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Tiger Woods gets traffic ticket for accident

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Tiger Woods, the world's top golfer, was slapped with a traffic ticket for careless driving on Tuesday, four days after driving his Cadillac SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree outside his Florida home.

No allegations of domestic violence were leveled against Woods, a powerhouse marketer and perhaps the world's richest athlete with a fortune estimated at $1 billion, and the investigation into his accident last Friday has been closed, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

"The investigation has determined that Mr. Woods is at fault in the crash," FHP Major Cindy Williams told a news conference in Orlando.

Williams said no criminal charges would be filed against Woods. He could be fined up to $164 and points against his driver's license.

Woods has declined to speak to police about the accident, leaving questions about the circumstances of the accident in the early hours of Friday. Amid a swirl of speculation over the details of the incident, media reports have suggested Woods had argued with his Swedish wife, Elin Nordegren, that night.

"There are no claims of domestic violence by any individual," FHP Sergeant Kim Montes said.

Citing injuries from the accident, Woods pulled out on Monday from the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament in Thousand Oaks, California, this week, an event he has hosted for nine years.

Woods said in a written statement on Sunday that the accident was his fault. He called irresponsible the "false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me."

Celebrity-watching media outlets have suggested Woods and his wife had argued before the crash, and the National Enquirer tabloid has reported Woods had an extra-marital relationship. The woman named in that report has denied a relationship with Woods.

NEIGHBORS' LAWYER SPEAKS OUT

A lawyer for the next-door neighbors who called emergency services on the night of the accident said on Tuesday that Woods' injuries did not appear to be from a beating but were consistent with a minor car accident.

The lawyer, Bill Sharpe, held a news conference in Orlando to speak on behalf of Linda and Jerome Adams, Woods' neighbors in the exclusive gated community of Isleworth, near Orlando.

"None of his injuries appeared like he had been beat up by his wife," Sharpe said. The injuries were "consistent with a minor accident and inconsistent with him being beat up. That's the question everybody wants to know."

The Florida Highway Patrol said it was not pursuing Woods' medical records for the minor injuries he suffered. A media report had said that investigators were seeking a search warrant for the hospital where he was treated.

"It was determined that there was insufficient evidence available to issue a subpoena for any additional medical information that might exist in this case," Montes said.

Woods, 33, is a huge draw on the PGA tour as he chases Jack Nicklaus' record for victories in major tournaments and the unofficial title of best golfer ever. He has won 71 times on the PGA tour in a glittering career that includes 14 major wins.

He made a triumphant return to professional golf in February after being sidelined for eight months following reconstructive knee surgery, and finished on top of the FedEx Cup standings for the season.

(Additional reporting by Jim Loney and Jane Sutton; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Frances Kerry)

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