GENEVA - Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has ended its 10-year commercial relationship with Tiger Woods, and expressed hopes the former top-ranked golfer can "overcome his difficulties."
Tag Heuer had stopped promoting Woods's image in the United States in December 2009, weeks after revelations about his marital problems began to emerge.
"We are confident that Tiger will eventually regain full trust with the public, and that his huge talent and mental strength will help him overcome his difficulties," Tag Heuer chief executive Jean-Christophe Babin said in a statement.
"We wish Tiger all the best for the future endeavors in golf, with new business partners, and in his private life."
Tag Heuer said it had enjoyed an "exemplary" partnership with Woods which had been "very beneficial to both parties."
However, the watch brand joined other companies in backing away from Woods after his personal life began to unravel following a 2009 Thanksgiving holiday car accident at his Florida home.
Babin said then that Tag Heuer had to "take account of the sensitivity of some consumers."
Woods, a 14-time major winner, has not won a tournament since his personal problems were publicly aired.
Tag Heuer said it will continue to support Woods's charitable foundation through sales of a watch he designed.
Tag Heuer is the latest sponsor to drop Woods and adds to the golfer's apparent financial decline. Last month Forbes magazine's website posted a story stating that the reason Woods signed a deal to hawk a Japanese pain-relief rub (watch ad at bottom) was because he's out of money after being cleaned out in his divorce and losing several lucrative endorsement deals in the wake of his sex scandal, according to CBSSports.com's Steve Elling.
Like many Americans, Woods is carrying a fat mortgage, on his new Jupiter Island abode, too.
Said the story: "It's no secret that Woods, once king of the sports world, has suffered financially since his fall from grace. His endorsement list shrank and his marriage ended in a divorce settlement reportedly worth $100 million. But now he may actually be hurting for funds. At the very least, there are signs that he isn't generating enough to comfortably cover his costs."
The story also suggested that Nike, which has an entire golf division built around Woods, docked him millions in pay as penalty for his humiliating indiscretions.