Tiger Woods gets support of fellow golfers
In the absence of beleaguered tournament host Tiger Woods, the golfing world rallied around the game’s leading player on the eve of this week’s Chevron World Challenge.
Woods, who has hosted the charity event in California for the past nine years, decided to stay at home in Florida after intense media speculation over his private life following a mysterious car accident on Friday.
On Wednesday, the 14-times major champion apologised to his family in a statement for “transgressions” that apparently addressed allegations he had extra-marital relationships, sparking further sympathy from his peers.
“I thought it was unfortunate,” 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson told reporters while preparing for Thursday’s opening round at Sherwood Country Club.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is it’s certainly a private matter. It’s a matter that the Woods family just needs their time together to allow them to get through it.”
Woods, the biggest drawcard in the game and arguably the best player of all time, has had two children with his Swedish wife Elin Nordegren since their marriage in 2004.
“My belief system is it’s a time for forgiveness,” added American Johnson, a devout Christian. “It’s time for putting things aside and trying to become better people.
“I try to put myself in that situation and say: ‘You know what, he’s a friend of mine, I forgive him and I hope they get through it.’ If I can be of any support, I’m here.”
Anthony Kim, who played with Woods on the triumphant U.S. Presidents Cup team in October, felt the world number one should be left alone with his family to resolve matters.
“This is a personal issue,” Kim, 24, said.
“It’s personal life and, whatever the problems may be and all the speculation is, you wish the best for him.
“I’m not like Tiger Woods in that not every single person in the world wants to know what I’m doing. He’s under that microscope which he’s handled beautifully throughout the years.
“It’s unfortunate the situation that’s come up for him but personally I let people say what they’re going to say and then move on and go on about my business.”
Media outlets have reported that Woods, 33, has had extra-marital relationships with at least three women.
On Wednesday, he pleaded for privacy while “dealing with my behaviour and personal failings behind closed doors with my family”, an appeal backed by the PGA Tour.
“Tiger’s statement speaks for itself,” the Tour said in a statement of its own about their biggest asset.
“We offer our full support to Tiger and his family and will continue to honour and respect his request for privacy in this matter.”
December 3 , 2009