It’s extremely fascinating that Tiger Woods has landed in such thick rough because of basically a fender bender on an SUV.

What should have been a story that attracted just side-glance attention on a holiday weekend has snowballed into one that will have a shelf life of several days — maybe several weeks.

It may go down as one of the biggest accidents in history just outside a person’s driveway.

There are just so many questions and no real answers.

The main one: If this was just a mishap that involved a golfer, a fireplug, a tree and an SUV with no substantive injuries to a single person and relative minor damage with a spouse making a heroic rescue, why is Tiger being so evasive in talking to law enforcement officials?

A golfer, a fireplug, a tree and an SUV? Sounds like the into to some kind of nightclub joke, doesn’t it?

Tiger could have defused things by issuing a statement such as: "It was early in the morning. I had a hard night and was half asleep when I was running an errand to get some medicine from my child. I just made an error in judgment and got in too big of a hurry that caused my vehicle to hit the fireplug. It was an accident. Accidents happen to anyone. I had not had any argument with my wife, Elin. We have a loving, strong, relationship and she acted heroically when she heard the accident. I immediately gave a full account of the incident to police."

Instead, Tiger issued a statement so vague that it invited further questions

Statements issued by celebrities are virtually meaningless because the issuer of the statement is in full control of the message and is not subject to provocative and pressing questioning by law enforcement officials, not to mention providing them a full examination of his lacerations and whether they might have come from glass or fingernails.

Bottom line, Tiger is acting like a person with something to hide. A person seemingly with nothing to hide has no trouble giving a full story, even one who is trying to guard privacy. His statement resembles dozens on statements, all with Swiss cheese holes, issued by all kinds of celebrities when they began sinking into quicksand.

Tiger is a control freak, and he’s in a situation that some things now may be out of his control.

What was he doing at 2:25 a.m.? That’s a seemingly easy explanation because there are dozens of legitimate things (medicine or diaper run?) that one could be about that early on a holiday weekend.

He was treated and released. What were the extent of his injuries? What caused them?

And, the more pointed stuff:

Why did his wife allegedly knocked out the rear windshield of the vehicle to rescue him from the front seat?

As New York columnist Mike Lupica asked, "Why does a hybrid golf club have to turn into the ‘jaws of life’?"

Why a dramatic rescue? Doesn’t one of the richest people in the world have an automatic keyless entry around the house that could have unlocked the door?

After what has to be described as a minor accident, why does Tiger have to sequester himself in his compound when he could clear out most of the media and law enforcement officials by describing this situation just as he would explain a double-bogey at a news conference?

It’s unfortunate that much of the reporting and speculation on this has been done by so-called fringe media (some of whom are dead-on about some things and way off on many) who are devouring grist from the rumor mill like raccoons in a garbage dump. 

Why the big deal? Because domestic violence among celebrities is a serious and popular cultural issue and the perception among many is this strange incident has domestic violence, powered by a woman scorned, written all over it.

Maybe that’s not true, but stuff is swirling and picking up momentum. But Tiger, who is cool and good in media interviews, seemingly can nail the rumors and innuendo like he rips a drive.

Tiger is the biggest celebrity athlete in the world, one of the biggest celebrities.

This drive will take a lot more explaining.

(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or david.mccollum@thecabin.net)