'Injured' Woods pulls out of own tournament

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/t/tigerwoods.jpg' class='caption'> Injuries from the &quot;embarrassing&quot; car crash have forced world number one Tiger Woods to opt out of the golf tournament he hosts every year for his char

Updated: December 01, 2009 09:50 IST
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New York:

Injuries from the "embarrassing" car crash, which is still a subject of investigation and speculation, have forced world number one Tiger Woods to opt out of the golf tournament he hosts every year for his charity foundation.

Woods had sustained facial cuts apart from other minor bruises in the accident that occurred in the wee hours of Friday last week just outside his mansion in Florida.

"I am extremely disappointed that I will not be at my tournament (Chevron World Challenge) this week. I am certain it will be an outstanding event and I'm very sorry that I can't be there," Woods said in a brief statement posted on his website.

Graeme McDowell has been roped in to replace Woods in the USD 1.35 million event.

Meanwhile, the police continues to probe the reasons for the crash, the circumstances of which remain shrouded in mystery as the golfer has so far avoided talking to the investigators.

Woods was supposed to address a press conference this afternoon in connection with the tournament but his withdrawal has saved him from the barrage of questions he was likely to face from an eager media.

Woods had crashed his SUV against a fire hydrant and a tree at around 2:25 a.m. on Friday outside his home in Orlando but it is still not known where the golfer was heading at that hour.

Soon after the accident, speculation started that Woods might have had an argument with his wife of five years Elin over an alleged affair with a New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel before the accident.

A website said Elin attacked Woods' SUV with a golf club before he lost control of the vehicle.

But Woods released a statement on Sunday, lambasting these reports as "false, unfounded and malicious rumors." The American said the "embarrassing" accident was completely his fault and his wife acted courageously to rescue him from the damaged vehicle.

"This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible," he had stated.

"I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received. But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be," he added.

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