Tiger Woods taking break from golf, admits infidelity

Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:30pm EST
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By Jim Loney and Pascal Fletcher

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tiger Woods said on Friday he would take an indefinite break from professional golf, admitting he cheated on his wife and bowing to the pressure of two weeks of frenzied media scrutiny of his private life.

The world's No. 1 golfer made the stunning announcement in his latest posting on his website in which he confessed "infidelity" for the first time, said he was sorry and asked his family, friends and supporters for forgiveness.

Woods, 33, one of the most admired sport personalities on the planet and the married father of two young children, had previously owned up only to "transgressions" in response to multiple media allegations of numerous extramarital flings.

The allegations followed a bizarre, minor early morning car accident outside his Florida home on November 27 that rapidly ballooned into a full-fledged sex scandal that turned his previously unblemished life and career upside down.

"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," said Woods.

His previous perfectionist image was a magnet for lucrative sports sponsorships and endorsements, and according to Forbes magazine, he was the first athlete to earn $1 billion, making him one of the world's wealthiest sports figures.

"After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person," Woods said.

"I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try," he added.   Continued...