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|Subject: Tiger suspended? Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:54 pm|| |
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- A journeyman professional golfer who has spent time recently giving lessons and caddying retracted comments he made in a Friday radio interview, during which he said Tiger Woods has been suspended for a month by the PGA Tour.
Dan Olsen, 48, who last played on tour at the 2011 PGA Championship, told 730AM The Game in Lansing, Michigan, that "I heard he's on a month's suspension. ... It's kind of a strong witness. It's a credible person who is telling me this."
Olsen backed off Monday, telling ESPN.com's Michael Collins that "it was only my opinion." The tour and Woods' agent vehemently denied Olsen's assertions Monday.
"Everything I said on that radio interview was only my opinion and not based on any firsthand knowledge or facts," Olsen told ESPN.com. "I want to make a full retraction to everything I said for the entire radio interview, and I apologize to Tiger, Nike, Phil [Mickelson], [commissioner] Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour."
Olsen, who played only one full season on the PGA Tour (2004), told the station Friday that he was given the information by an exempt tour player but would not disclose the player and couldn't say he fully believed him.
"It's not testosterone, but it's something else," Olsen told the station. "I think when it's all said and done, he's gonna surpass Lance Armstrong with infamy."
Olsen also talked about Woods using a "cheater ball," referring to the Nike golf ball he plays, and that those allegations were potentially more damaging than the suspension.
"I'll be looked at as just some crazy f--- nobody making accusations about Tiger," Olsen told ESPN.com on Monday.
Ty Votaw, the executive vice president of the PGA Tour, denied the claims brought forth by Olsen.
"There is no truth whatsoever to these claims," Votaw said Monday. "We categorically deny these allegations."
The tour almost never comments on disciplinary matters.
Woods said Feb. 11 that he was taking a break to deal with the issues in his game after withdrawing during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open last month.
Over the past year, Woods has withdrawn with an injury three times and now has fallen outside of the top 70 in the world.
"These claims are absolutely, unequivocally and completely false," said Woods' agent Mark Steinberg in a statement.
"They are unsourced, unverified and completely ridiculous. The PGA Tour has confirmed that there is no truth to these claims."
If Woods failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs, the PGA Tour has said it is required to announce a suspension. And it would undoubtedly be for more than a month. If he failed a test for some sort of recreational substance, the tour's policy is not to disclose any penalties.
But if the transgression were severe, a month penalty would seem minor.
"They're not even going to remember the women," Olsen said Friday, referring to the personal scandal Woods endured in 2009, which led to a divorce from Elin Nordegren. "The women are going to take a distant second place. You're gonna talk about him with Lance Armstrong."
The PGA Tour began testing for PEDs in 2008, and Woods has been randomly tested like other players. Only two players have run afoul of the drug testing guidelines, and both were suspended for a year.
About the golf ball, Olsen said Friday that Woods had been using a ball given to him by Nike that "I would almost bet hadn't been tested."
"So he's really playing with -- I'm not gonna say a cheater ball, because he has the help of the establishment, really -- but he played a ball that nobody else could play.
"So that combined with his enhancement issues, like having a Canadian blood spinning doctor in his phone, you know? I mean, I think people are starting to openly call it what it is, which is gonna be a problem for him."
Nike also issued a statement Monday denying Olsen's claims.
"Every ball Tiger has put in competitive play from Nike has been thoroughly tested and approved by the USGA and R&A in accordance with their governing rules," the company said.
Olsen tied for 12th at Tucson in 2004, one of only eight cuts that he made in 31 PGA Tour starts that season. He played the Web.com Tour in 2006, finishing with two top-10s in 27 events.
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