ORLANDO, December 2 – Tiger Woods will face no criminal charges for crashing outside his Florida mansion but the world's number one golfer has been issued with a careless driving citation, police said Tuesday.
Woods must also pay a 164-dollar fine and will lose four points from his license — one third of the total needed in a year to be suspended — but the Florida Highway Patrol investigation into Friday’s crash is now closed.
There was insufficient evidence for any greater charges and no claims of domestic violence were involved, police spokeswoman Kim Montes said.
The patrol "is not pursuing criminal charges in this matter nor is there any testimony or evidence to support any charges of any kind other than careless driving," Montes said.
Police considered trying to obtain medical records from when Woods was taken to a nearby hospital after his early morning accident, but ultimately did not check to see if his injuries were consistent with those from a crash.
"It was determined that there was insufficient evidence available to issue a subpoena for any additional medical information that might exist in this case," Montes said. "We cannot speak to the existence of any blood evidence."
Woods did not provide information to police, something he was not required to do, and has not revealed details surrounding the crash such as where he was going or why he lost control of the vehicle.
His silence sparked speculation that he was in the vehicle, at 2:25 am, to escape his wife Elin after rowing over reports broke two days earlier of an alleged affair with New York night club hostess Rachel Uchitel.
Both Woods and Uchitel have denied the tabloid press reports.
"It’s the most ridiculous story. It’s like they are asking me to comment if there are aliens on Earth," Uchitel told the New York Post.
Woods struck a fire hydrant and a tree when he lost control of his vehicle just outside his home, enough according to the Florida Highway Patrol to merit a traffic citation.
"The investigation has determined that Mr. Woods is at fault in the crash," patrol major Cindy Williams said.
"Any person operating a vehicle is required by law to drive in a careful and prudent manner so as not to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. Failure to drive in such a manner is defined as careless driving."
While the media storm is unlikely to die down soon, the end of the police probe will bring some welcome respite to the 14-time major champion, who is not due to play again and have to face the hordes of reporters until 2010.
Uchitel, 33, said she had met Tiger twice in her life and only in her professional capacity as director of VIP services at a New York club and had not seen him in Australia, where the alleged fling was due to have happened last month.
"Tiger and I are not friends," she told the Post.
There has been media speculation that Woods’s wife Elin, a Swedish former model, confronted him over Uchitel and chased him with a golf club, smashing in the rear windows of the car as he tried to flee, causing him to lose control.
Woods issued a statement on his website Sunday hitting out at the "unfounded and malicious rumors", but providing no further explanation for the crash.
Bill Sharpe, an attorney for Woods’ neighbor Linda Adams and her family, said Tuesday that the golfer’s injuries looked like those from a car accident rather than a domestic dispute.
"The scratches on his face were consistent with someone who maybe was in a minor car accident and hit his head on the windshield," Sharpe said. Injuries were "consistent with a car wreck and inconsistent with him being beat up.
"None of his injuries looked like he was beat up by his wife."
Sharpe said Adams found Elin kneeling beside Woods and upset over his injuries, saying she asked them to call police and medical personnel.
"Mrs. Woods’ attitude was consistent with her being concerned about her injured husband," Sharpe said. "Mrs. Woods was trying to help him. Mrs. Woods was worried about her husband."
Woods said injuries from the crash will prevent him from playing in this week’s Chevron World Challenge in Los Angeles, an 18-star golf event to benefit his charity foundation that was the last time he was due to play this year.
Woods and Elin have been married for five years and have two children, daughter Sam Alexis, born in 2007, and son Charlie Axel, born in February.