Tiger gives statement on crash but won't talk to cops

Tiger is finally talking - but not to the cops.

The superstar pro golfer refused to speak to police Sunday for the third time about the bizarre early morning car accident in the driveway of his Florida home. In a statement posted yesterday on his Web site, Tiger Woods, 33, took responsibility for the crash but offered no details other than to decry “malicious” rumors that he fought with his Swedish model wife over an alleged affair.

“This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way,” Woods wrote. “The only person responsible for the accident is me. My wife, Elin, acted to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false.”

“This situation is my fault, and it's obviously embarrassing to my family and me,” he said.

The police chief of Windermere, Fla., had said Elin Woods used a golf club to break a window of the Cadillac Escalade to help her husband get out following the crash, which happened just before 2:30 a.m. Friday. But the Web site TMZ reported that Tiger told a friend he fought with his wife, who scratched his face and then came out of the house and struck the car with the club.

In his statement, Tiger said he had “some cuts, bruising.”

In a 911 call released yesterday, a neighbor is heard telling the dispatcher that a man - whom he never identifies as the famous duffer - was on the ground outside his car and appeared unconscious.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Highway Patrol said Woods' attorney cancelled a scheduled meeting with police for a third time yesterday.

“He's not required by law to give us a statement, and we'll move forward with our investigation without it,” Sgt. Kim Montes told the Associated Press. No charges have been filed.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, said the golfer conveyed to cops that he “has nothing more to add.”

Robert Boland, a sports marketing professor at NYU and a former agent, said Woods' silence is feeding the speculation and could damage his image.

“It will continue to drag on until he can . . . make a real statement, a definitive statement,” said Boland. “He's going to have to get in front of the camera and say something.”

The National Enquirer reported last week that Woods is having an affair with New York event planner Rachel Uchitel, who became a famous face of grief after her fiancée was killed in the 9/11 attacks. She has denied it.

“He seems like he's hiding something,” said Tyrell Pendarviz, 22, of the Bronx. “It's definitely hurtful to his image.”

Another New Yorker, John Lopez, 36, of Brooklyn, said he thought Woods is entitled to his “private business.”

“He has so many endorsements and if he opens up about it he could probably lose them,” Lopez said. “(He) has a certain image to protect.”

Phoebe Kingsak and the AP contributed to this story 

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