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Incisor-gate: Lindsey Vonn corroborates Tiger Woods’ story about missing tooth

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Forget the “Deflate-gate” scandal plaguing the NFL for a moment, as another “-gate” controversy coming out of the sports world has a lot more bite. A rather benign but sweet story that has taken on an amusing life of its own centers around how Tiger Woods surprised girlfriend Lindsey Vonn in Italy in order to congratulate her on winning her record 63rd World Cup race.

What turned the relatively innocuous aside about Woods playing the good boyfriend role into one of the biggest sports stories of the week is how Tiger was spotted on the slopes with a missing front tooth.

Lindsey Vonn has come to her boyfriend’s defense in light of the controversy surrounding regarding exactly how Woods ended up sans one of his incisors. She took to Facebook to corroborate Woods’ agent claims that a cameraman inadvertently bumped the golfer in the mouth, resulting in a knocked-out tooth.

“So happy that Tiger surprised me by coming to my race in Italy yesterday, watching me break the World Cup win record! I feel terrible that his tooth got knocked out though,” Vonn wrote on a post to her Facebook page accompanying the below photo. “When he was in the finish area a camera man accidentally knocked into him and took out his front tooth. He was still in great spirits though and didn’t complain once or ask for any special assistance or security. We were both just happy to share the moment together.”

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There seems to be some disagreement regarding exactly how Tiger ended up sans incisor. In response to photos surfacing showing Woods missing said tooth, his agent, Mark Steinberg, wrote in an email that it was in fact the actions of a photographer who was responsible for the dental calamity.

“During a crush of photographers as the awards podium at the World Cup event in Italy, a media member with a shoulder-mounted video camera pushed and surged toward the stage, turned and hit Tiger Woods in the mouth,” Steinberg wrote, via ESPN. “Woods’ tooth was knocked out by the incident.”

Another person present during the alleged incident, however, has a different recollection of how things played out.

“I was among those who escorted him from the tent to the snowmobile and there was no such incident,” Nicola Colli, the secretary general of the race organizing committee, told The Associated Press. “When he arrived he asked for more security and we rounded up police to look after both him and Lindsey.”

Despite the discrepancy in accounts, Vonn’s Facebook post corroborates what she told the USA Today during a phone interview Tuesday.

“I didn’t see it happen, but I guess some photographer hit him in the face with a camera and it totally knocked his tooth out,” Vonn said. “I felt so bad because he flew all the way over there for a matter of hours, and someone manages to deck him with a camera and knock his tooth out.”

Vonn characterized Woods’ dental injury as something that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

“The nerve is showing, so he will definitely get it replaced ASAP,” she said. “This pain is really nothing when he has had as many injuries as he’s had,” she said. “It’s not a big deal, he was in good spirits.”

Whatever the true nature of how Woods’ tooth got knocked out, at least Vonn, who has shown she will come to the defense of her boyfriend in the past, refused to bite and contribute to the controversy. In other words, she didn’t give the media anything else to chew on, so to speak.

(top images credit: AP via New York Post)