Tiger Woods Needed Plastic Surgery

Confrontation: Elin Nordegren hit husband Tiger Woods with a nine-iron, according to sportswriter Furman Bisher

It is being billed as the 'inside' story of the car crash that led to Tiger Woods' fall from grace. The account, which is sweeping the internet, includes claims that Woods, 33, underwent plastic surgery to cover up the injuries sustained when his wife Elin allegedly struck him in the face with a 9-iron golf club after a row over text messages. It claims the blow fractured Woods's cheekbone and almost knocked out his two front teeth, prompting the star to seek plastic surgery.

It also claims that the facial injuries are the real reason Woods has not been seen in public since the November 27 incident outside his Florida home. But last night there was growing speculation that 91-year-old journalist Furman Bisher had become the victim of an internet hoax.

He claims to have been given the story by a trusted source but critics say there are contradictions in the story and that it has been circulating online for some time. According to the story published on Bisher's blog, Woods flew to Arizona for surgery and his absence from Florida was the reason police were unable to speak with him.

The account claims that Woods and his wife Elin argued after she found text messages from nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel. It says: 'At one point Tiger turned away to look at the TV, and as he turned back, Elin hit him on the right side of the face with the head of a 9-iron.

'When she struck Tiger, she put a huge gash in the right side of his face next to his nose (causing his nose to bruise some), and virtually knocking two of his upper teeth out, and breaking the bone on the upper right side.

'Tiger ran scared as hell out of the house (which is why he had on no shoes) with Elin swinging the golf club throughout the hallway to the garage (i.e. causing the severe damage which has been reported).

'Tiger hopped in the Escalade [his car] and tried to leave; and as we know Elin knocked out the windows in the Escalade.

'When Tiger crashed, Elin panicked and was not sure what to tell the police (which is why there are two conflicting stories from her)'.

Bisher said the information about came from a colleague of the golf star's agent, Mark Steinberg. However, one respected U.S. golf journalist said he believed the account was a hoax as Woods's agent Mark Steinberg was in California at the time of the incident.

But according to the Bisher story Steinberg met Woods at the Florida hospital where he was treated for his injuries. Other bloggers said it would be unlikely for Woods to leave his mobile phone unattended knowing it contained messages from another woman.