Tiger Woods was once golf’s golden boy: he was a champion and a family man with a gorgeous wife and two beautiful children. However, Woods’ perfect facade shattered after a series of scandals, ranging from marital infidelity to an arrest. Here is the shady side of Tiger Woods.
He got a DUI
Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge early in the morning on May 29, 2017, in Jupiter, Fla. A police report obtained by ESPN said Woods, 41, "had extremely slow and slurred speech" and claimed he was traveling from Los Angeles to Orange County, Calif., despite being in Florida at the time of his arrest. The report also alleged Woods was asleep at the wheel of his running vehicle when he was pulled over, but that he was as "cooperative as possible."
Woods took a urine and a Breathalyzer test, blowing a 0.00 on the latter. It corroborated his statement from Tuesday, in which he said, "I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly."
Woods announced earlier in May 2017 that he’d recently undergone a fourth back surgery since 2014; at the time of his arrest, he admitted he’d taken several prescription medications, including two painkillers, before the incident.
CNN reported that Woods’ 2015 Mercedes-Benz showed signs of "fresh damage" before he was pulled over, including damage on the rims and flat rear and front driver’s side tires, indicating that he may have had trouble behind the wheel before getting stopped by police.
He allegedly got busted cheating on his wife…
In November 2009, Woods crashed his Escalade, hitting a curb and a fire hydrant and running over shrubs in his Windermere, Fla. neighborhood. Oh, and his windows had been smashed out by golf clubs. The New York Post reported that Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren, had discovered text messages from multiple women on his cell phone not long after the National Enquirer ran a story about Woods allegedly cheating on her.
Nordegren reportedly told police that she had used the golf clubs to bust the windows to help him get out of the crashed car. However, cops were skeptical. He was issued a $164 ticket for reckless driving, but his and Nordegren’s humiliation was just beginning. A source close to the golf pro told the New York Daily News, "He got careless. He’s been doing this for years. He wanted to run with the big dogs. He saw all the action that Michael Jordan was getting on the side. But even Michael forgot you have to be discreet. You can’t rub your wife’s face in it."
Thus began a series of seemingly endless reports on Woods’ alleged infidelities.
…with a hostess
Woods’ affair with Rachel Uchitel was allegedly his most consistent. The New York Post reported that one of the texts Nordegren discovered on Woods’ phone was from Uchitel. Uchitel initially denied hooking up with the golf star, but later hired celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred and scheduled a press conference, which many believed would feature her coming clean about the supposed affair. When the press conference was suddenly cancelled, it was rumored that Woods paid Uchitel $10 million in hush money to keep mum about the relationship.
…with a reality star
Jaimee Grubbs, who appeared on VH1’s Tool Academy and worked as a cocktail waitress, claimed to have been intimate with Woods more than 20 times over a span of three years while he was married to Nordegren. She told Extra, "If it wasn’t me, it was going to be other girls."
She added, "I wouldn’t have pursued him if he didn’t pursue me. I mean, when he did, I just figured he was single and I didn’t think to ask… I knew we had a respect between the both of us, that we cared deeply for each other and we did very much trust each other… [We kept our] intimate relationship…very sacred. It was something between the two of us that I did grow to love very much."
…with a waitress
Mindy Lawton, a waitress at a Perkins restaurant near Woods’ Florida home, told News of the World (via People) that she and Woods’ affair was almost exposed in 2007, at which point Woods dumped her. Lawton claimed to have hooked up with Woods in the home he and Nordegren shared.
…with a nightclub manager
Woods was accused of hooking up with nightclub marketing manager Kalika Moquin several times in Las Vegas. Moquin would neither confirm or deny the allegations.
…with an engaged woman
TheMirror reported that Jamie Jungers, a nightclub promoter, hooked up with Woods in Las Vegas in July 2005, just months after he and Nordegren tied the knot. Jungers was reportedly engaged to a businessman named Derek Schmidt when she and Woods began sleeping together, and Schmidt apparently had no qualms about selling her out when the cheating scandal broke.
"I was a massive Tiger fan. I had Tiger Woods memorabilia all over my house and even collected Tiger Woods videos," Schmidt told the Mirror. "On the night Jamie met him for the first time, I had just bought the new Tiger Woods computer game. The following morning she told me she had met Tiger Woods and he gave her his number—and like an idiot I got really excited about it… I knew that he called her whenever he came to Las Vegas, but she insisted that nothing was going on."
Sweet summer child Schmidt added, "I was surprised because I knew he was married and I didn’t think he was that type of guy. But I trusted Jamie. We had been engaged for over a year then—having first started dating in 2002—and were head over heels in love… Now I feel like a total idiot."
