Nicklaus offers support, urges help for Woods

Jack Nicklaus speaks to the media prior to The Memorial Tournament Presented By Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio on Tuesday (May 30).
Jack Nicklaus speaks to the media prior to The Memorial Tournament Presented By Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio on Tuesday (May 30).PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES • Golfing great Jack Nicklaus has said that Tiger Woods "needs all of our help" after he was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs early on Monday.

A police report released on Tuesday said Woods was asleep at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz stopped on a Florida road and he did not know where he was.

He was unable to complete various roadside sobriety tests which included standing on one leg and the "walk and turn" test.

Woods has apologised for his arrest but blamed the incident on medications.

He told police he had been using four types of prescription medication including the powerful painkiller Vicodin, which is commonly prescribed after surgery.

The American has undergone four separate operations on his back since 2014, with the most recent taking place in late April.

News of the 41-year-old's arrest triggered alarm throughout the golfing world.

A FRIEND IN NEED

Tiger, I always thought, was going to break my record.... I hope he plays golf again. He needs a lot of support from a lot of people. And I'll be one of them.

JACK NICKLAUS, winner of 18 Majors and a long-standing supporter of Woods.

On Tuesday, Nicklaus offered words of support for Woods, stating that he felt bad for the former world No. 1.

"Tiger's a friend, he's been great for the game of golf and I think he needs all of our help. We wish him well," said the 77-year-old.

Woods, who has 79 PGA Tour wins and 14 Major titles, has competed in just 19 events on the Tour since the end of 2013 due to back injuries.

His goal of breaking the record of 18 Major championships held by Nicklaus looks increasingly unlikely.

"Tiger, I always thought, was going to break my record. I don't know what's going to happen (now)," Nicklaus added.

"Does anybody want to see their record broken? Of course not.

"But do I want to see somebody not have the ability because of physical problems? I don't like that at all. I feel bad for him that it's happened.

"I hope he plays golf again. He needs a lot of support from a lot of people. And I'll be one of them."

Woods' arraignment in Palm Beach County court on a DUI charge is scheduled for July 5.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2017, with the headline 'Nicklaus offers support, urges help for Woods'. Print Edition | Subscribe