Tiger Woods received as much applause for his incredible golfing career as he did for the scandals that surrounded his private life: infidelities, a declared addiction to sex and problems with the law. Those controversies not only lost him relationships, but also millions of dollars in money from the major brands that decided to stop sponsoring him, such as Nike, Gatorade, Gillette and EA Sports.
Born on December 30, 1975 in California, he won his first major tournament as a professional at the 1997 Augusta Masters: nobody had done it so young. Since then, he has built a formidable career that has established him as the best golfer in the world. By 2008, he had already won 14 Majors.
However, at the end of 2009, the controversies of his private life began to bury the legend of the athlete. To this was added his back problems, which forced him to undergo four operations.
His fifteenth big came in 2019, 11 years after the last one. In one of the most impressive comebacks in history, was crowned at the age of 43 at the Augusta Masters.
The Tiger Woods scandals: between infidelities and addictions
It all started in 2009, when rumors began to circulate regarding an alleged infidelity of Tiger Woods towards his wife at the time, the Swedish model Elin Nordegren. Their relationship hung by a thread, until an episode was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
In the early morning of November 27 of that year, the golfer crashed his truck in front of a tree in his mansion. Days later, he revealed the truth behind the accident: his wife had found out about an infidelityhad chased him with a golf club and he, trying to flee in his Cadillac, hit a hydrant and then a tree.
As a result of that moment, the rumors about his infidelities and his addictions to alcohol and sex began to increase. For this reason, he published a statement on his official account in December 2009 to announce his retirement and acknowledge his infidelity.
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“After deep reflection, I have decided to retire from golf for an indeterminate period of time. I have to focus on being a better husband, a better father, and a better person. I was unfaithful I had affairs and I am the only person responsible for everything. I put aside the core values I was taught. I only thought of myself I broke the boundaries of marriage thinking that I had worked so hard all my life that I deserved to enjoy it,” he acknowledged.
Months later, the magazine Vanity Fair published an extensive report with interviews to several women who claimed to be lovers of the athlete. The stories included drugs, payments of up to $60,000, threesomes, sadomasochism, porn stars, waitresses, and hush pacts. “He is nothing more than a dog in heat. He always wanted different girls and he could be ‘give him a hit’ for hours, ”said one of those women.
Since then, the divorce was inevitable. It took place in August 2010 and became one of the most expensive separations in the history of world sports. It is that the Swedish model claimed around 300 million dollars in the trial.
The golfer announced in March 2013 that he was in a relationship again, with the skier Lindsey Vonn. However, after more than two years of relationship, both confirmed their breakup in May 2015. Both announced the separation on their social networks and made it clear that it was a mutually agreed decision and that they still had love and respect for each other. However, rumors circulated that Woods had relapsed with her sex addiction.
The Tiger Woods scandals: his relapse and an accident that could end in tragedy
In October 2017, he hit rock bottom again: he was found half asleep at the wheel of his Mercedes in the ditch of a Florida highway, a few miles from his home. The police confirmed that the golfer could barely walk and had trouble expressing himselffor which they took him into custody.
The video of the arrest went around the world. The medical report detected traces of four different drugs (two for pain and two for sleep) and THC, the active principle of marijuana.
Two weeks later, he voluntarily entered a rehab center because he was having trouble managing his addiction to painkillers and anxiolytics that he was taking to alleviate his back pain, since he had just had surgery for the fourth time since 2014.
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At the beginning of 2021, he suffered a serious traffic accident: Lost control of his truck while driving nearly twice the speed limit in the hills outside Los Angeles and fell down the incline. He was wearing a seat belt and rescuers found him sitting inside the vehicle with serious injuries.
This is how Tiger Woods’ truck was left. (Photo: Reuters)
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center reported that Woods suffered “significant lower leg orthopedic injuries” and was emergency surgery for “open fractures affecting the upper and lower parts of the tibia and fibula”. In addition, they ruled out that he was under the influence of alcohol.
About 13 months after that accident, Tiger Woods returned to play a golf tournament: participated in the opening day of the 86th Augusta Masters. His last appearance was this weekend, when he competed alongside his son Charlie in the PNC Championship family tournament, despite putting recovery from his injury at risk. “I really don’t care, living this experience with my son is much more important,” he said.