…with a British TV personality
Sources claim Woods was intimate with an anonymous British television presenter, telling The Sun (via People) that while the woman in question was single at the time of their trysts, she is now married.
…with a random cougar
The Sun (via People) reported that Woods allegedly hooked up with an unidentified cougar in Florida several times, usually in his office. He and the anonymous woman reportedly met at the Blue Martini bar in Orlando, Fla. According to TMZ, Woods frequented the watering hole and another bar called 23 so much that 23 named one of its private suites "Tiger’s Room."
…with a New York party girl
The New York Daily News reported that Woods also allegedly hooked up with a New York City club regular named Cori Rist, whom he met at a party at NYC hotspot Butter.
"They went on to another party," a source said. "One thing led to another and, pretty soon, Tiger was flying her to hook up with him on tour. Tiger would typically get a large suite at a hotel. Someone would book Cori an adjacent room, so she wouldn’t be seen coming into his room. He would get the presidential suite. It was the ultimate in luxury. The trouble is, he never wanted to leave the room. He didn’t want to risk anyone seeing them together. After about six months of this, she started to get tired of being cooped up. She felt like a bird in a gilded cage."
Rist neither confirmed nor denied the report.
…and with escorts
Hollywood madam Michelle Braun told Access Hollywood that Woods allegedly used "half a dozen" paid escorts from her services. "I’ve got e-mails referencing them from clients and 1099 [forms]," Braun said. "They were filed with IRS."
All in all, Woods was reported to have allegedly slept with upwards of 120 women.
He asked his wife to help save his image
After the cheating scandal broke, Nordegren and Woods were still at odds, but he reportedly requested she play nice at the behest of his sponsors.
A source told People, "I call them the divorced married couple. Elin knows Tiger has issues and is afraid to go near him romantically. Because of the children and his need to return to golf, she will try to live in the house with a wall between them."
The source continued, "The marriage is all smoke and mirrors, but Elin will help Tiger rebuild his image and gain new sponsorships because this is what his life is all about. She is doing this more for the kids and holding the family together then anything else… What is really between them is of no interest to golf sponsors. The world’s perception of them as the perfect family is what they like to see."
The forgiving veneer didn’t last long: Nordegren filed for divorce and reportedly received a $110 million payout from Woods—close to one sixth of the golfer’s net worth.
His first apology for his ‘sins’ was vague.
About a week after the car crash, Woods apologized to the public for his alleged infidelity, albeit vaguely. "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," he said in a statement (via People). "I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect."
The sketchy statement continued, "I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone… Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn’t have to mean public confessions… I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."
His second apology was transparent
Days later, Woods became much more clear about his sins, switching from referring to them as "transgressions" to flat-out "infidelity." He made a point to also include all his sponsors in his mea culpa.
"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I’ve done, but I want to do my best to try," he wrote on his website (via People).
He asked for understanding from "everyone, including my fans, the good people at my foundation, business partners, the PGA Tour, and my fellow competitors." He added, "After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person. Again, I ask for privacy for my family and I am especially grateful for all those who have offered compassion and concern during this difficult period."
Gatorade, AT&T, Accenture and Tag Heuer dropped Woods as a sponsor, though, curiously, Nike kept him on.
He went to rehab for sex addiction
The New York Daily News reported that Woods checked into a Mississippi rehabilitation center to cope with alleged sex addiction in January 2010. His former coach, Hank Haney, wrote in a tell-all called The Big Miss in 2012 (via the New York Post) that Woods vowed he was a changed man after receiving treatment.
"There are some girls who are going to be after me even more now, especially the wild ones, but what I learned is that for the rest of my life I can’t have sex with someone unless I genuinely feel something for them. If I do, I’m putting myself in jeopardy,’" Haney recalled Woods allegedly telling him.
He almost had a nude photo scandal
In December 2009, Playgirl was offered nude photos allegedly taken by and of Woods, but rejected the offer, which came from someone else. A rep for Playgirl told People, "Playgirl has decided to turn down the alleged Tiger Woods nude photos, reportedly taken by camera phone by Woods himself. They were impossible to 100 percent verify, hence the unwillingness to go there."
He was vaguely accused of cheating at golf
In an October 2013 column, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee gave Woods an "F," accusing him of being "a little cavalier with the rules" of golf. Chamblee never outright called Woods a cheater, but his column certainly made that insinuation. Chamblee later doubled down on his accusations in another piece, citing four separate incidents, three of which resulted in Woods getting two-shot penalties. Woods was reportedly "incensed" by Chamlee’s claims.
