Hattiesburg is a town with "very few secrets," but can Woods really be there?

By Alice JacksonLinda Marx and Mark Lambert
Updated January 17, 2010 10:00 AM
Credit: Jennifer Mitchell/Splash News Online

The ever-elusive Tiger Woods has been said to be holed up everywhere from Arizona to South Africa. Now the latest rumor has all of Hattiesburg abuzz: Several Web sites claim that the embattled golf great is undergoing rehabilitation for sexual addiction at a respected clinic in the southern Mississippi town.

While officials at the Pine Grove Behavorial Health and Addiction Services clinic won’t say whether Woods is a patient, two local TV stations, WJTV and WLBT, report that their sources confirm Woods was there.

In the university town of 45,000, “there are very few secrets,” says WJTV reporter Chris Williams. But there aren’t any certain answers, either. “I can’t either confirm or deny I have seen him here,” said Chip Gibson, director at Southeast Aviation at the Hattiesburg airport. “But, I can tell you that my telephone is ringing off the hook with news people wanting to know if I know anything.”

The clinic’s is considered one of the top facilities in the U.S. for the treatment of sex addiction. According to Pine Grove’s Web site, its program for sex addiction, called Gentle Path, usually lasts six weeks, but it can also be tailored to a patient’s specific needs. Pine Grove also offers treatment for other psychiatric disorders and addictions.

PEOPLE also caught up with Gentle Path Clinical Director Deborah Schiller, who would neither confirm nor deny Woods’s presence at the facility. “We deal with patients who have suffered some trauma in their lives,” she said. “Our concern is to help them heal and recover.”