Ever since Tiger Woods won the US Open in epic fashion and then announced he is taking the rest of the year off to rehab his knee, there hasn’t been much to report in the world of golf. That is, until the ‘Tiger Woods Apple Core Saga of 2008‘.

Darren Rovell, from CNBC, is keeping track of the remnants of an apple supposedly eaten by Tiger Woods during his glorious US Open run. It’s a story of intrigue, hard reporting, America’s most beloved piece of fruit and mystery.

Rovell first started this journey of produce investigation by tracking down and messaging the ‘buyer’ and ‘seller’ of the Tiger Woods apple core that sold for $36,000 on eBay this week. The seller’s description here:

“I was at the US Open this Friday, following Tiger Woods down the 12th Fairway, after his tee shot, he was eating an apple, 30 yards from his ball he discarded his apple core in the rough, I asked a photographer to kick it over my way, and he did, I never touched the core, Scooped it up in a empty beer cup, as not to disrupt the DNA, I’ve got lots of witness’…all moneys go to my daughters college fund.”

Rovell doesn’t believe it. He’s a man of facts and mission, and without (1.) photos of Tiger eating said apple, (2.) a written letter from Tiger explaining he did indeed discard an apple matching that description, or (3.) signed affidavits corroborating the seller’s story from several eyewitness friends, vindication will not arrive from that particular CNBC reporter. (More photos and speculation after the jump):

(The ‘$36,000’ – first apple)

It turned out to all be for nought anyway, as eBay has removed the apple from its listing. Additionally the ‘buyer’ of the $36,000 apple responded to Rovell saying he had no intention of paying for it and that it was merely a joke to bid on it. The prankster ‘buyer’ also revealed the somewhat dismaying fact that he did not earn that amount of money during a year of work.

But the saga does not end there, my friends. Another eBay Tiger Woods apple has emerged for sale. Having become an expert on celebrity apples this morning, I can safely say this new apple looks to be more authentic. Although the ‘evidence’ is still not up to Rovell’s standards, I am quite impressed with the accompanying US Open plastic cup and the intact, analyzable dirt particles stuck into the apple.

(The second and ‘more believable’ $630 apple?)

Plus it’s a green granny smith apple, that totally seems like Tiger’s playoff snack style. And to sweeten the deal, Tiger supposedly ate this apple during the suspense-filled playoffs against Rocco Mediate in the US Open.

This thing is up to $630 this morning, so if I were you I would act fast. And if you’re the type of person that would buy this apple, would you also finish eating it or save it? A friend of mine thinks by eating it, you might be transferred Wood’s golfing prowess. It’s possible, right?

CNBC: Getting To The ‘Core’ of the Tiger Woods Apple, June 26, 2008

CNBC: Tiger Apple Core Proven Fake Until Real, June 25, 2008

USA Today: Tiger collector to eBay: How do you like these apples?, June 25, 2008

eBay: The Real Deal Apple?