By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) – Former world No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods was arrested in South Florida early on Monday on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to an online Palm Beach County Police report.
Woods, who is second on the all-time list with 14 major titles, was booked at 7:18 a.m. (1118 GMT) and released several hours later on his own recognizance, the report showed.
Representatives for the 41-year-old American were not immediately available when asked by Reuters to comment.
Woods, who is currently sidelined from competition after having his fourth back surgery in April, said last week that he felt better than he had in years and had no plans to retire from competitive golf.
“Presently, I’m not looking ahead,” Woods wrote on his website.
“I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”
This is not the first time Woods has made headlines away from the golf course. His private life unraveled in late 2009 over allegations about affairs with several women and ultimately led to the end of his marriage.
Those allegations followed a bizarre early morning car accident outside his Florida home that rapidly ballooned into a fully-fledged sex scandal which turned his previously unblemished life and career upside down.
The scandal ultimately cost Woods a number of lucrative endorsement deals, while other sponsors shifted away from using him in marketing but did not end their contracts with him.
Woods, whose current sponsors include Nike, Bridgestone, Hero, Kowa, Upper Deck, and Monster Energy was ranked 12th on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid athletes in 2016, with total earnings of $45.3 million, despite missing much of the year recovering from back surgery.
A 79-time winner on the PGA Tour who was world No. 1 for a record 683 weeks, Woods lost form in recent years due to injuries and the mastering of a new swing while his ranking has plummeted to 876 after his long spell on the sidelines.
He has competed in only 19 events on the PGA Tour since the end of 2013, recording just one top-10 during that period along with seven missed cuts and three withdrawals.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Additional reporting by Frank McGurty in New York; Editing by Ed Osmond and Nick Zieminski)