Tiger Woods arrested, released writes apology
Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.
Woods, the 14-time major champion who ranks second with his 79 career victories on the PGA Tour, has not played for four months. He is out for the rest of the season while he recovers from his fourth back surgery.
Woods was arrested on suspicion of DUI about 3 a.m. Monday and taken to the Palm Beach County jail, Jupiter Police spokeswoman Kristin Rightler said. He was arrested on Military Trail, south of Indian Creek Parkway.
Jail records show that the 41-year-old was booked into Palm Beach County jail at 7:18 a.m. and released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m. The jail released a booking photo of Woods in a white T-shirt.
Rightler said she did not have additional details about the circumstances leading to Woods' arrest, nor did she have any information about whether the arrest involved drugs or alcohol. She said an arrest report may be available Tuesday.
His agent at Excel Sports, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately respond to a voicemail from The Associated Press seeking comment. PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said the tour would have no comment.
Notah Begay, a roommate of Woods when they played at Stanford, could relate. Begay was arrested for aggravated drunken driving in 2000 when he ran into a car outside a bar in New Mexico. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with all but seven days suspended.
"It's embarrassing for Tiger, something that you can't go back and change," Begay said on Golf Channel from the NCAA men's golf championship, where he was working for the network. "I've been there myself. ... But it was a turning point in my life. Hopefully, it's something he'll learn from, grow from, take responsibility for and use it to make some changes."
Woods has not been seen at a golf tournament since he opened with a 77 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, withdrawing the next day because of back spasms. He was in Los Angeles for the Genesis Open, run by his Tiger Woods Foundation, but he did not come to the course at Riviera because of his back.
He was at the Masters, but only to attend the dinner for past champions.
Woods, who had been No. 1 longer than any other golfer, has not been a factor since his last victory in August 2013 as he battled through back surgeries from a week before the 2014 Masters until his most recent fusion surgery on his lower back a month ago.
In an update Friday on his website, Woods said the fusion surgery provided instant relief and he hasn't "felt this good in years."
It was the first time Woods has run into trouble off the golf course since he plowed his SUV into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his Windermere, Florida, home in the early morning after Thanksgiving in 2009, which led to revelations that he had multiple extramarital affairs.
TIGER WOODS APOLOGY
“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions," Woods said in a statement.
"I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. 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.
"I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.
"I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office for their professionalism."
Woods, 41, has struggled in recent years with a bad back. He had fusion surgery on his back on April 19 – his fourth procedure to his back since April of 2014 – and will not play on the PGA Tour this season.
The 14-time major champion and winner of 79 PGA Tour titles has not played since he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 3 after an opening-round 77. He’s only made three worldwide starts the past two years.
He wrote in a statement on his web site last week that he remains committed to playing competitive golf.
“As for returning to competitive golf, the long-term prognosis is positive. My surgeon and physiotherapist say the operation was successful. It’s just a matter of not screwing up and letting it fuse,” Woods wrote. “I’m walking and doing my exercises, and taking my kids to and from school. All I can do is take it day by day. There’s no hurry.
“But, I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again. Presently, I’m not looking ahead. I can’t twist for another two-and-a-half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”
It’s not the first time Woods has made headlines for his actions off the golf course. In November 2009, he was involved in a car crash at his Florida home that led to revelations of his extra-marital affairs. He publicly apologized in February 2010 and took four months off from playing competitive golf.