Legendary golfer Tiger Woods, who last week expressed his desire to return to competition after his recent back surgery, was busted on a DUI charge in Florida early Monday, according to authorities.
Woods, who lives on Jupiter Island, was arrested for driving under the influence around 3 a.m. and sprung from the Palm Beach County Jail on his own recognizance shortly before 11 a.m.
A mugshot released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office shows a haggard-looking, unshaven Woods staring vacantly at the camera with ruffled hair.
It’s unclear whether the 41-year-old — a 14-time major champion who won 79 PGA Tour titles — was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
He has been beset by back problems for the past few years.
On April 19, he underwent fusion surgery — his fourth since April 2014 — and will not play on the PGA Tour this season.
He has not played since he pulled out of the Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 3 after an opening-round 73. He has only made three worldwide starts in the past two years.
On Wednesday, Woods described his fusion surgery and expressed his desire to return to the links in a blog posting.
“It has been just over a month since I underwent fusion surgery on my back, and it is hard to express how much better I feel. It was instant nerve relief. I haven’t felt this good in years,” he wrote.
“I could no longer live with the pain I had. We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked. I had good days and bad days, but the pain was usually there, and I couldn’t do much. Even lying down hurt. I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope,” he continued.
“The process leading up to my decision to have surgery was exhaustive. I consulted with a specialist, and after weighing my options, that’s when I decided to go to Texas to have surgery.”
Woods described his long-term prognosis as “positive.
“My surgeon and physiotherapist say the operation was successful. It’s just a matter of not screwing up and letting it fuse,” Woods wrote. “I’m walking and doing my exercises, and taking my kids to and from school. All I can do is take it day by day. There’s no hurry.
“But, I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again. Presently, I’m not looking ahead. I can’t twist for another two-and-a-half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”
Late last year, Woods posted a bizarre bare-chested image of himself as a cross between Santa Claus and a dirty old man.
His clean-cut image came apart on Thanksgiving night 2009 when then-wife Elin Nordegren chased him out of their $2.4 million Florida mansion with a golf club after learning of his serial cheating.
Woods crashed his car, opening the floodgates of stories about his wild sexcapades.
The embattled golfer described his marital demise to Time magazine in 2015.
“In hindsight, it’s not how I would change 2009 and how it all came about. It would be having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife,” Woods told the mag.
“Our frustrations would have come out if we had talked about it and been open and honest with each other,” he said.
Weeks after the infamous incident, several of Woods’ past hookups came forward to describe their encounters with him, including former nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel and mistress Mindy Lawton.
He eventually entered rehab for sex addiction. Woods and Nordegren’s divorce was finalized in 2010.
“It was too tough, too tough,” Woods said of the effort to salvage their marriage amid the scandal. “But now, in hindsight, as years and years have gone by, we’re like the best friends.”