Photos purport to show Tiger Woods at rehab center
Associated Press Writer
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – That sure looks like Tiger Woods.
The face. The rounded shoulders. The eyes staring out from under a cap.
Celebrity Web site radaronline.com says the next issue of the National Enquirer will feature photos of the world’s No. 1 golfer at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Miss.
The site posted eight photos that purport to show Woods – wearing white shorts and a dark hooded sweatshirt – at the Pine Grove facility where the Gentle Path sexual addiction program is conducted.
Calls to the National Enquirer were not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon. Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, declined to comment on the photo or whether Woods was at the clinic.
If the photos are authentic, they would be the first of Woods since he appeared at halftime of the Stanford-Cal football game Nov. 21 when he was inducted into Stanford’s sports Hall of Fame. Six days later, Woods crashed his SUV into a tree outside his home in Florida, setting off a stunning downfall over allegations of rampant extramarital affairs.
Woods eventually confessed to infidelity, and he said he would take an indefinite break from golf while he tries to save his marriage.
He hasn’t been seen in public since the Nov. 27 accident.
And since then, reporters have tried to find one of the most famous athletes in the world, reporting that he has been spotted everywhere from Arizona to Africa, from New York to the Bahamas. No one has been able to come up with a photo, which industry officials have estimated would be worth $100,000 or more.
Until, perhaps, now.
The photos obtained by the National Enquirer show a man resembling Woods looking directly at the camera as he walks out the Pine Grove clinic carrying a styrofoam cup.
He shares Woods’ physique, facial makeup – unshaven, with signs of a goatee – and even appears to be wearing a cap with the golfer’s logo.
The pictures appear to have been taken from outside the facility with a telephoto lens while a gate that allows vehicles to pass in and out was open. The compound is ringed with a weathered wooden fence, about 8 feet tall, and dotted with brick buildings, like the one in the background of the photos.
There’s a sign on the fence with the logo of Forrest General Hospital, which owns Pine Grove.
Officials at the clinic would neither confirm nor deny his presence, noting that it would be a violation of federal privacy law.
Pine Grove is one of the nation’s top addiction treatment facilities. Treatment at the Gentle Path compound lasts up to six weeks.