Tiger Woods Apology Video: Sorry for behavior, unsure of return

1:27 PM, Feb 19, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Tiger Woods: I am deeply sorry

Tiger Woods tells his family, friends and fans that he is "deeply sorry" for his selfish and irresponsible behavior.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida -- Tiger Woods apologized Friday for having affairs and said he plans to return to the PGA Tour -- but wasn't sure when that would be.

Speaking for a bit more than 13 minutes from the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Woods addressed about 40 people who were in the room, including his mother. His wife, Elin, was not obviously present.

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"Every one of you (in this room) has good reason to be critical of me," Woods said. "I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in."

Repeatedly throughout his statement Woods took responsibility for being unfaithful and said he and his wife "have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior."

Using words such as foolish, selfish, embarrassed and unfaithful, Woods said he would be returning Saturday to an unnamed center for "more treatment and more therapy."

Woods, who is on an indefinite leave from the PGA Tour, did not indicate when he might return to playing golf.

"I plan to return to golf one day. I just don't know when that day will be," he said. "I don't rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game."

The world's No. 1 golfer had not talked in public since his traffic accident on Nov. 27 triggered shocking revelations about his serial infidelity. His appearance Friday was tightly controlled. Only three reporters from wire services were allowed in the room where Woods faced a single camera. More than 200 credentialed media watched a live TV feed in the Sawgrass Marriott banquet room more than a mile away.

Woods did not take any questions.

After his statement, Woods hugged his mother.

"I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior," he said.

Admitting he felt he "deserved to enjoy the temptations" that came with his fabulous success, Woods said he was solely responsible for his actions.

Woods said he was in treatment for 45 days and will return for more therapy, adding he has more work to do to resolve his personal problems.

"I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in," Woods said. "I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them.

"I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation, and kids all around the world who admired me."

More than 1,750 miles away in Marana, Ariz., players still alive in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship welcomed Woods' message.

"I think it was a sincere apology," said Luke Donald, who is playing at the Match Play Championship "He made it clear he wanted the media to leave his his family alone, which I agree with. It sounds like he's getting the help he needs. Hopefully he'll be back on the golf course soon."

Stewart Cink, who lost to Woods in the Match Play Championship final in 2008, said Woods' speech was "heartfelt."

"It sounds like it's part of the recovery or the healing process that he has to go through," Cink said. "I've got a couple of good friends at home that have gone through the alcohol abuse program with AA, and similar steps are taken in the healing process where you have to make amends to the people you've hurt, and you have to start the bridge to the other side.

"It sounded like it was a difficult thing for him to do. Tiger's a tough guy, and like he said, he'll overcome this."

Ben Crane, who won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year at Torrey Pines in San Diego, where Woods won six Buick Invitationals and the 2008 U.S. Open, referred to one of his favorite stories in the Bible for his reaction to Woods' statement.

"One of the first things that came to my mind is one of my favorite stories in the Bible which talks about a woman who has sinned and she's been a prostitute and everyone brings her before Jesus," Crane said. "And they say shouldn't we stone her? Shouldn't we kill her for all these bad things that she's done? And Jesus says, yes, absolutely, stone her. But you without sin be the one to cast the first stone.

"And you know what, I thought it was an amazing conference. I thought Tiger was very humble. And, you know what, I think we all love him as a golfer and as a family man. And we want to see what's best for him, and I think everything he did is going to help him get back soon and help him."

More Tiger Woods Coverage:

Steve DiMeglio, USA TODAY and The Associated Press.

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