The police report for Woods’ arrest says he needed to be woken up by an officer. A breath blood alcohol test was administered, and Woods blew a 0.00.

The instant psychoanalysis of Tiger Woods was as predictable as it was pointless.

His arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence early Monday was painted as either a fall from grace or a cry for help. No matter which it was, it was agreed that his life has careened out of control without golf. One of the greatest athletes in history was now a shell of his former self, barely recognizable to all of us who knew him.

But here’s the thing: We’ve never known Woods. For the first 13 years of his career, everything he did was intended to cultivate an image that would appeal to everyone. After being criticized for telling dirty jokes during a 1997 interview with GQ, his interviews became notoriously bland. He didn’t do anything that could be considered the least bit controversial. He didn’t wade into politics or issues of the day.

But as his run-in with the fire hydrant on Thanksgiving night in 2009 revealed, we knew the persona that’s been created but we didn’t know him personally. Which means that while it’s reasonable to raise questions, maybe even an eyebrow, jumping to conclusions about what demons he’s battling now is unfair.

Is it possible he’s got a substance abuse problem? Sure. It’s also equally possible the painkillers he’s on after last month’s back surgery altered his mental state, as Woods said in a statement Monday night.


According to the police report released Tuesday, Woods failed a field sobriety test after police found him asleep in his car on the side of the road in Jupiter, Fla., the engine in his Mercedes running and the lights on. He was sluggish and struggled to keep his…