He may have cheated on Lindsey Vonn
In her memoir, Strong is the New Beautiful (via Radar Online) Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, who dated Woods from 2012 to 2015, says their conflicting schedules were the reason they split, but some reports suggest there is more to the story. In July 2015, the National Enquirer (via Radar Online) reported that Woods allegedly cheated on Vonn with Amanda Boyd, the estranged wife of fellow pro golfer Jason Dufner.
"Even though Tiger dated Lindsey for years, he had a thing for Amanda," a source said. "At first, it was just innocent flirting, but earlier this year it became serious… Right now, the only sure thing about Amanda and Tiger’s relationship is that it will end with Tiger cheating on her!"
In January 2016, Radar Online reported that Boyd bought a house very close to Woods’ Jupiter, Fla. home, despite her normal home base being in Alabama.
Whatever the case, sources for People insisted in 2015 that Woods flat-out did not cheat.
He may be a gambler
Cheating and prescription drug use may not be Woods’ only bad habits. In 2009, Woods’ alleged mistress Jungers told Radar Online (via the New York Post), "I gambled with [Woods] and Charles Barkley one night for hours. [Tiger] played $25,000 a hand or more, and Charles played roulette behind us."
A police report obtained by TMZ for Woods’ DUI arrest noted that the golfer was found carrying a "Turning Stone Elite Card," which is the highest level of gaming card issued at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y. The New York Post reported that Woods has been rumored to spend up to $25,000 per hand in blackjack in casinos around the country.
He can be a bully
Coach Haney claimed in The Big Miss (via the New York Post) that Woods would often be cruel to his competitors, fans, and teammates. In one 2006 incident, Haney alleged Woods shared a hotel room with devout Christian golfer Zach Johnson…and ordered a 24-hour adult movie package, which he played in Johnson’s presence. Haney said Johnson supposedly ignored the porn blaring in the background.
Haney also claimed that Woods frequently body-shamed fellow pro Phil Mickelson, and Haney claimed he would "cringe" when Woods ignored "little-kid autograph seekers who were begging him to stop."
Additionally, Haney said Woods got a kick out of a South Park episode in which the cartoon Woods called his wife a "crazy b***h" and a "stupid Swedish cow."
His injuries are hurting his game
Woods’ physical problems have impeded his athletic performance for years. In April 2011, he reportedly suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL, a tissue inside the knee) injury, as well as a strained Achilles tendon. In March 2012, his Achilles tendon flared up again, leading him to pull out of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Later that month, Woods suffered a back spasm, leading him to bow out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
In March 2014, he pulled out of two tournaments, citing back issues. One month later, Woods missed the U.S. Open and Masters to undergo back surgery.
In February 2015, Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open, citing back pain; in September 2015 he underwent a second back surgery, then a follow-up surgery that October.
In December 2016, Woods returned to the game, finishing 15th out of 17 in the Hero World Challenge. In February 2017, he ended his season after a poor performance in the Dubai Desert Classic. In April 2017, he underwent a fourth back surgery, which he said he hopes will get him back in fighting shape.
Psychological elements may be hindering him
Woods’ longtime rival, Luke Donald, was empathetic about Woods’ struggles to succeed on the course following his myriad health issues. "Obviously it sounds like clinically he feels fine," Donald told the Australian Associated Press. "He’s just not quite ready to tee it up from a mental standpoint perhaps… There’s a lot of mental anguish when you take time away. I think obviously Tiger, the greatest player that’s ever played, he’s got very, very high standards and expectations. I think that you have to weigh that up with that feel of almost failure or fear or anxiety of not performing well."
He added, "If Tiger Woods is healthy like he says he is, that’s probably what he’s weighing out right now, just feeling comfortable. It’s really hard to get comfortable unless you actually put yourself through it. At some point he’s got to jump in, and if he messes up, he’s got a good opportunity to get better the next time he plays."
The toxicology results from his DUI case were alarming
Toxicology results from Woods’ May 2017 DUI case were released in August 2017. ESPN reported that Woods had a slew of prescription drugs in his system: Hydrocodone (a generic form of painkiller Vicodin), hydromorphone, (another strong painkiller, frequently known as Dilaudid), zolpidem (a sleep drug usually called Ambien), alprazolam (a mood stabilizer and sleep drug also known as Xanax), and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. It’s important to note that medical marijuana is legal in Florida, where the DUI occurred, though it’s unclear whether Woods had prescriptions for any or all of the medications he’d taken at the time.
Woods admitted after the incident that he sought help for his prescription drug habit, telling the press in a statement, "As I previously said, I received professional help to manage my medications. Recently, I had been trying on my own to treat my back pain and a sleep disorder, including insomnia, but I realize now it was a mistake to do this without medical assistance. I am continuing to work with my doctors, and they feel I’ve made significant progress. I remain grateful for the amazing support that I continue to receive and for the family and friends that are assisting me."