Florida police friends tell former NHL bench boss about incident
MONTREAL–Showing the appetite for details of Tiger Woods' meltdown knows no bounds, former NHL coach Pat Burns has offered his take on the night the world's best golfer crashed his SUV just outside his Florida home.
During his daily interview with CKAC Sports radio in Montreal on Tuesday, Burns said he was told by police acquaintances in Florida that Woods' wife Elin Nordegren hit her husband with a golf club – leaving Woods with a deep cut on the cheek and two missing front teeth – after reading texts from another woman on his cellphone. Burns said it was at that point that Woods fled for his car, with his wife in pursuit.
Burns, a former police officer and hockey coach who lives in Florida, said sources he's close to within the Florida Highway Patrol gave him an account of what they said transpired during the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend.
Neither Woods nor Nordegren has spoken publicly about what happened that night.
But the unsubstantiated story of the missing teeth and golf club has made the rounds on the Internet, including in a blog by a long-time Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist, who cited another reporter close to Woods.
Burns said Nordegren smashed the windows of his SUV shortly before he crashed the vehicle into a tree in the upscale central Florida neighbourhood where they lived.
Burns said Woods was not immediately available to the police following the incident because he was in Phoenix having emergency dental and plastic surgery.
The Florida Highway Patrol, however, has said Woods had a "fat lip" but no other visible facial injuries when he met with officers four days after the car accident. Patrol spokesperson Kim Montes said officers wanted to see if Woods had any injuries that were inconsistent with a car accident. She said troopers found no reason to believe Woods was a victim of domestic violence.
Woods has not been seen in public since the crash, but more than a dozen women have come forward claiming they've had affairs with the famous athlete.
Burns, a former head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, was also a former police officer in Gatineau, Que.
The following is another and similar version of the events.
Pat Burns details on Woods coming from spam?
- Tiger Woods of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during first round play of the CA Championship at Doral Golf Resort in Miami, Florida March 12, 2009. REUTERS/Hans Deryk
According to Pat Burns, Woods lost two teeth after getting a nine-iron in the face by his angry wife, just before driving into the tree. Burns, who has mostly retired from hockey and now lives in Florida, has contacts with the police sector, where he worked before coaching hockey.
In a conversation with CKAC Sports in Montreal on Tuesday morning, Burns said an old friend in the highway patrol was among those who went to Woods' home on the night of the crash.
But the details of the story, according to deadspin.com, seem to indicate most of this information was gleaned from friend-of-friend e-mails that read eerily similar and have been circulating for the past few weeks.
"After dinner, Tiger Woods watched football in the living room while sending text messages to Rachel, the famous blond," he told the radio station.
"Whenever he received a message from her, he erased it. Meanwhile, one of his friends, based in Orlando, invited him to go play poker. At approximately 7:30 p.m., he went to change, then left. He forgot his phone on the coffee table in the lounge. Rachel, meanwhile, continued to write her text messages.
"His wife (Elin Nordegren) saw the message. When he returned, around 11:30 p.m. or midnight, she waited at the door. She asked what it was, these messages, and who was this woman.
According to Burns, Woods went up to the second floor of the home, wearing a T-shirt and shorts.
"He kept saying there was nothing there. He went to watch television ... then suddenly, bang! A nine-iron in the face!" According to Burns, the hit caused a large cut in Woods' cheek and knocked out two of his teeth.
"He left the house running without shoes. Elin followed him with the club.
He left in his Escalade. She followed him and broke two or three windows. That's why he hit the tree," he said.
"They took him to hospital in Orlando. Elin was in the ambulance with him and called his agent. He suggested that they meet at the hospital. Once there, the doctors said he needed plastic surgery to repair the broken teeth, but only one institution could do it, in Phoenix (Arizona). The agent warmed up the jet to he could leave for Phoenix where they could fix his face. This explains (Woods') absence when the police wanted to meet him the following days," Pat Burns told the station.
Deadspin doesn't say outright that the story is untrue, however.
"There have been many theories and rumours about what really happened that night at the Woods household ‹ many of them are squashed into this tale - so there's probably some sliver of truth to certain sections," deadspin's A.J. Daulerio says on the site.
Woods has not been seen in public since the crash. Since then, 18 women have been linked to the golfer's tomcatting ways.
According to several media reports, Nordegren is believed to have left the Florida home with the couple's children, getting away from the attention her her husband's cheating ways and plotting a lucrative divorce.