20 Feb 2010

Tiger Woods makes public apology

3:40 pm on 20 February 2010

Tiger Woods has made a full and frank apology for cheating on his wife.

The tearful golfer talked publicly on Friday for the first time since the scandal surrounding his private life erupted on 27 November last year.

Woods, 34, told a group of friends, colleagues and close associates at the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass in Florida that he had had affairs.

He described what he did as "unacceptable" and said he is having therapy and "had a long way to go".

"For 45 days since the end of December to early February, I was in inpatient therapy," he said.

Woods said he did not rule out returning to golf this year, but indicated he did not as yet have a date.

He said he would be returning for further therapy for his problems on Saturday.

Woods spoke for more than 13 minutes from the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour. The address was broadcast live on television around the world.

Wife not present

The BBC reports about 40 people were in the room, including his mother. His wife, Elin, was not present.

Woods was injured when he crashed his car into a fire hydrant and a tree near his Florida home on Thanksgiving night.

Two days later, he released a statement in which he said the issue was "private ... and I want to keep it that way".

After missing the Chevron World Challenge tournament, he issued a statement following persistent reports of extra-marital affairs.

The statement on his website read: "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart."

A further statement in which Woods admitted his "infidelity" followed.

Several high-profile sponsors subsequently announced they were ending their links with him.