Monday 20 November 2017

Tiger checks into facility to solve medication issue

Tiger Woods. Photo: PA
Tiger Woods. Photo: PA

Tiger Woods has checked himself in to a specialised facility as he seeks professional help to manage the medication issues which led to his recent arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence

The 14-time major winner was taken into custody on May 29 after police found him asleep at wheel of his car by the side of the road and he failed a sobriety test.

Woods' breathalyser test returned a zero reading but the player later revealed he believed he had suffered an "unexpected reaction" to prescription medication he was taking as he recovers from a fourth back operation in three years.

In a statement, the 41-year-old said he was receiving "professional help" and his long-time manager Mark Steinberg subsequently confirmed he was spending time as an in-patient at an unidentified facility.

"I'm currently receiving professional help to manage my medications and the ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder," Woods wrote.

"I want to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support and understanding, especially the fans and players on tour."

Steinberg confirmed the former world number one had taken the decision to seek help having struggled to cope with crippling pain and related sleep problems.

"I'm not at liberty to say where he is, but he is receiving in-patient treatment," he said.

"Tiger has been dealing with so much pain physically and that leads to insomnia and sleep issues.

"This has been going on for a long time.

"I'm glad he is taking responsibility."

Asked whether the police arrest had finally prompted Woods to seek help Steinberg added: "Was the night in question a tipping point? He's now gone and checked himself into a facility.

"He's been in pain for so long. He's had to handle the pain, which then potentially leads to the lack of sleep because you're in so much pain."

Steinberg also played down Woods' comments in a blog on May 24 when, in his first extensive comments since undergoing his latest fusion surgery, he said he had received "instant nerve relief" and had not "felt this good in years".

"I don't think you can put two and two together. It's such a complicated state, such a complicated situation," he said.

"If you're in that much pain for so many years... Tiger has been trying to figure out how to live a life and actually have a life. He is where he is right now."

Woods is due to appear in court in Palm Beach County on August 9 to answer the DUI charge, unless a deal is struck beforehand.

Tiger Timeline

June 2016: Announces he is unable to compete at the US Open, having been sidelined since the preceding August following two back operations in the space of six weeks.

November: Confirms he will make comeback at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December, ending a 15-month absence from the game in the process.

December: Finishes 15th out of a 17-man field at the Hero World Challenge.

January 2017: Misses the cut in his first PGA Tour tournament in almost 18 months, exiting the Farmers Insurance Open four shots adrift of the cut-off point.

February: Following an opening 77, Woods withdraws from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, just his third event since August 2015, before the second round due to back spasms.

April: Announces he will not compete at the Masters due to ongoing rehabilitation on his back injury and undergoes another operation.

May: Arrested on suspicion of DUI in the early hours of Memorial Day in the United States. Blames "an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications" following his arrest close to Jupiter Island, Florida, near his home.

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