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Tiger and Golf Digest part ways

NEW YORK, January 7- Tiger Woods and Golf Digest announced the end of the golf star's 13-year relationship with the magazine on Thursday, what had been the second-longest sponsorship deal for the 14-time major champion.Two weeks after Gillette said it would not renew an endorsement deal with Woods, Golf Digest became the fifth sponsor to drop the former world number one since details of his multiple affairs became public late in 2009.

"Golf Digest and Tiger Woods have mutually agreed to stop his monthly bylined articles," Golf Digest editor in chief Jerry Tarde said in a statement. "We appreciate the insights Tiger has provided to our readers."

Woods, whose writings offered tips for golfers, will have his final column in the magazine’s February issue. Woods put his columns on hold last February during his five-month break from golf but resumed them last September.

"I enjoyed my relationship with Golf Digest but we have decided it’s now time for a break," Woods said in a statement released by the magazine. "I wish my friends at Golf Digest continued success."

Gatorade, AT&T and Accenture had already ended sponsor ties with Woods, whose oldest backer Nike stayed with him through a sex scandal that led to a divorce from Elin Nordegren last year and contributed to a winless 2010 season.

The damaged brand name of Woods received a boost on Tuesday when Augusta National Golf Club announced the home course of the Masters would be featured on a videogame for the first time on Woods’ 2011 EA Sports release in March.

The videogame company and Nike, the first sponsor to sign a deal with Woods when he turned professional in 1996, were the main backers to remain with him as the scandal unfolded over the past 13 months.

Golf Digest began ties with Woods after his record-smashing 1997 Masters triumph, the first of his major titles. Woods remains four shy of matching the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus.

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