Tiger Woods today broke his silence about the SUV accident that landed him in the hospital early Friday, calling it "a private matter," but he backed out of an interview with investigators for a third straight day and his lawyer indicated to ABC News that the golf great would never talk to police.
After days of silence, Woods issued a written statement that praised his wife for "acting courageously" to help him after his accident and denounced "unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me."
He said the incident was "a private matter and I want to keep it that way."
Woods' lawyer, Mark NeJame, told ABC News, "We stand by his (Woods') previously released statement, regarding his privacy," and said neither he nor Woods would be making comments to anybody, including, in Woods' case, the police.
With Woods and his wife refusing to talk with law enforcement, police are apparently left with no witnesses to what happened early Friday morning and very little to go on in their investigation.
"Just after 1:00 p.m., lawyer Mark NeJame contacted the Florida Highway Patrol to inform us that he is representing Tiger Woods," read a statement from highway patrol spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes. "NeJame stated that the interview that was scheduled for today has been canceled. ... The traffic crash remains under investigation and charges are pending."
Investigators previously were turned away at Woods' Orange County, Fla., home both Friday and Saturday. They had hoped to visit Woods' home again around 3 p.m. ET today.
If Woods, 33, and his wife, Elin Nordegren, 29, choose to say nothing, officials simply may proceed with the investigation without their statement.
Woods and his wife are not required to give a statement to police about the accident, but if either does it must be truthful, Florida legal experts said. If not, they added, there is a slim chance they could be charged with resisting arrest without violence, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Rather than speaking to police, Woods appealed directly to the public on his TigerWoods.com home page.
"As you all know, I had a single-car accident earlier this week, and sustained some injuries. I have some cuts, bruising and right now I'm pretty sore," his statement said.
"This situation is my fault," it continued, "and it's obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I'm human and I'm not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn't happen again. This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible. "
In the hours before the statement, bits of new information about the crash fed the public curiosity Woods cited.
"I need an ambulance immediately," the caller said at the start of the recording, which lasted more than four minutes over a shaky connection and featured numerous drop-outs. "I have someone down in front of my house. They hit a pole."