Golf le­gend feels for Tiger

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

MI­AMI: Golf­ing great Jack Nick­laus says Tiger Woods “needs all of our help” af­ter he was ar­rested on a charge of driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence early on Mon­day.

A po­lice re­port said Woods was asleep at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz stopped on a Florida road and did not know where he was. Woods, 41, blamed the in­ci­dent on med­i­ca­tions.

Nick­laus said that he felt bad for the for­mer world num­ber one.

“Tiger’s a friend, he’s been great for the game of golf and I think he needs all of our help. We wish him well,” said the 77-year-old.

Woods, who has 79 PGA Tour wins and 14 ma­jor ti­tles, has com­peted in just 19 events on the Tour since the end of 2013 due to in­juries. His goal of break­ing the record of 18 ma­jor cham­pi­onships held by Nick­laus looks un­likely.

“Tiger, I al­ways thought, was go­ing to break my record. I don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen (now),” Nick­laus said.

“Does any­body want to see their record bro­ken? Of course not. But do I want to see some­body not have the abil­ity be­cause of phys­i­cal prob­lems? I don’t like that at all. I feel bad for him that it’s hap­pened.”

Woods said an un­ex­pected re­ac­tion to pre­scribed med­i­ca­tions was to blame for his early-morn­ing DUI ar­rest.

In a state­ment re­leased by his spokesman Woods said that al­co­hol was not a fac­tor in his ar­rest but apol­o­gised and took full re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“What hap­pened was an un­ex­pected re­ac­tion to pre­scribed med­i­ca­tions. I didn’t re­al­ize the mix of med­i­ca­tions had af­fected me so strongly.

“I would like to apol­o­gize with all my heart to my fam­ily, friends and the fans. I ex­pect more from my­self, too.”

The in­ci­dent oc­curred less than a week af­ter Woods ex­pressed op­ti­mism about his fu­ture fol­low­ing back surgery, say­ing on his web­site that he ex­pe­ri­enced “in­stant re­lief ” and had not “felt this good in years.”

Woods has pre­vi­ously made head­lines away from the golf course. His pri­vate life un­rav­eled in late 2009 over al­le­ga­tions about af­fairs with sev­eral women and ul­ti­mately led to the end of his mar­riage.

Those al­le­ga­tions fol­lowed a bizarre early morn­ing car ac­ci­dent out­side his Florida home that rapidly bal­looned into a fully-fledged sex scan­dal which turned his pre­vi­ously un­blem­ished life and ca­reer up­side down.

The scan­dal ul­ti­mately cost Woods a num­ber of lu­cra­tive en­dorse­ment deals, while other spon­sors shifted away from us­ing him in mar­ket­ing but did not end their con­tracts with him.

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