Washington, Dec. 12 (ANI): The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) has said that it "fully supports" Tiger Woods' decision to take an "indefinite break" from golf.
PGA officials, who have ridden the fame of Woods to record prize money totals and television profits, quickly released a statement following the World No. 1's announcement that his timetable for a return was unknown.
"We fully support Tiger's decision to step away from competitive golf to focus on his family," The Courier Mail quoted a PGA Tour statement, as saying.
"His priorities are where they need to be and we will continue to respect and honor his family's request for privacy. We look forward to Tiger's return to the PGA Tour when he determines the time is right for him," he added.
Woods, the first athlete to earn one billion dollars from endorsements and prize money, has drawn extra attention and sponsor support to golf on his way to 14 major titles, four shy of the record total won by Jack Nicklaus.
A lengthy absence by the reigning champion threatens to diminish viewer and sponsor support for tour events and even major tournaments.
"If he's out for an extended period of time it's going to have a tremendous effect on golf and sports in general. TV ratings will be dramatically down. It will be tremendously damaging to the health of the sport and just to the general buzz," David Dusek, senior editor for Sports Illustrated's golf group.
Woods, whose estimated earnings this year were 92 million dollars, won last month's Australian Masters before the accusations of multiple mistresses began and Woods' own admission of unspecified wrongs made him a global punch line.
Max Garske, the PGA of Australia's chief executive, gave Woods his backing for putting family needs ahead of his career.
"We fully support what a delicate situation it is for Tiger and his family where clearly they need their privacy and time to rebuild their lives," Garske said. (ANI)