THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Tiger Woods still isn't talking. Now he's not playing, either.
Woods withdrew yesterday from his own golf tournament, citing injuries from a car crash near his Florida home. His decision comes as questions continue to mount regarding what exactly happened in the wee hours of the morning Friday - questions that most certainly would have been asked of him had he played.
The world's No. 1 golfer posted a statement on his Web site saying that unspecified injuries prevented him from playing in the Chevron World Challenge in Thousands Oaks, Calif. He had been scheduled to hold a news conference today for the tournament, which he hosts annually for a small, invited field.
"I am extremely disappointed that I will not be at my tournament this week," Woods said. "I am certain it will be an outstanding event and I'm very sorry that I can't be there."
Tournament officials said fans who bought advance tickets with the hope of seeing Woods could get refunds beginning next week. Those who keep their tickets will get a 20 percent discount when they buy them next year.
Woods sustained cuts and bruises when he crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree at 2:25 a.m., outside his home in an exclusive, gated community near Orlando. He was treated and released from a hospital, and has not been seen in public since.
By skipping the tournament, Woods will escape having to face TV cameras and a horde of media seeking more details about the incident. The tournament was to be the last of the year for Woods anyway, and he did not say when or where he would make his return next year. The first tournament of the 2010 PGA Tour is the SBS Championship in Hawaii, an event for winners from the previous year, beginning Jan. 7, but Woods wasn't expected to be there. He's more likely to play at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., the week of Jan. 25.
Woods released a statement Sunday saying the accident was his fault and asked that it remain "a private matter." But with the Florida Highway Patrol still investigating and the media in full pursuit, Woods may not get his way.
Woods even faced questions from fans who left comments on his Web site. Most voiced support for him, but some said he should address the questions about his own actions and those of his wife, Elin Nordegren, before and after the accident.
Woods hasn't answered questions from Florida troopers, either, turning them down 3 days in a row when they came to his house.
Four cars were parked in Woods' driveway yesterday, but no lights appeared to be on inside. A new fire hydrant had already replaced the one that Woods plowed into. A dirt hole and an orange barricade remained in the old hydrant's place.
A woman at the address listed on a FHP news release as the scene of the crash told the Orlando Sentinel that her husband didn't call emergency responders, but that someone else in the house did. The tape of the call was released Sunday.