In his first public statement in nearly three months, Tiger Woods opened up this morning at the TPC Sawgrass golf course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. and apologized for the numerous affairs that came to light after he was involved in a mysterious car wreck on Nov. 27. “I am deeply sorry,” Woods said in his 14-plus-minute statement, directing his comments at family, friends, fans, business partners, and members of his foundation. “I have let you down. I have let down my fans.”
Woods spoke in broad strokes, never addressing the specifics of the affairs, instead focusing on his behavior as a whole. “I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you,” he said. “I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I’m embarrassed that I have put you in this position. For all that I have done, I am so sorry.”
Woods declined to provide specifics on what exactly transpired between he and his wife Elin Nordegren – who was not present at the press conference – on the evening of the car accident. He did, however, address rumors about alleged abuse. “I have a lot to atone for, but there’s one issue I really want to discuss,” Woods said. “Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence.” He continued: “Elin deserves praise, not blame. The issue involved here was my repeated, irresponsible behavior.” Later, he said that the problems between he and Elin are “between a husband and a wife” and that “What we say to each other will remain between the two of us.”
Woods also denied allegations that he’d taken performance enhancing drugs and asked the media to stop following his family, pleading, “whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone.” He thanked consulting firm Accenture for understanding why he needed to make these statements today, despite the fact that their sponsored Match Play Championship tournament was underway.
As for the future, Woods said that he was leaving tomorrow to continue therapy he started in December to deal with his problems, and that he was relying on the Buddhist teachings that meant so much to him in the past. He also said he plans on returning to the greens, but wouldn’t say when. “I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that day will be,” Woods said, suggesting that it could be as soon as this year. As a final note, he added: “Today, I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day to believe in me again. Thank you.”
Overall, Woods seemed repentant, and genuinely choked up and humbled. He acknowledged that he does not, in fact, get to “play by different rules.”
So what do you think? Do you forgive him? Did he owe you, personally, any kind of apology in the first place? Do you think Elin can ever possibly forgive him? Take our poll and then let us know what you thought of Tiger’s statement in the comments below!
Photo Credit: MSNBC
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