Tiger apologizes to his supporters and family & asks the media to leave Elin and his kids alone.
“I had affairs. I cheated,” Tiger Woods announced to a room full of some of his closest supporters and media outlets. The philandering golfer gave his very first mea culpa Feb. 18 on the second floor of the TPC Sawgrass Golf and Country Club at 11 a.m. Wife Elin Nordegren was not in attendance, but his mother Kutilda Woods was there to lend her support — and an emotional hug after the speech was over.
He said he knows people want their questions answered, but that anything that may or may not have happened between Tiger and his alleged mistresses is a private matter between himself and Elin. Tiger chastised the media for relentlessly following his wife and children, who he says had no part in any of his actions. He recognizes that “Elin has shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. Elin deserves praise, not blame.”
He also set the record straight about the night of his fateful car crash. He addressed the rumors that Elin attacked him, dismissing them as “completely and utterly false.” He said there have never been any incidents of domestic violence in his marriage, and asked for the media to stay away from his family.
As for his return to golf, he said he fully intends to return to the game one day. And although he said he isn’t ruling out the possibility that he will return this year, he has no date set in his mind.
He acknowledged he has a long way to go in his recovery process, and said he will return to his Buddhist roots to get his life back on track. “It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint,” he said. “I lost track of what I was taught. … I thought I could get away with anything I wanted to … I thought I was entitled … I don’t get to play by different rules.”
Tiger has been in sex rehab at the Gentle Path sex addiction treatment facility in Hattiesburg, Ms., since mid January. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem stated in a letter obtained by the Associated Press that Tiger Woods would be returning to sex rehab immediately following his press conference:
“As we understand it, Tiger’s therapy called for a week’s break at this time during which he has spent a few days with his children and then will make his statement before returning … Accordingly, there was very little flexibility in the date for the announcement.”