struck beforehand. According to an article in Golf Digest, first-time DUI offenders in Florida can face up to six months in jail, a year of probation, $1,000 in fines and fees, 12 hours of DUI School and 50 hours of community service. In Woods’ favour, he co-operated with the police — and even thanked them in his statement — and the breathalyser readings showed there was no alcohol in his system. The results of the toxicology report are likely to be key.
What about his reputation?
Woods still has millions of loyal fans around the world, even in the wake of the revelations about his private life in 2009, which emerged after he had crashed his car into a fire hydrant. Whether those fans remain loyal given the fact that Woods could have seriously injured himself or innocent bystanders remains to be seen, and the same goes for his sponsors. Nike said there is “no change in our relationship with Tiger”, while Bridgestone said they were aware of the incident but declined to make further comment.
Will he ever play competitive golf again?
As recently as last week, Woods wrote in a blog on his website that “I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again,” despite admitting his fourth back operation meant he would be unable to “twist” for another three months. His most recent attempt at a comeback ended after just one round in the Dubai Desert Classic, the 41-year-old pulling out after an opening 77 in what was just his third event since August 2015. He has lifetime exemptions into three of the four majors and would no doubt receive an invite to the US Open when his 10-year exemption from his 2008 victory runs out, but returning to the top appears a pipe dream.