After a lengthy and sometimes
awkward televised apology on Friday (Feb. 19), we still don't know when Tiger
Woods will return to golf, the sport he has dominated for nearly a decade.
Speaking at the Sawgrass clubhouse at PGA
headquarters in Florida, Woods
delivered an emotional apology and plea for privacy in front of a gallery of
sympathetic observers, including his mother who sat stiffly in the front row
with her arms crossed. Absent from the choreographed event was his wife, Elin,
who has been a paparazzi target since Woods' serial infidelity was revealed
"I do plan to return to golf one day," said Woods. "I just
don't know when that day will be."
NBC Sports golf analyst Jimmy Roberts said he thought Woods would return for
The Masters in April because the strict media rules governing the PGA's
most prestigious tournament would somewhat shield Woods from the media.
Tournament organizers are highly selective about which journalists are granted
credentials, said Roberts, and reporters are not allowed to follow players on
the course and also do not have access to the locker rooms at Augusta.
But David Feherty, who has followed Woods on the circuit for CBS
Sports, offered a strikingly different assessment, suggesting Woods would
not return for The Masters and that ultimately whether he does or not
would by up to Woods' wife.
"He may well take the entire year off," said Feherty.
CBS is the broadcast home of The Masters. Woods' participation in tournaments
can juicetune-in by as much as 20%.
"We just want him back," added Feherty.
Woods stood by himself at a low podium, reading a 14-minute statement from
paper. He apologized to his wife, children, sponsors, colleagues at his
charitable foundation, fans and all of the children who have idolized him over
"I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was unacceptable," he said.
"And I am the only person to blame. I want to say to each of you
simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish
After detailing all of the work the Tiger Woods Foundation has done to improve
the lives of children, he said, "But still I know I have bitterly
disappointed all of you."
Looking hard into the camera Woods continued, "I have made you question
who I am. I am embarrassed to put you in this position. For all that I have
done, I am sorry."
He also called out the "paparazzi" for "staking out" his
mother, his wife and for "following his 2Â½ year-old [daughter] to
"Whatever my wrong doings, please leave my wife and kids alone," he
Woods angrily denied widespread media reports that his wife attacked him with a
golf club on the November evening when he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a
fire hydrant and a neighbor's tree.
"Elin never hit me that night or any other night," said Woods.
"There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage
ever. Elin has showed incredible poise and grace throughout this ordeal. Elin
deserves praise not blame."
Speaking on MSNBC, talk radio host Armstrong Williams posited that that
rebuttal may have been inserted by Elin.
"I think she wanted to make clear that she never hit him," said
Armstrong, who was in the Washington
studio with anchor David Shuster. "I think she was specifically involved
in the writing of this speech."
But Karen Hunter, who was among MSNBC's panelists in the Atlanta
studio with Tamron Hall, was blunt in her assessment of that narrative.
"I do think he flat out lied about Elin hitting him with a golf
club," she said.
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