Speaking before a small group at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse and a massive television audience, one of the world's most-recognized athletes repeatedly told his family, sponsors and fans — in essence, everyone connected with him — that he was sorry for behavior.
“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, Woods 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.”
Like Woods' career itself, the event demanded attention.
The golfer talked for 13 1/2 minutes at the clubhouse, home of the PGA Tour. About 40 people were in the room, including his mother in the front row. All sat quietly as Woods, a billion-dollar brand, spoke from behind a podium backed by a blue curtain.
When he finished, Woods hugged his mother 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 drove his SUV into a tree outside his home in Florida on Nov. 27, triggered shocking revelations about Woods' serial infidelity.
As for his marriage, he said: “Every one of these questions and answers is a matter between Elin and me, issues between a husband and wife.”
In Sweden, Elin's father, Thomas Nordegren, said he saw Woods' confession.
“I watched it but I have nothing to say right now,” Nordegren told The Associated Press. Elin's mother, Barbro Holmberg, declined to comment on Woods' apology, through her spokeswoman Eva Malmborg.
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.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos called the speech “one of the most remarkable public apologies ever by a public figure.”
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