Golf legend feels for Tiger
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.