Money-spinner Tiger in woods

LOS ANGELES - Sports drink Gatorade has become the third major sponsor to abandon golfer Tiger Woods since details of his adulterous affairs surfaced late last year.

"We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship," said their spokeswoman.

"Our partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation will continue. We wish him all the best." AT&T and and Accenture have already ended their sponsorships, while Gillette has distanced itself from the world-famous athlete, who is considered to be one of the best professional golfers of all time.

Woods apologised for his behaviour in a televised event a week ago, but he kept the golf world and his sponsors hanging by failing to say when he would return to the game.

Woods had been largely absent from public view for the 12 weeks since he crashed his car outside his Florida home, and as the details of his multiple infidelities unraveled in the media around the world.

Woods, who is believed to be the world's wealthiest athlete, was estimated to have earned $100 million (R772 million) annually in endorsement deals before he confessed to "infidelity" and announced his indefinite break from professional golf in December.

While some sponsors have sunk sponsorship deals, others including video gams publisher Electronic Arts have moved ahead with endorsement plans.

Electronic Arts will introduce the next instalment of its popular Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise in June. - Reuter