Three weeks after , Tiger Woods said Monday night that he is seeking help for the way he handles medication for his chronic back problems and for a lifelong sleeping disorder, a striking admission from the 14-time major champion golfer in the week before he is due to host his Washington-area PGA Tour stop.
“I’m currently receiving professional help to manage my medications and the ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder,” Woods said in a statement Monday. “I want to thank everybody for the amazing outpouring of support and understanding especially the fans and players on tour.”
Woods, 41, has only played twice this year — missing one cut and withdrawing once. He underwent his fourth back surgery in April. His arrest came in the early morning hours of Memorial Day not far from his Jupiter, Fla., home, when officers found him asleep at the wheel alongside a highway south of his home with two flat tires. A breathalyzer test revealed Woods did not have alcohol in his system, but he issued a statement later that day saying he had reacted poorly to a mix of prescription medications.
Since that statement on the night of May 29, Woods had not addressed his arrest or the reasons leading up to it — why he was driving at 3 a.m., why he was pointed away from his home, and whether he had an issue with the drugs he has been prescribed over the years for both his surgeries on his back and, dating back nearly a decade, to his knees.
Videos released by the Jupiter Police Department showed a nearly incoherent Woods unable to say where he was. He originally had a court date for July 5, but that has since been pushed back to Aug. 9.
The Quicken Loans National, the tournament Woods’s foundation has both staged and benefited from for a decade, begins June 29 at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, the first time it will be held at the Potomac course just east of Bethesda’s Congressional Country Club, which has hosted the event seven of the 10 times it has been contested.
Though Woods won the event twice — in 2009 and 2012 — he has frequently missed it because of injury, beginning with 2008, after he had surgery to repair both a shredded knee and a broken leg following his U.S. Open victory at Torrey Pines, the last of his major championship victories. Yet when Woods has been unable to play, he has often come both for opening ceremonies — which annually honor the military on the first tee — and to help present the trophy on Sunday evening.
Whether he will do that now is unclear. Woods’s statement provided no parameters or particulars about his treatment — the site, the duration, or what drugs might be involved. So as Leesburg native and Naval Academy grad Billy Hurley III prepares to defend the title he won at Congressional last summer, there is no way to tell whether Woods will be on hand for any pre- or post-tournament events.