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Tiger Woods blames medications for his arrest on DUI charge

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JUPTER, FL — Golfer Tiger Woods, currently rehabbing from back surgery, was arrested early on Memorial Day on suspicion of driving under the influence in Florida, according to police.

Tiger Woods says an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine led to his arrest on a DUI charge in Florida.

Woods spent nearly four hours in the Palm Beach County Jail after being arrested early Monday on suspicion of DUI.

The 14-time major champion says in a statement that alcohol wasn’t involved. Woods says he didn’t realize the mix of medications affected him that strongly.

He also says he understands the severity of what he did and takes full responsibility.

“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Woods said in a statement Monday evening. “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”

Woods apologized to his family, friends and fans and said, “I expect more from myself, too.”

“I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again,” he said.

“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Woods said in a statement Monday evening. “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”

Woods apologized to his family, friends and fans and said, “I expect more from myself, too.”

“I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again,” he said.

Woods was arrested around 3 a.m. Monday in Jupiter, Florida, Jupiter police spokeswoman Kristin Rightler said. He was booked into a local jail and released on his own recognizance with no bond a few hours later, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office’s online records.

It’s unclear whether Woods tested positive for alcohol or drugs. It’s also unknown at this time whether Woods was the only person in the vehicle. An arrest report was not immediately available on Monday.

Woods has a home on Jupiter Island.

Woods has won 14 major tournaments — second only to Jack Nicklaus — and has recently expressed a desire to continue to play golf professionally despite a recent history of injuries. The 41-year-old Woods has undergone multiple back surgeries and hasn’t played competitive golf since he was forced to pull out of the Dubai Desert Classic in February.

His most recent operation — his fourth since 2014 — was just more than a month ago when he underwent fusion surgery on his back. Woods said in a blog post published Wednesday that “it was instant nerve relief.”

“I haven’t felt this good in years,” he said.

Woods also said in the post that his long-term prognosis for returning to professional golf is positive, but that he won’t be able to twist his back for another two to three months.

“Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me,” he wrote. “I am concentrating on short-term goals.

“I want to thank my doctors for their great work and support throughout this process. I also want to thank the fans for your phenomenal support. It means more than you know. There’s a long way to go, but as I said, words cannot convey how good it feels to be pain-free.”

Woods hasn’t won a major since 2008, when he won the US Open in sudden death over Rocco Mediate. Shortly after the win, Woods announced he would undergo reconstructive ACL surgery on his left knee and would miss the rest of the PGA Tour season.

This is not Woods’ first high-profile mishap. In November 2009, the golfer was taken to a hospital after he was injured in a car accident in front of his Orlando, Florida, home. The episode mushroomed into a scandal in the days afterward when it became public that Woods had been unfaithful to his then-wife, Elin Nordegren.

Woods took a break from professional golf and later apologized for having extramarital affairs and for letting down both his fans and his family. Woods and Nordegren were divorced in 2010.

Information from the Associated Press is included in this story.

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