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Tiger Woods charged with DUI and what it means

Tiger Woods' booking image in 2017. (Palm Beach County Sheriff) (Courtesy of Tribune News Service)

Golf legend Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday morning in Jupiter, Florida for driving under the influence.  

Woods, 41, was pulled over after Jupiter Police saw him behind the wheel just a few miles from his home at 3 a.m. Monday morning.

According to a Monday report in The New York Daily News, Jupiter Police spokeswoman Kristin Rightler said Woods was charged based on “visuals and a roadside test.”

Officers said that Woods became “arrogant” and that he refused to take a breathalyzer test, which led to an automatic arrest and license suspension under Florida state law

He was later released on his own recognizance before 11 a.m. Monday.

In a statement, Woods apologized, saying “I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility… I apologize to my friends, family and fans.”

He went on to say that there was no alcohol involved and that he had an “unexpected reaction” from a mixture of medications.

The arrest report stated that he was behind the wheel, sleeping in his car. He was asked to perform a series of tests, including a breathalyzer test, he blew 0.00.

This adds to a remarkable fall from grace for the former No. 1 player in the world. He began his tumble with a cheating scandal with his estranged wife, Elin Nordegren. His golf career fell apart as his marriage did, which ended in 2010. Woods then had surgeries on his knee and four surgeries on his back which also led to criticism and more poor play on the Professional Golfer’s Association Tour. Woods’ last start was at the Dubai Desert Classic in February, from which he withdrew after shooting 77 in the opening round.

Woods has won 14 major championships in his career, his last coming at the 2008 United States Open. He has undergone four back surgeries since. He has also won 79 times on the PGA Tour. None since the 2013 World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.

Many golf fans have said since Woods’ last win that they never thought it would be his last. Unfortunately, it may have been.

Tiger Woods was the dominant force of the PGA Tour and golf itself. He was the first man to win a United States Open at 10 under par or better,and he was the first man since Bobby Jones in the 1930s to own all of the major tournaments. Tiger did so with the 2000 U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship and the 2001 Masters Tournament. He was one of the reasons that I started playing golf. Watching Tiger fall as far and hard as he has is deflating for me as a fan of the game, and of his.

Tiger Woods was also one of the main reasons the likes of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy wanted to play golf, and do so at an incredibly high level. These players of the new “youth movement” on the PGA Tour are almost singlehandedly inspired by Tiger Woods. They are a lot like Tiger in the sense that they excel on the course, and stay out of trouble off the golf course.

With the young guys on Tour dominating every tournament they play and Tiger’s continuous struggles, it may be time for Tiger to make his final curtain call.