Tiger Woods humbly asked for forgiveness during press event in Florida this morning.
The pro golfer approached a podium at PGA Tour headquarters with his head up as he prepared to deliver an apology to friends, family and colleagues.
“I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in,” Tiger opened. Said behavior includes sleeping with at least a dozen other women during the course of his marriage to Elin Nordegren. News of the trysts came out following a one-car crash outside his Florida home in late November.
Initial hearsay speculated that Elin had chased Tiger out of their home with one of his golf clubs, a claim that the golfer refuted during his address this morning. Tiger asserted that he would not comment on the status of marriage, but he said they have spoken about the damage that his infidelity has caused their union.
"As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come from my behavior over time,” said Tiger. “It’s now up to me to make amends, and that starts by never repeating the mistakes I’ve made.”
"I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated,” he added. "I have bitterly disappointed all of you.”
Many people still want to know what prompted Tiger to have so many affairs in the first place. Addressing that issue, he said he felt entitled to fool around because of all the hard work he’s done over the years to become the world’s #1 golfer.
“I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply,” he said. “I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by.”
As Tiger’s mother sat uncomfortably in the first row, Tiger said he now realizes exactly how many people he hurt through his numerous extramarital flings and that the normal rules do still apply to him.
Another big question looming in the minds of sports fans is whether or not he would be hitting the green any time soon. Tiger simply answered, “I do plan to return to golf one day, but I don’t know when that day will be. I don’t rule out that it will happen this year.”
It’s not immediately clear whether this statement confirms reports that Tiger will compete at Tavistock next month. The golfer did reveal that he would be heading back to therapy tomorrow. There’s no word on how long that treatment will last.
“I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again,” he said with a sniffle in closing. Tiger then received a hug from his mother and several other loved ones in the audience. His wife Elin, however, was not among those waiting with open arms in the audience.
To see the rest of Tiger’s public apology, watch the video below.
– Sonya Eskridge