Earlier this week, the National Enquirer reported that Tiger Woods had an extramarital affair with a 34-year-old woman named Rachel Uchitel (photos). Today we got word from the Florida Highway Patrol and the Windermere (FL) City Police that Woods was involved in a car accident that was preceded by what Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor described as a “domestic issue” between Woods and wife Elin Nordegren.
(Woods’ domestic incident with wife came after Enquirer affair allegation)
Because the FHP embargoed information about the incident for 12 hours, and didn’t report it until after Woods was out of a local hospital, some media members began to make a connection between the report of the affair and the car accident.
That’s what all of us know. Now for what you don’t know.
A local police chief in Florida says Tiger Woods’ wife used a golf club to smash out the back window and helped get the golfer out of the car.
Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor told The Associated Press on Friday that Elin Nordegren told officers she was in the house when she heard the accident and came outside. Saylor says officers found Woods laying in the street with his wife hovering over him.
She told officers she was in the house when she heard the accident and “came out and broke the back window with a golf club,” he said. “She supposedly got him out and laid him on the ground. He was in and out of consciousness when my guys got there.”
So the police chief is saying Nordegren “supposedly” rescued Woods? According to who? Chief Saylor is intimating that he has no idea what happened - and is going by Woods and Nordegren’s account.
And that’s the same Saylor who was later quoted by TMZ saying that Woods had a “domestic issue” before the accident.
So how did that not make it into the AP report?
Or maybe the better question is, why was longtime golf reporter Ferguson reporting on the incident at all? Ferguson is well-known in golf media circles for having a very close relationship with Woods.
You figure it out.
As if all of this isn’t bad enough for Woods, he’s now facing the week of the year when he makes himself most available to the media and public - at his personal golf tournament just outside of Los Angeles. In order to drum up interest locally (sell tickets) for his Chevron World Challenge, Woods is normally available to the media more than usual, while also liberally engaging fans at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.
After what happened today, and what was reported earlier this week by the Enquirer, you wonder if Woods will show up at all. Remember, the TMZ cameras are based here in Los Angeles which means they’ll be staked out for Woods and his family all week long.
But if you’re someone who makes hundreds of millions of dollars in endorsements based on image, you’re going to have to face the public sooner than later. Those endorsement deals are what will push Woods to show next week.
So far, Woods has yet to acknowledge the Enquirer report. An unnamed Woods’ attorney was quoted in the Enquirer piece making a “vehement” denial of the affair - but also an admission that Woods could’ve been in the same nightclub as Uchitel at some point. Uchitel has denied the affair but admitted she has met Woods on two occasions - along with being spotted checking in to Woods’ hotel in Melbourne the week of the Australian Masters.
Also consider that if Woods doesn’t get out front of this story soon, the tabloids may go crazy with Uchitel, who the Enquirer described as a “New York party girl.” Even if the affair isn’t true, any association to Uchitel is damaging to Woods - and his corporate partners. (Shockingly though, Uchitel is claiming she has not yet been hounded by the New York tabs.)
So what will Woods next say to the public about today’s crash and the Enquirer’s report? With the contrived story of his crash, replete with golf club-wielding Nordgren saving him, still being maintained by Woods and the police, it appears he’ll remain in damage control mode.
Or maybe Woods didn’t have an affair and the details of his car crash are the truth.