Some of Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour peers believe the 14-time major champion has a long-term ‘pain meds problem’, according to Paul Azinger.
Woods attributed his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) last week to ‘an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications’ and listed four drugs he was taking to officers, including the powerful painkiller Vicodin.
And although Azinger doesn’t personally believe Woods has a problem, he told Fox Sports that some players believe it has been an issue for him for some time.
“I know first hand there are some players that think there's a problem there with Tiger,” Azinger said. “I don't. I haven't been around him much the last few years. But there are some players out there that are saying this has been a problem for a while.
“He's had a lot of back surgeries, he's had knee surgeries, he's had an achilles issue. He's had a lot of pain. It would be easy for Tiger to get hooked on that, that very addictive drug [Vicodin]. I hope he's not.”
Azinger then stressed that those close to the 41-year-old rally round and support him before adding that he must sort out his off-course issues before he gets anywhere close to a return to playing competitively
"Tiger's close to a few people – not many,” added Azinger. “The few people around Tiger probably know there's a problem and if they don't intervene, it's on them. But addiction's a big deal, and if he's addicted, then somebody better intervene.
“I hope he can turn his life around first. Then see if he’s got another gear to try to play some decent golf again.”