Time out for Woods as sponsors back out of deals

The future of troubled golfer Tiger Woods was in the balance today after he announced an indefinite break from golf and sponsors moved to end marketing deals with the star.

Last night global management consultancy Accenture cut its sponsorship agreement after a six-year partnership, saying Woods was “no longer the right representative”.

Shaving giant Gillette also distanced itself from Woods over the weekend, announcing an indefinite end to his marketing role “to support his desire for privacy”.

US phone firm AT&T is still “evaluating” the relationship but Woods’ main sponsor, Nike, has offered the golfer its “full support”.

Shamed Woods broke his silence to post a message on his website announcing an indefinite break from the sport to try to save his marriage.

He admitted his “infidelity” for the first time and said he wanted to “repair the damage” he had done.

A series of lurid affair allegations have surfaced since the world’s number one golfer crashed his car in mysterious circumstances on November 27.

The 33-year-old is married to Swedish former model Elin Nordegren.

Woods has been at the helm of the golfing world for the past decade, boosting sponsorships and ratings, and his absence is set to leave a huge vacuum.

American golfer Stewart Cink said: “I don’t think it’s any rocket science in saying him not being involved in golf for a while is going to hurt ratings.

“He’s exciting. And him not being there makes it less exciting. No-one can take the place of Tiger Woods out there.”

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie said he hoped the sport hadn’t been damaged by the scandal.

He explained: “There is a mystique which has been lost now and let’s hope that golf isn’t damaged by that – and it shouldn’t be.”

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