The latest chapter of the Tiger Woods saga unfolded on Memorial Day in Jupiter, Florida, as the 14-time major winner was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. Woods, 41, claimed alcohol was not involved but that he instead had “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications” as he continues to rehab from back surgery.
That’s a tough pill to swallow (no pun intended).
“The mug-shot was really bad,” Golfweek senior writer David Dusek said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “His face is puffy and bloated, he was in a white T-shirt or undershirt, and he did not look well. He did not look like somebody who is trying to take good care of himself. The person in that photograph did not look like a well person. Do I buy what he’s saying now that it was an unexpected or unanticipated reaction to some of the medication that he may be taking – some of the painkillers, I would assume – for the back injuries and the recovery from that? It’s possible. He’s saying it’s not alcohol. But I just looked at that picture, and that is not a well person.”
Sponsors may or may not take notice. Woods, who hasn’t won a major since 2008, reportedly made north of $40 million last year in endorsements.
“The money is still flowing even though he’s not playing golf,” Dusek said. “But the one thing that he needs right now that clearly he’s lacking is somebody in his life to slap him around a little bit and just try and wake him up. Whether he plays golf or not, whether or not he is somebody that competes in major championships, plays in the PGA Tour – forget all that. For the last two or three years – or really since before the first scandal in 2009 – there clearly has been this understanding that Tiger is going to do things the way he wants to do them. This has all been Tiger’s call, and look where it got him. He needs to have somebody (help him). The person we’re looking at from our phone screens and computer screens, from that mug shot, that person needs somebody to just jump in and be like, ‘Look, dude, we got to straighten your life out. Forget all the golf and all the money. Your life is not going the way that it needs to go right now.'”
Woods refused to take a breathalyzer test, which didn’t make much sense given his claim that alcohol was not involved in this incident.
“I agree,” Dusek said. “I agree. I think that you don’t take the breathalyzer when you have either been drinking and you’re waiting to get to your lawyer as fast as possible, or I don’t even know. If you have not been drinking and you are basically blaming your behavior (on) an unexpected reaction to medication, then wouldn’t you want to blow into the tube to prove that you haven’t been drinking? That’s a really easy one to take care of.”