Tiger Woods admits "transgressions," apologizes

Wed Dec 2, 2009 5:15pm EST
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By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Golfer Tiger Woods, engulfed in speculation over his private life after a car accident in the middle of the night, apologized on Wednesday for "transgressions" in a statement that apparently addressed allegations he had extra-marital relationships.

Woods, the world's No. 1 golfer and a married father of two young children, said in a statement on his website that "I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves." He did not directly address the allegations of infidelity.

"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," Woods said.

Companies whose endorsements have helped make Woods perhaps the world's richest athlete, with a fortune estimated at $1 billion, said they were standing by him.

The golfer suffered facial cuts and bruises when he ran his Cadillac SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree while pulling out of the driveway of his home in Windermere, Florida, about 2 a.m. last Friday.

The time of the accident and Woods' refusal to meet with police to answer questions about it triggered a storm of speculation. Media outlets have reported that Woods, 33, has had extra-marital relationships with at least three women.


One of the world's most recognizable figures and a powerhouse pitchman with the image of a squeaky clean, hard-working sportsman, Woods has lucrative endorsement deals with major companies such as Nike, AT&T and Gillette, a unit of Procter & Gamble.   Continued...

<p>Tiger Woods during a news conference in Melbourne, November 10, 2009. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas</p>