As Woods became the first billion dollar sportsman his world fell apart – and his recent arrest for suspected DUI seems to prove he is a long way from recovering.
His name was mentioned in the same breath as Muhammad Ali or Pele , as one of the greatest sportsmen ever.
But now friends and fans alike are left fearing for Tiger Woods following his arrest for suspected drink or drug driving.
The superstar golfer’s once clean-cut image, which commanded hundred million dollar deals, is forever now buried in the rough replaced by the mugshot of his bloated, bleary-eyed face taken after his latest humiliation off the course.
His record in golf is astonishing – he has spent 683 weeks as world number one, more than double his nearest rival.
Only Jack Nicklaus has won more majors than Woods, whose 14th and last win, the 2008 US Open, came aged just 32. In comparison, Nicklaus had to wait till he was 35 to win his 14th, and carried on winning them until he was 46, by which time he had 18 to his name.
But just as Woods became the first billion dollar sportsman, his world fell apart and has never recovered.
The 41-year-old’s latest transgression came in the early hours of Monday when he was spotted by Florida police asleep at the wheel.
Officers found Woods, these days estimated to be worth £585million, asleep at the wheel of a Mercedes car which was stationary but with the engine still running.
He had “extremely slow and slurred speech” after being woken and did not know where he was.
According to the police report, Woods failed a field sobriety test badly.
He was arrested and taken to a testing facility where he passed a breathalyser test suggesting he had no alcohol in his system.
It says he was “cooperative as much as possible, very droopy, extremely sleepy, hard to keep eyes open, hard to walk.”
Four drugs were listed under medical conditions: Soloxer, Vicodin, Torix and Viox.
All medications are used for the treatment of pain associated with joint movement.
Woods had undergone surgery on his back on April 19. The reports added he had also had four left knee surgeries and four to his Achilles.
Officers arrested Woods, taking him to the Palm Beach County Jail at 7.18am before he was released some three and a half hours later on what should have been a relaxing Memorial Day Holiday for the injured star.
Since his arrest, which saw an immediate suspension of his driving licence, Woods was quick to say alcohol played no part his detainment.
And, just has he has famously done in the past, he once again issued a grovelling apology to his family, friends and fans.
“I understand the severity of what I did, and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Woods said.
Woods went on: “I would like to apologise with all my heart to my family, friends, and the fans.
“I expect more from myself, too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.
“I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism.”
The apology echoed that given when his world began to come crashing down eight years ago.
After lifting 14 majors, including the British Open three times, to onlookers, Woods was the epitome of the American dream.
The superstar, whose full name is Eldrick Tont Woods, was born on December 30 1975, the son of Vietnam war veteran and retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Earl Woods and his wife Kultida, who met when Earl was stationed in her native Thailand.
Devoted dad Earl honed his young protege’s skills starting him off with a putter at the age of two.
Six years later he began winning tournaments, defying the racists who at times banned him from the same locker room as his opponents.
After a stellar college career at California’s Stanford University his explosion onto the professional circuit was dramatic.
At the age of 21, he became the youngest ever winner of The Masters before going on to become the youngest ever to achieve the elusive career Grand Slam of all four major titles.
With it came instant fame and fortune.
Sponsors, including Nike, American Express, TAG Heuer, General Motors and Coca-Cola, would pay more than £80million for be associated with Woods.
Combined with his earnings on the course he eventually amassed a fortune of £1.1billion and showed no signs his money was in any way set to diminish.
He had married his long time girlfriend, Swedish model Elin Nordegren, in 2004 before going on to have a son and daughter.
To everyone, including his wife, life could not have been better.
But then it all began to fall apart, First his beloved father and mentor Earl died aged 74 in 2006, after a heart attack. Then his squeaky clean image, so beloved by sponsors, was completely blown out of the water.
Woods had been hiding a dark secret. For years he had been in indulging in extramarital affairs while taking part in wild sexcapades with porn stars.
The turning point came when on November 25, 2009, it was revealed Woods has been having a long-term relationship with his mistress, New York City nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel.
It led to an avalanche of other women coming forward claiming they, too, had had sex with the golfer.
Two days after being exposed Woods was knocked unconscious and his face was cut in a bizarre car crash near the driveway of his £64million Orlando mansion.
He had become embroiled in a heated argument with wife Elin when she confronted him over his cheating, before she lashed out scratching his face.
Chased by his golf-club wielding wife, he fled in his Cadillac Escalade SUV but in his haste smashed into a fire hydrant and a tree.
Pictures from the scene showed the battered vehicle with a window smashed by the seven iron Elin had picked up.
She later told police he had been drinking before the accident and that she dragged him out of the Escalade at 2.25am.
Woods was not charged for DUI, instead receiving a ticket and £128 fine for careless driving.
However, his pain had only just begun as more allegations emerged.
Former Hollywood madame Michelle Braun claimed Woods paid upwards of £35,000 for six “pay-for-sex dates” between 2006 and 2007.
“He liked girl-on-girl. He had sex with them together,” she said.
It came as lingerie model Jamie Jungers, 34, confirmed she too had a two-year relationship with the sportsman after meeting in Las Vegas in 2005.
Speaking of her affair, she said: “I got nothing out of this relationship but a broken heart. I had a lot of feelings towards him. It wasn’t just a sexual situation. I loved him.”
“I’m certainly not going to say it was wrong. I don’t believe I owe her an apology,” she added, referring to Woods’s wife, Elin.
Jungers adamantly denied Woods ever paid her for sex and insisted: “I have nothing to do with prostitution. There will always be a place in my heart for Tiger.”
Following the revelations and while still wrapped up in his infidelity and sex addiction scandal, the golfer was forced to make an apology.
In a message posted on his website, he confirmed his affairs and admitted he was “profoundly sorry” for the hurt he has caused wife Elin.
Woods, who previously had only referred to “transgressions”, wrote: “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.”
He announced “an indefinite break from professional golf.”
The confession led to numerous sponsors, including Accenture, AT&T, Gatorade and General Motors all ending their sponsorship deals.
In was followed in February 2010 by Woods making a famous televised statement saying he had been in a 45-day therapy program since the end of December.
“I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behaviour,” he said.
His affairs led to a costly divorce with Woods reportedly paying out almost £500million in his settlement with Elin, 35, in return for her never speaking about their ill-fated marriage.
In the two years after he failed to win a tournament having previously lifted 79 in total.
Despite success returning in 2013 winning five times on tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational it would be his last PGA victory.
The following year Woods missed his beloved Masters after undergoing his first back surgery which would lead to him falling out of the Top 100 in the World Golf Rankings for the first time since 1996, when he was 20 years old.
While away from the course he managed to find love again with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, but the couple split two years ago amid rumours he had been found cheating again.
And much like his personal life, his career continued to slide dropping out of the Top 500 in the World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career in May last year.
It came as a result of missing all four major championships for the first time in his professional sporting life, due to his back injuries.
But just before his arrest, Woods was upbeat about his future despite that recent back surgery and not having played since he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on February 3.
Woods had vowed to return to the game saying: “I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.”
We’ll have to wait and see how Tiger Woods responds to this adversity. I’m pulling for him to win another major title, however the rode does not look very promise. Best of luck in your future endeavors Tiger. We love you man!
Featured Image: PGA
Inset Image: ESPN/CNN/Atlanta Black Star