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Old 02-19-10, 11:02 AM
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Woods Apologizes, Says Elin Never Hit Him

Woods Apologizes, Says Elin Never Hit Him
Tiger Woods Says He Was Selfish
DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer
POSTED: Thursday, February 18, 2010
UPDATED: 10:44 am CST February 19, 2010


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods said Friday in his first public statement since Thanksgiving weekend that he is "deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior," and he defended his wife, Elin.

He said that she did not hit him before or after the crash that helped expose his marital infidelity.

"It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that," he said. "Elin has shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. Elin deserves praise, not blame."

While he apologized to his friends, family and business partners, he said that the answers about his affairs or whether he and Elin would stay together were private matters that he would keep that way.

He also could not say when he would hit the links again.

"I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be," he said.

He also said that he has been at an in-patient therapy program for 45 days and that he plans to return Saturday. He also said that Buddhism was helping him deal with his issues as he tries to regain the balance between his professional life and spiritual life to save what is most important to him -- his family.

"I stopped living by the core values I believe in," he said.

He also apologized to Elin, whom he said told him his apology will be in his behavior in the future.

Woods appeared nervous during the statement, in which he said that his actions have created worry among his friends and business partners.

Players React To Timing

Woods spoke to a small group in the Sunset Room on the second floor of the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour. Just one video camera broadcast the event, and there were no questions allowed from the media.

Woods' statement came during the Match Play Championship, sponsored by Accenture, the first company to drop Woods as a pitchman.

Ernie Els was among players who were upset to learn that Woods had chosen the week of a World Golf Championship for a public appearance that was sure to take attention away from the tournament. "It's selfish," Els told Golfweek magazine.

The PGA Tour made available its sprawling, Mediterranean-styled clubhouse for the announcement, and was helping set up adjacent ballrooms at the nearby Sawgrass Marriott for media, where they watched Woods on closed-circuit TV. The commisioner of the PGA tour said in a letter that Woods' management asked for the facilities, and "we agreed as we would for any member of the PGA Tour."

No other PGA Tour player could command this kind of attention, though.

Woods is one of the most recognized athletes in the world. Television ratings double when he is in contention, which has happened a lot on his way to winning 71 times on the PGA Tour and 14 majors, four short of the record held by Jack Nicklaus.

No other athlete had such a spectacular fall. Accenture and AT&T have ended their endorsement contracts with him, and Woods has become the butt of jokes on everything from late shows to Disney performances.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

Woods Apologizes, Says Elin Never Hit Him - San Antonio Sports News Story - KSAT San Antonio
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