Harrington enthralled by Tiger-gate - "It's a phenomenal story."

Like almost every other golf fan on the planet, Padraig Harrington has been engrossed in the drama surrounding Tiger Woods.

But he understands why Woods has pulled out of this week's Chevron World Challenge in Los Angeles and why he may be reluctant to speak about what really happened in Orlando in the early hours last Friday.

"It's a phenomenal story. The spotlight is massive," Harrington said at Sherwood Country Club. "It's pretty legitimate for people to be discussing it and talking about it, but as I said, we just don't know what the facts are. We do know there was a car crash, we do know he was injured. I'm sure if I was unconscious for six minutes I wouldn't be playing golf the following week, wouldn't be high on the agenda. 

"From what we know, I think obviously it's tough for him because it's his own event. If it wasn't his event, I think -- I wouldn't say he'd give consideration to him coming out, but the fact that it was his own event, I'm sure it was a hard decision for him to make. 

"I think it was only the natural decision to make. You never know what the repercussions -- I'm sure it must be tough to try to concentrate if you were unconscious. I know if you're a footballer and you get concussed, you have to take six weeks off, isn't it, three months off for a footballer is it? There's a set period of time, isn't there? I don't think competing would be the ideal thing after being knocked out for six minutes."

Woods appears unlikely to speak out about the incident and Harrington can understand why.

"You could come out and say something that makes it worse. I'm not sure. Each individual has to deal with those circumstances on his own. Certainly like everybody else, there's lots of questions that we're never going to get the answers to, and the fact that he is the No. 1 sports star in the world means that there is going to be a higher profile to those things.

"If Tiger Woods was the 120th -- I won't say 120th on the Order of Merit -- actually it was Ricky Barnes, so if Tiger Woods was down on the end of the Order of Merit, this wouldn't be a story. If Tiger Woods was not the No. 1 sports star in the world, there wouldn't be a story. 

"It is what it is because of how good he is, and he'll have to deal with it. I don't know exactly what the truth of it all is, and the thing is I don't think anybody is ever going to know exactly what's gone on, and that's probably a good thing.

"But it won't stop people from guessing and questioning and things like that, but that's human nature. So I think we all have to accept that that's what we're like as people. We like to ... we're intrigued by other people's lives I'd say." 

Harrington said he hadn't spoke to other player about the incident but understands the buzz surrounding the story.

"I haven't met many players, but certainly -- I was traveling when this happened, and it's amazing how quick the news broke. I didn't have access to anything at the time, and I got a text message saying, 'Have you heard the story?'

"And as I said, at the end of the day when you're the biggest sports star in the world, that goes with the territory. You create these stories, and in six weeks' time it might be somebody else's story. We'll have to wait and see what evolves. But the one thing that's for sure, we'll all be watching. As I said, that's human nature."