By: Doug Ferguson
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods apologized for cheating on his wife and says he is unsure when he will return to competitive golf.
“I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was not acceptable,” said Woods, looking composed and speaking in a steady voice. His wife, Elin, was not with him.
As for coming back to the PGA Tour, the planet’s best golfer said: “I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don’t know when that day will be. I don’t rule out it will be this year.”
Woods talked for more than 13 minutes last Friday from the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour. About 40 people were in the room, including his mother. He hugged her when he finished speaking, and she whispered in his ear.
“I said ‘I’m so proud of you. Never think you stand alone. Mom will always be there for you and I love you,’” Kultida Woods said.
Admitting he felt he “deserved to enjoy the temptations” that came with his fabulous success, Woods said he is solely responsible for his actions. “I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior,” Woods said.
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.
Woods had not talked in public since his traffic accident Nov. 27, triggered shocking revelations about Woods’ serial infidelity.
Friday’s event was tightly controlled, with only a few journalists allowed to watch Woods live. The televised confession became a major television event with the networks breaking in to show it.
No other PGA Tour player could command this kind of attention.
Woods is one of the most recognized athletes in the world.
Television ratings double when he is in contention, which has happened a lot on his way to winning 71 times on the PGA Tour and 14 majors, four short of the record held by Jack Nicklaus.
And no other athlete had such a spectacular fall.
Accenture and AT&T have ended their endorsement contracts with him, and Woods has become the butt of jokes on everything from late shows to Disney performances.