Tiger 'sorry' for behaviour

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:22 PM ET

The world got its first peek into the circus that will be Tiger Woods' new world.

Woods made his first public appearance since crashing his car into a tree outside his Florida home Nov. 27, sparking sordid revelations of infidelity.

In a highly-orchestrated apology from the Sunset Room on the second floor of the Mediterranean-style clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass, Woods apologized to his fans, business partners, his wife Elin and the rest of his family.

"You have reasons to be critical of me. I am deeply sorry for my inappropriate and selfish behaviour," Woods told a gathering of about 40 reporters, business associates and family members including his mother. His wife, Elin, was not in attendance but Woods indicated they were trying to repair the damage to their marriage.

Woods indicated he would return to golf but that it might not be this year. He said that he has spent 45 days in therapy and that he was returning today.

"I have a lot to atone for. I had affairs. I cheated. I am the only person to blame," said Woods, denying that his wife hit him on that night, or at any other time. He said there had never been domestic violence in his relationship with Elin.

Woods said that his money and fame led him to a sense of entitlement that led him to stray from his marriage. "I convinced myself normal rules didn't apply. I didn't think about who I would hurt. I felt I was entitled...I was wrong."

Woods said he understands the public and press is interested in knowing what happened between him and the women who have revealed they had affairs with the No. 1 golfer in the world. He said he understood the press wants to know if he and Elin will separate but that those are issues he won't discuss in public.

He also chastised the paparazzi for taking photos of his kids as they went to school and of his mother. "Please leave my wife and kids alone," he asked.

Woods said he has returned to his Buddhist teaching, saying he had "lost track of what I was taught," by his parents. That included, he said, restraint.

There had been speculation Woods might break his silence on Oprah or another national talk show. Instead he chose a scenario that he and his marketing people could control. There was one camera in the room. Major TV networks carried the statement live via satellite.

But no questions were allowed from a small group of reporters selected by Woods and his agent, Mark Steinberg.

Those in attendance included reporters from The Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg. Three others from the Golf Writers Association of America were invited to come but declined because of the restricted access.

Woods concluded the press briefing with a request to sponsors, fans and friends: "I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again."

Then, wearing a dark blazer and open-neck shirt, he hugged his mother and a few friends, turned and disappeared behind curtains.

When he appears again remains unclear. But it won't be on golf course anywhere soon.


Videos

Photos