PGA Tour

Woods was asleep at wheel, passed breath test - police

2017-05-31 10:30
Tiger Woods (Gallo Images)

Miami - Tiger Woods was found asleep at the wheel of his car when he was arrested, police records showed Tuesday as golf legend Jack Nicklaus pledged support for the troubled former world number one.

Woods, who issued a statement on Monday saying alcohol was not involved in the incident, needed to be woken by a police officer, his arrest report showed.

The 14-time major winner has blamed the DUI arrest near his home in Jupiter, Florida on an adverse reaction to prescription medication.

His police report, obtained and published by several media outlets, said Woods was "co-operative" and "confused" when found by police, with "extremely slow and slurred speech."

He initially told officers he had been driving back to Florida from Los Angeles but later stated "he did not know where he was."

The golfer was unable to complete various roadside sobriety tests which included standing on one leg and the "walk and turn" test.

However contrary to reports on Monday which said Woods refused a breathalyzer test, the golfer agreed and "blew zeroes" indicating there was no alcohol in his system.

Woods also told police he had been using four prescription medications including the powerful painkiller Vicodin, which is commonly prescribed following surgery.

Woods has undergone four separate surgeries on his back since 2014, with the most recent procedure taking place in late April.

News of the 41-year-old's arrest has triggered alarm throughout the golfing world. On Tuesday, Nicklaus offered words of support for Woods.

"Tiger's a friend," Nicklaus told the Golf Channel. "He's been great for the game of golf. He needs our help.

"I feel bad for him. He's struggling ... He needs support from a lot of people. I'll be one of them."

A police mugshot of Woods looking bleary-eyed and unshaven rapidly went viral after its release on Monday, underscoring the fall from grace of the superstar athlete once renowned as a clean-living, corporate pitchman.

"I would like to apologise with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too," Woods said in a statement issued late Monday.

The arrest is the latest gloomy episode to hit the athlete, who once towered over his sport before being engulfed by turmoil in his private life and a series of debilitating injuries. 

His return from a year-long injury layoff was cut short in February when he pulled out of the Dubai Desert Classic after the first round because of back pain.

News of Woods' arrest was pored over in detail by US media on Tuesday, with many commentators unable to resist comparing the golfer's dishevelled mugshot with images of the fresh-faced superstar in his heyday.

"What happened to the young man we all thought we knew...Where has he gone?" asked USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, contrasting the mugshot with an image of Woods from one of his most famous victories, winning the Masters in 1997 at the age of 21.

"What a stunning contrast these two photos are, taken 20 years and seven weeks apart," Brennan added. "They chart the rise and fall of a man who had it all, then watched it crumble away, all of it self-induced."

ESPN writer Jason Sobel commented that the mugshot "offers tangible representation" of Woods' decline in fortunes. 

"It offers visual proof of the news, of another public embarrassment," Sobel wrote.

"There is no positive way to spin this story. No silver lining, no beneficial after-effects that might spring from it - the main takeaway here is sadness. Just pure sadness."

Read more on:    pga tour  |  tiger woods  |  golf
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